Wednesday, August 27, 2008

London Cycle Chic?

Where will all these fashionable young things be when summer is over?

Riding through a wind-swept autumn in Primark’s finest, doesn’t cut it. For comfort, it is hard to beat clothing designed specifically for the task of cycling; the coats with extra tuck-under and ventilation zones with aerodynamic considerations. The cycling socks which keep you bone dry. The high-visibility colours which fight for driver’s visual attention, and reduce the SMIDSY potential.

The fashionistas may scoff at the predictability of purposeful bright road presence. If the flock is to be followed; “that’s SO last year, BLACK is the new yellow, keep up...” “ You look FAB at night… lights? oh no, they spoil the lines, darling…”

I agree that specialist clothing can be seen as a barrier to access. If people are hopping down the shops, normal clothes are great for that. There’s no logic in expecting people to wear special clothes and accessories, if it’s going to make cycling less attractive to the curious and the waiting converts.

On the other hand, if the ride is longer, or the comfort stakes higher, maybe it’s better to wear padded cycling shorts, of the Lycra or baggy variety. Plus whatever other equipment adds some tangible or useful benefits to the bike journey.

Of course, it’s great that cycling is getting positive exposure, as a desirable trend. But trends come, and trends go.

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Michael said...

Is there a way into RIchmond Park before it officially opens to cycle?

David Hembrow said...

What happens in the winter ? They keep riding. The average resident of Assen makes 1.2 cycle journeys a day, all year around.

There are no lack of lycra types out training etc. but everyone here wears normal clothes for their everyday journeys.

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