I recently rode my bike for the very first time in street clothes. Well not street clothes per se, more like thrift shop jeans, t-shirt, and an old pair of boots. I was on my way to the Bellingham Theater Guild to do some set painting. No matter how hard I try when I paint, a good deal of it ends up being on me and my clothes so I definitely didn’t want to wear my nice bike attire. Paint smudges on a ratty pair of jeans and t-shirt is kind of funky and fun; paint on Lycra would be, well, weird. But I really wanted to ride my bike so I sucked it up and left my bike clothes at home
The first thing I had to do was rubber band my pant legs so they didn’t get caught in the chain. I could shell out a few dollars and get some Velcro straps but hey, when you’rewearing paint-encrusted pants, the rubber bands just sort of go. Next thing I had to do was to forgo using my toe clips while pedaling. My big clunky boots didn’t exactly slip in and out of the clips with the greatest of ease. It only took me a couple of blocks to get comfortable pedaling this way and I found the ride fun and somewhat liberating.
I still think I prefer my “official” bike apparel, though. I get very hot and sweaty when I ride, regardless of the weather, and I don’t feel comfortable in street or work clothes. It’s too much like being stuck in the middle of a miserably hot day like, for instance, being in California during a heat wave. Yuck! (Although, working on sets can be like that sometimes and I don’t seem to mind it. Interesting.) Nothing’s worse than being stuck in a soggy cotton t-shirt. I’ll never be one of those cyclists who breezes around in everyday clothes that stay fresh and dry with the wind blowing through but not messing up my hair. (I see that more often than you might think, especially downtown.) But that’s not me anyway. I’m more a pig in a puddle kind of a person no matter what I’m wearing. I like it that way.