You’re ready to clip on your helmet, hop on your bike and ride to work or out on the town. But the last thing on your mind is squeezing into spandex. Try one or all of our top ways to bike around town comfortably and, most important, stylishly!
1. Layer to Avoid the Sweat. Don’t want to arrive at work all sweaty? Layering is the key. Wear a T-shirt or tank top underneath your nice outfit and start shedding clothing at the moment you feel warm—BEFORE you start sweating. Your base layer will protect your nice clothes from any sweat, and you can change out of it at the office.
2. Stress is Never Stylish. Stressed about finding the easiest and shortest route to ride? Use your BikeLife bike map—pull it out, it’s the centerfold—and the bicycling feature of Google Maps, both of which help you plan your route on bike paths and bike friendly roads.
3. Minimize Helmet Hair. Don’t put your helmet on wet hair. If you arrive at your destination with locks that look less than desirable, run your hands in water and through your hair for a quick fix. If water or a quick-dry shake out doesn’t do the trick, leave a small bag with your favorite hair products at your desk to help fix the frizzies or the flats.
4. Saddle Up. Don’t chafe while riding in stylish duds. A good bike saddle will make a world of difference in your comfort. Stop at your local bike shop for recommendations.
5. Bag It. There are many options for hauling your gear to avoid the not-so-stylish backpack sweat mark:
-A one-shouldered messenger bag.
-Front or back bike baskets mounted directly to your bike or a bike rack.
-Side pannier bags mounted to a bike rack.
FOR THE LADIES
6. Avoid Flashing! If you want to wear a short or tight skirt or dress, wear a pair of short shorts underneath that can be easily taken off when you get to your destination.
7. Long Skirts & Dresses. Tie the extra material in a knot at the side of your thigh so it doesn’t get caught in your bike wheels or chain.
8. Biking in Heels. Place toe section of your shoes on the pedals and start pedaling slowly. When you stop at lights, take your time repositioning your shoe before you start pedaling. Wedges are the easiest heel to bike in because of the flat center section.
FOR THE GENTS
9. Skinny Pants. If you don’t have a chain guard, avoid getting grease on your pants by using a leg band or rolling up your right pant leg—or be hip and wear pants with a skinnier leg!
10. Don’t Stink! It’s no secret that the male half of our population tends to be a bit muskier than their female counterparts. Prevent sweating and stink with the layering tips in #1. Or bring a change of clothing and even shower at your destination. If you don’t have access to a shower, keep a mini deodorant in your bag and some wet wipes at the office to freshen up.
Jeanne Eisenhaure writes about being bike stylish on her blog BikeStylish.com.