Friday, November 04, 2011

Another experiement with biking in real clothes

It's been nippy in the mornings this week (32F Wed, 39F Thu, 46F Fri) and I decided to ride in regular clothes and give the Lady Cyclist thing another try.

On Wednesday, I wore jeans, cami, cardigan, SmartWool socks, loafers, wool cap, heavy gloves, and a light jacket. I was chilly when I left home, but quite sweaty when I got to work. Stupid overpasses (although, I am grateful not to cross many streets at grade) and the two long, steady inclines just before I get to the campus. Plus, while the hat kept my ears toasty, it trapped too much heat for the rest of my head. My hair was soaked and I kept the hat on until I could spend a fair amount of time in the "privacy" of my cube. Thank goodness I keep a dish towel in my drawer. The ride home in 60F was lovely with the jacket, heavy gloves, and hat stowed in my pannier. I swung up the access path along Pacific to visit the bank and Ulta which gave my legs a rest before tacking my nemesis: the Rte 28 overpass. Clothes were soaked when I got home, but that's okay.

On Thursday, I wore jeans, long-sleeved shirt, SmartWool socks, boots, Buff (to cover my ears), heavy gloves, and a light jacket. My arms were chilly when I left home, but I warmed up quickly. I'm starting to figure out where I can coast and using that to my advantage. I also unbuttoned most of my coat (kept my neck covered) to cool off while playing in traffic during the last mile of my commute. My clothes were mostly dry when I parked the bike, but my hair under the Buff was soaked. *sigh* The afternoon commute was nearly as delicious as the day before, minus the side trip for shopping and plus throwing my chain at the top of the Rte 28 overpass; my clothes were soaked and streaked with chain grease when I got home. I made sure to transfer the baggie of wet wipes from another bag into my pannier for the next post-chain throw clean-up.

I'm making this bike commuting thing sound like fun, aren't I? No really, it is! Plus, if I remember to grab my external speaker thingie for my iPod, I can listen to music or podcasts on the commute. (I am not going to wear earphones while on the bike.)

For Friday, I realized that my third and last pair of jeans was in the hamper. Oh noes! I didn't want to wear my light-colored cotton slacks because they might show super embarrassing sweat spots. I've got to get more dark colored pants. What I did find was the skirt that I wore as part of my cheerleader costume. I picked the orange and white triangles out of the gores, and with the addition of a black cami, black leggings, multi-colored SmartWool socks, black boots, white & black cardigan, and a red scarf I was set to be an elegant-ish Lady Cyclist commuter.

The elegance mostly worked. At least I managed not to get my red lipstick on my cheek, chin, or forehead (which is a total win). My face was flushed and damp, but my clothes were dry. The hair? Well, the hair is going to continue being a problem, but if I get it cut into a choppier style which lets me just shake my head and go, it will be less of a problem. Biking in a skirt? So. Much. Fun. Plus, there was no flashing of an unsuspecting public, whoo hoo!

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