Sunday, May 11, 2014

Listicles: Ten Wardrobe Must-Haves for Cycling

Wearing items 1, 2, 7, & 9, on my way out for drinks.
It's been a while since I participated in Listicles, but I couldn't resist this week's topic: 10 Must-Haves in My Wardrobe. Though I often take a silly tack on Listicles, I thought, in the lead up to Bike Month here in Vancouver, that I'd tweak the topic into Ten Wardrobe Must-Haves for Cycling.

  1. Sunglasses. Mine are somewhat close to the face, but not really wraparounds. They act as a windshield, keeping dirt, bugs & rain out of my eyes. Also the sun.
  2. Waterproof/resistant coat. If you don't live in the Pacific Northwest, this might not be essential to you, but in Raincouver it's a must-have for anyone who leaves their house on a regular basis.
  3. Gumboots: see caveats in #2. 
  4. PoCampo bag. I love my Armitage Satchel, which is designed to strap onto a bike rack, or a stroller, or you can strap a yoga mat or picnic blanket to the bottom of the bag. It has a little reflective tape on it but doesn't scream SPORT CYCLIST GEAR. 
    #4: PoCampo Armitage Satchel in action at a blogger meetup
  5. Long tops. If you ride an upright bike like I do, your shirt won't ride up at the back as you ride in the way it might with drop handlebars, for example. However, you'll still probably want a bit of extra coverage for when you're leaning over to lock up or pump up tires, etc. Or you could just go with a crop top & not worry about it at all!
  6. Flowy knee-length dresses. Yep, I said dresses. I wear all kinds of clothes when riding, but I generally avoid dresses longer than knee length so I don't have to worry about them getting caught in pedals, chain or rear spokes. That said, I have some straighter maxi dresses which just get pushed up by the horizontal cross-bar on my bike (I don't have a step-through frame, or 'ladies bike'), so it isn't a problem if the long dress isn't too flowy. 
    Here's #5 & #10: foldable hat & long top
  7. A-line skirts. Sitting on a bike seat & pedaling requires a bit more room than walking would, so pencil skirts are mostly out, unless they're super stretchy. A wider A-line cut works great.
  8. Skinny jeans. Since the skinny jeans trend cropped up a few years back, I have gradually gotten rid of all my wider leg jeans & realized that skinny leg is the way to go with cycling. No concerns about extra fabric catching on anything as you pedal, or brushing against your chain & getting a grease stain.
  9. Flats. I know a lot of women wear heels while cycling, but I am a bit iffy about the safety of that, not just because of the heel getting caught, but since most heels have fairly slippery soles, which will slide off your pedals quite easily. I wear flats: Birkenstocks, runners, boots, ballet flats, whatever I'd normally be wearing anyway.
  10. Foldable hat. Because I wear a helmet when I ride, I do tend to get helmet head. Rather than restyle my hair when I arrive, I often just bring a hat in my purse. My current fave is a blue flat cap that's easy to stuff in there & looks good with a ponytail.
You might notice that most of these items are not 'bike gear', per se. in fact, they're pretty much just all normal clothes & none of them were bought at a specialty bike shop. Unless you're doing the Tour de France or similar, you really don't need anything special. Regular clothes that can easily be found in ordinary stores, or even your own closet, right now, are totally fine. As long as you've got a bike in good working order, there's not much else you need (depending on helmet laws in your area) so get on a bike!

Join in the fun yourself--enter the link to your list here (click on the Listicles button to the right), or just browse the many other entries on Northwest Mommy.
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  1. Sounds like a great wardrobe...and very practical. I recently lost weight and found wide leg jeans in my drawer that now fit me...God I hate the way they look now...LOLOLOL.

    1. Thanks! I know what you mean about the old jeans. Sometimes a straight wide leg in a flowy fabric can look amazing though--sort of old fashioned sailor pants style? It's the flares that I am cringing at these days, though I wore them extensively for years.

  2. That PoCampo bag looks great. Where did you get it?

    1. I got mine on their website, but some bike shops carry them too, if you want to see them in person before buying.

  3. I am completely fascinated with living in a place where I could ride a bike everywhere. I would LOVE that. If I ever do live somewhere like that, I will refer to this list!! Awesome!

    Visiting from Monday Listicles!

    1. Maybe you just need to make your city into a place where you could ride a bike everywhere... ;)

  4. Thank you for visiting my blog. Seems like you have a practical wardrobe.


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