Cycling is changing me in more ways than I could have imagined.
As a fashion person… I have never liked the *look* of cycling lycra.
The tops and pants are mismatched in garish bright colours, they are always plastered with corporate logos, and everyone looks like they have been shrink-wrapped in a flag. It’s just multi-coloured bleerrrgh to me.
(image by Bryn Lennon/Getty Images)
So when I first started cycling, I swore that I wouldn’t be caught dead in lycra. There was no way that I was going to put on that crap.
Instead I wore my luxe yoga pants and a plain tee whilst cycling. I thought I looked sporty, like I was going to the gym for a gentle stretch… and then out for coffee (and a big fat slice of chocolate cake) with a friend.
But alas, I was naive. Cycling is VERY different to doing pump classes, pilates, or zumba.
For one thing, cycling is REALLY hard work and you sweat like a pig. And if you sweat while you are wearing a backpack, you end up with a disgustingly wet back. I tried to ride without a backpack, but I couldn’t carry all my stuff – like my phone, money, and snacks.
I tried to solve this problem by stuffing a twenty dollar note and my iPhone into the front of my pants while I cycled. I may or may not have put a banana down there too. Ahem.
Of course, the heavy, smooth iPhone slipped downwards into the V where my thighs met… which was quite tolerable when cycling… until my husband called to see how I was going. With a vibrating phone, money, a bike seat, and possibly a banana… it got way too busy down there to concentrate on cycling.
Suffice to say, I caved in and bought myself a cycling jersey.
And what do you know. As boring as it is… the jersey is such a functional piece of clothing.
They are made from soft, breathable material, with zips that don’t poke at your chin when you’re in a “cycling position”, reflector bits, a bit of silicone along the bottom hem so they don’t ride up.
Cycling jerseys also have 3 massive pockets at the back where you can store stuff. A phone! A banana! A muesli bar! Sunglasses! Money! Why hasn’t regular fashion caught up with this??
Now I get annoyed at my normal clothes with small, pitiful pockets… which don’t let me carry bananas around!
But the most entertaining thing about cycling jerseys… is that they have a easy zip tag so you can single-handedly zip down your top while you are riding along, to allow air flow over your chest to cool yourself down.
So on really REALLY hot days, it’s very common to see lots of lean cyclist men, fully unzipped and bare chested, zoom by on the cycle paths. Skin, sweaty muscles and washboard abs – hello distraction!
(Although, there are also plenty of men riding around out there who have hairy chests and bellies like they are ten months pregnant.)
You can see guys on sweltering days, parked beside the road for an emergency cool down, throwing their heads back, squirting water from over their heads, faces and chests, the water cascading in slow motion down their bare pecs in the glistening sun! It’s very entertaining.
However, I’ll admit that I have tried this myself a couple of times. It’s not as sexy as it looks. Weirdly erotic perhaps? It’s actually quite disgusting with all the sweat, sun screen and sun-warmed water oozing down my cleavage, belly, down to where I used to keep my iPhone, with all the cars and bikes zooming by. It just feels like I had an accident and wet my pants… but hey it does cool me down!
ANYWAY, getting back to cycling clothes.
As the weather has cooled down, I have bought a long sleeved jersey. I’m so in love with it!
It has brushed fleece, reflective piping, full length zipper, silicone gripper, nine panels of insulation techno fabric for maximum ventilation, fit and comfort.
I am *embarrassingly* excited by how practical it is.
THEN I needed a jacket that also kept the rain and wind out for really cold morning rides… and so I bought this very sexy jacket.
Do you love the colour? It totally matches my sports bra, my shoes AND my banana.
The arms ZIP OFF so I can wear it as a vest. There are zillions of pockets inside and out. There are ventilation panels. Reflective bits. It is so so practical. Omg the functionality is such a turn on!!
How will I *ever* look at fashion – and all it’s unfunctional-ness – the same again?
I’m having a lot of fun getting ready to ride 200 km in two days, but it is for a deadly serious cause. I’d love it if you could donate $20, $50 or whatever you can to fund research to find the cure for cancer. I’m trying to raise $10,000.
You can go to my donations page and make any donation amount you wish.
The money goes immediately and directly to cancer research.
I want to make a difference!
Please help me!