Memo to Prospective Bike Commuters: Spandex is Not Necessary

26 Aug

Nearly every day when I’m hopping on my bicycle after work, I pass countless ladies and gentleman leaving their offices clad in matching spandex jerseys and padded shorts, in sporty sunglasses, in fingerless gloves.

They waddle in their padded shorts to ultra-lightweight bicycles and then move so very efficiently onto other destinations.

To all those who own “normal” clothes, please note: This is Not the Only Way to Ride a Bicycle.

I have nothing against spandex wearers personally, I appreciate anyone who rides a bicycle rather than driving a car, but many people who are not bicycle riders seem to see spandex as a barrier. It is not necessary. In the five-ish years that I’ve been riding my bicycle to work, to parties, to dates, to errands, to the grocery store, I’ve never once worn any variety of spandex.

I’d just like it if more people rode bikes (even in spandex) because then our cities would be:

  • Quieter (less honking)
  • Safer (accidents with bicycles are rare and rarely cause injury as opposed to people-car collisions = serious injury, death)
  • Sexier (let’s face it, healthy, athletic bodies are appealing and driving doesn’t work any muscles)
  • Healthier (when you use your own muscle to get around rather than an acceleration pedal, you improve your muscles and metabolism)
  • Better smelling (no exhaust)
  • Richer (bicycling infrastructure is many times more cost-effective than car infrastructure: “Portland’s entire 300 mile network of bikeways cost about the same as 1 mile of urban freeway.“)

So dust off that bicycle, no matter what it takes, or what you wear, and try to ride to the grocery store or post office next time instead of hopping in your car. We’ll all be better off for it.

Normal or dressy clothes work just fine with very minor modifications. For more information on commuting in any kind of weather, for any kind of event, I will direct you to the the very informative and stylish ladies at “Let’s Go Ride a Bike” who have covered this dilemma extensively.

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One Response to “Memo to Prospective Bike Commuters: Spandex is Not Necessary”

  1. earthwalker August 26, 2010 at 08:53 #

    this is such a funny subject! they prepare that spandex outfit so carefully like eventually they will end up in the outer space.
    (ugly)gadgets for people to buy, that’s all!:( every little thing we do creates so much more needs than before.

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