Well Vancouverites, like it or not, those bike lanes aren’t going anywhere. Me, I’m pretty stoked about it. While I would not consider myself a hardcore cyclist, I enjoy taking my bike out for a joy ride, commuting to my Fit 4 Two® stroller fitness classes, running errands and even date night around the city with my hubby. I used to think I had to sport my cycling gear (dry wick shirt, padded shorts, runners) to ride my bike anywhere, but I felt self-conscious and dorky walking into a store or restaurant in my bike clothes. Once I started experimenting with street clothes and checking out what stylish gals in other bike friendly cities were wearing, I found it a breeze to bike stylish.
With the new bike lanes and introduction of Mobi, the bike sharing program, Vancouver is more bike friendly than ever. So why aren’t more people hopping on a bike to get around town? Is it the weather? Distance? Road riding confidence? Fitness level? Aversion to arriving under dressed? While I can’t do much about the weather or the length of your commute, if feeling out of place in your bike gear is what’s holding you back, I can help you bike stylish and feel put together upon arrival at your destination. Here are some easy tips to get you rolling using what you probably already have in your closet.
Beginner Tips to Bike Stylish
Pants, Skirts and Dresses
Wear leggings or ankle length pants or pants with narrow legs so as not to get your cuff caught in the chain. Fabrics with stretch are ideal.
If you prefer a dress or skirt, chose one with some stretch or else an A-line cut. Avoid pencil skirts unless you have a step-through bike. It’s going to be tricky to hoist your leg over your bike and your range of motion to pedal is limited. You might want to wear bike shorts underneath for extra padding or to prevent flashing your knickers when getting on/off your saddle. You could also try this simple hack using a penny and an elastic band that will make your skirts more bikeable and reduce the number of flashing incidents.
Wear a sleeveless top to prevent sweat stains. If it’s chilly, throw on a denim or leather jacket.
I prefer flats or wedges to cycle in rather than pumps or thong type sandals. You will probably want to raise your seat if you are wearing wedges for a more comfortable ride. Sandals with a back strap are also a good choice because they won’t slide forward. Be careful not to scrape your toes when pushing off or coming to a quick stop. It’s very on trend to wear your skirt with sneakers if you favour pedaling in an athletic shoe.
Bike Stylish Extras
Put a basket on your bike to carry your purse so it’s not on your person and getting in the way. It’s also a handy place to stash your jacket if it’s too warm to ride in or a small cooler to keep snacks and beverages cold.
Cycling is a great way to explore your city while saving time, money and frustration. (Have you tried parking downtown lately?!) You’ll also be helping the planet and improving your fitness level. How’s that for a win-win?!
Biking will make you happy. When the world has more happy people, it will be a better place to live.
Some helpful bikey links:
Interested in family biking or cargo bikes? Lisa at Spokesmama is your go-to gal.
Join the Vancouver bike share Mobi. Memberships are 1/2 price until the end of July.
In the market for a new bike? Giant Bikes
Pedal Society and Our Community Bikes is a non profit cycle resource. Self/Full service bike repairs.
Safety first! Avoid getting hit with these bike safety tips.
Grabbing a bike map and mapping your route ahead of time will make it easier to avoid major streets and hills. Vancouver Bike Maps
I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but September is just around the corner. Contact us today to find out how The Joy of Style can help you kick off the new season with ease and joy.