To Lycra, or Not to Lycra

I’d like to to think that what I wear while I commute doesn’t matter. But the biking style seems to be one of those weird bike things that creep up every now and again.

When you think of a bicyclist, what comes to mind?

Those advertising posters with young, hip people in their hip outfits or competitive cycling with all lycra and spandex?

My inclination is think of the lycra suit, but I don’t want to look like that. And herein is my internal conflict with my bike style.

I have no idea what it is, or if I really care.

When I get right down to it, I’m not really ever bothered by what I’m wearing while on my bike. Hell, I’ve had days where my riding get-up was, at least in my mind, pretty clownish. When I come home and realize what I wore, I ask myself what I was thinking.

But the truth is, every time I get dressed to take Rocinanté for a spin, the thought of what I’m wearing invariably creeps into my mind. Do I look ok? Will I look ok? Will I be the only one wearing something like this?

I just don’t want to look like a competitive, road racing cyclist. I don’t want to be in lycra from head to toe.

But I haven’t really figured out how to make my regular clothes work for me while I’m on a bike.


I’m stuck in this middle ground, straddling between a desire to be like those young hipsterish San Franciscans, or even like the Dutch, and wanting the benefit of well-made bike gear.

I own some Pearl Izumi thermal tights and barrier pants, and a long-sleeve cycling jersey. I won’t deny that they’re comfortable and awesome. In some sense, I actually enjoy wearing these items, and strangely feel less self-conscious in them.

In the summer months I wear a bunch of gym shorts with compression linings in them I bought from Target. They’re a wee bit short but they do. I even bought two pairs of padded Novara briefs recently (not too shabby, though the briefs cut into your legs awkwardly).

Then there are the Levi’s commuter pants I bought, specifically as “beater” pants for putting around on my bike. They’re cut for men, and they’re a bit long on me, but they’re durable from what I’ve experienced and not bad for commuting short distances. I’m also enjoying these too, though a bit self-conscious considering they are for men.

I’m not entirely sure where this post is going, except that I may be suffering from some kind of style rut. But is it warranted? Probably not.

Cycling friends, what’s your take on cycling style?

Today’s post brought to you by the Daily Prompt: Style Icon


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