I am fascinated by the Lady Cyclist movement. That is, women who wear regular work/play clothes while biking instead the Under Armour tees and Canari padded shorts like I do. These women are wearing slacks or dresses and heels whilst biking city streets on their way to their places of work or meeting up with friends at a pub or market. It seems so much more elegant than wearing workout gear. They hop off their bikes, dab away the sweat, and get right to whatever they want to do at their destination. I hop off my bike, lug my trunk bag into the gym locker room, shower, dress, apply make-up, and then settle into my cube while still sweating a bit and being red-faced despite the shower.
I want to be elegant like them.
Monday night, I experimented. Scott needed to run some local errands and I wanted to ride my bike. We combined our needs and wants and rode to the drug- and grocery stores in street clothes. Well, sort of. Scott donned his pair of shorts which look like normal shorts but have a padded bike short liner, a t-shirt, and sneakers. I kept on the shirt, camisole, capris, flats, and jewelry I had worn to work. I'm not wild about riding on Sterling Boulevard and don't like riding on sidewalks -- even though it's legal in Virginia -- now that I'm getting more comfortable with riding in traffic, so we took the scenic route through the neighborhood and rode through parking lots to the drug store. I was huffing and puffing from the hills and a little sweaty. I realized that I should have brought a rag of some sort for mopping up. Oops. Scott, for some bizarre reason, had removed his trunk bag and all groceries went into the basket on the back of my bike. By the time we got home, I was drenched. I'd soaked through my bra and the waistband of my capris wasn't faring much better. The worst part is that it was the cool part of the day and we'd ridden only three and a half miles round trip.
So, I suppose the moral of this story is that I shouldn't try to be an elegant biker just yet. I'm not cruising down the streets of New York or Seattle or Chicago to get to work. I'm cycling past industrial parks and car dealer lots and a golf course and open fields. Plus, I'm lucky enough to have a shower at my destination and I don't have to wear sweaty clothes all day.
However, none of this is stopping me from browsing Cruiser, Townie, and Euro-style bike manufacturer sites and dreaming of being an elegant biker cruising around a picturesque town in a dress and heels.