Bike-riding Hates My Closet

Since getting James Hettfield, I've been inclined to ride more. I bike-rode my stuff to the Park Slope Beacon's Closet in my little baskets. I saw people I knew on the way and I yelled to them and they yelled back and I felt like Fonzie.

But it hasn't been all aaaaayyy!, all the time. Turns out I can't hop on James in just any ol' thing I'm wearing without "selling my business", as someone else put it. Turns out that my short skirts are not as tootie-ensconcing as one might wish. Now that I'm riding around sans tights, you notice that kind of thing. (Scanning bike-lady blogs I see mostly: short skirts with tights, longer skirt, shorts-I-don't-own or pants-like things. Or bike shorts under short skirts, which sounds so dang warm for the summer.)

I am stuck. Do I go for longer dresses and skirts, even though I don't like them as much? And have to buy a bunch of new skirts? In the meantime, I've been changing into cut-off jeans and feeling like the biggest schlub on earth.

Buns? Yeah, you can't fit a helmet over them. Goodbye, standard summer hair. I am stuck with a low pony. No choice.

And let's not mention the bruises. From walking James and the pedal smacking my leg. Or from learning how to carry him up and down my tiny horror-film hallway.

Bike ladies. You make it look so easy.


  1. First off, I took the link you gave me and you are so CUTE! And informative. And I feel all smug and special that I got to see it, so thanks for sharing! ;P
    Second, nana socks - are socks that people might assume only grandma would wear. Mine were beige kneehighs.
    Third, thanks for the flashback to the Fonz. Aaaaaaaayyy!
    Good luck with the cycling wardrobe paradox.

  2. I usually just wear shorts under shorter skirts... to be honest it's not much of a problem here because we only have about three hot days per year. And having short hair I'd never considered the helmet problem. Hmmm, I'm not being much help, am I?
    I can reassure you that the bruising will stop... the more you cycle the more the bike feels like an extension of your body, and you get used to avoiding pedal smacks. I just got a new bike (expect pictures soon!) and I've got a few bruises as I'm not used to its little quirks yet.

  3. It's tough but it's worth it if you can make it work! My suggestion is to try bike shorts that are more like tiny little spandex hot pants - I personally have a pair in hot pink that secretly hide the important stuff while I'm biking to work in professional attire. It's awesome! Plus I got mine for only a few dollars.

  4. What about bloomers or hot shorts? The basic idea is wearing something undergarmentish that is more socially acceptable to be seen. Or at least something that you feel more comfortable showing than unders. I'm thinking back to my days of being a gymnast. We would basically wear a special type of underwear that usually was lycra and matched our leotards. The key was that it was supposed to be seen. I don't know if that helps at all, really.

  5. It's not ideal, but I bought some spandex shorts, not bike ones, that I wear under my skirts/dresses, then I usually take them off when I get to my destination.

  6. I bought a pair of bike lace bike shorts from ebay. They add a 90s flair to my outfit. You can always take them off, too. They're more breathable than hotpants, although I wear those too (which are great to absorb sweat on hotter days. They also get taken off and stowed away.
    Sometimes, I just don't care and sell my business.

  7. You're such a sexy lady in that makeup! When I bike in shorter skirts I wear some very thin leggings that are basically tights that come just to my knees. So that's not too hot.

  8. I wear bike shorts under just about anything. It sort of works, although bike shorts remind me of high school phys ed every time I wear them. And that's not a good thing.

  9. Oy, I hear you. Having never had a car, I've done heaps o' unglamorous bicycle commuting. I find full, knee-length skirts best for biking, but that's my preferred style anyway. No help there.

    The Academichic ladies carry a clothespin to clip their skirt into faux culottes while biking... could that work for you?

  10. I usually wear cotton spandex shorts under my dresses, or hot pink American Apparel running shorts. My thighs get sweaty and stick together in this weather anyway, so it's not a huge sacrifice.

  11. Finally catching up on my blog reading. So glad you're putting that new bike to good use! Like most of the other commenters I wear mid-thigh-length spandex shorts under my shortest skirts. Obviously more fitted skirts have less changes of flying up but they also may be harder to pedal in. Basically, if I flash people fewer than two times I consider it a win :) For hair I always do a low bun--fits below the helmet but sits off the neck.


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