There are numerous articles on the types of clothing you can ride to make a spin more comfortable. Wicking or blended fabric, wool or synthetic, lycra or cotton, the discussion about performance materials rages unabated. I know I was a dyed-in-the-wool lycra proponent when I first began riding Boulder roads. Living in Texas, I had never really considered changing attire to ride, I just hopped on my bike and cruised around San Antonio and Austin. But after moving to Boulder and catching the cycling bug, my closet soon bulged with all manner of brightly colored, spandexy shorts and tops. I wore all of it, a lot, every weekend I was out on a long ride somewhere appropriately attired and clicked in for a ride of miles of miles.
I guess my cycling attired reflected how I had organized my life. When I was out riding, I was out: right gear, power bars, and some barely palatable sports drink. I rode into town but not very often so when I wasn’t riding long distances, I wasn’t riding. Commuting rarely figured into my life, let alone every day so I never considered that having separate clothes for cycling might be a bit redundant.
It wasn’t until I got my first single-speed that my ‘cycling wardrobe’ really expanded. It was an old steel-framed, single-speed Trek and I loved it. Loved it and rode it as often as I could in all sorts of clothing: jeans, pants, skirts (if I was able to position the bike to get my leg over the top tube), sweaters, t-shirts – you get the idea. And I began to ride more often, to more places, my wardrobe limited only by my ability to swing my leg over the top tube and not get chain oil on my leg. I fell in love with commuting and all of a sudden didn’t feel the urge to put in long mileage for the sake of putting in long mileage. It became about fun, and meeting up for dinner, dropping into the library.
I won’t mention what happened to that much loved single-speed, suffice it to say that even steel crumples when it is jammed into a garage door.
Today, I want to ride in clothes that I can wear when I arrive at my final destination. Granted for longer rides out amongst the hills of Boulder, I’m probably not going to get clicked in wearing a pair of heals (although..). But most of my time spent in the saddle is cycling to work, to the grocery store, or out for dinner. So, I decided I’m going to check out some of the cycling-inspired attire companies have been making.
If you have any suggestion on where I might look, drop me a line.