11 September 2008

My thoughts on the state of Lycra

It sounds like other people are seeing a shift towards chic cycling, which I'm guessing is probably due to new cyclists rather than lycras abandoning their gear. I'd imagine that X% of lycra on the road is due to necessity (distance cycled), and Y% of slouchy dressers would probably not put in the effort to dress chic OFF a bicycle anyway, so excluding those two groups we see our chic cyclists! They're certainly out there.

We can never really know the 'state of lycra perceptions' because the person we're most interested in is not riding a bike yet, of distaste for the perceived uniform.

In happy news, my friend at my favorite upscale bike shop told me yesterday that business there is up 45% over last year. I thought that was good news for everyone, but he said he's exhausted. Not so exhausted he couldn't help me tighten my headset and make other minor adjustments to my frame, gratis. Thanks B! It's good to make friends with your local bike shop and always buy something, even if it's just a tube, when you go in. It pays for itself!


The Stouts said...

My wife and I both used to be lycra wearers a few years back, but had a couple realizations since then.

Although we regularly bike longer distances by necessity, (my commute being 23miles RT, and Nickie biking around 20 miles a day with the kids for kids preschool), we realized that for one believing in being a part of the solutions to many problems we currently face as a generation, that if we wanted to encourage others to do likewise it had to feel more attainable and less intimidating. Since most folks find the thought of donning lycra downright scary or repulsive, it just makes it that much harder for folks to make the mental leap.

Secondly as cycling its mostly transportation (very fun transportation of course :), for ourselves and those around us, we want this to seem and be as natural a part of life as hopping in a car and driving someplace, not something where you dress of like a superhero just to go to the store and pick up some groceries.

Lastly, we've fallen in love with the properties of some street savvy fabrics all over again like 100% wool, and softshell fabrics that can dress up nicely but handle weather and sweat with the best of them.

mappchik said...

Unless I'm going for a 30+ mile ride on a hot steamy day (in Atlanta, we still have them for a while), I don't bother with the lycra and super wicking gear anymore.

All my normal commute and shopping or recreational trips around the neighborhood are done in my regular street clothes. In fact, there are days I dress better than I would, just because it's fun to ride for groceries & coffee in a skirt and red ballet flats.