Wednesday, March 25, 2020

Who Said You Have To Look Like "That"?

Typical cyclists look for Spring
Working downtown now I get a great view up a street where a lot of local cyclists access the bike path. One thing that struck me is that while most of these folks are only out for a spin, they almost all look like they are geared up to do Trans Iowa or something.

Frankly, I have to say that I find it rather odd. But then again- I am a weirdo. 

First of all, I wear shorts when I commute anytime it gets near 40°F or above. Not cycling shorts either. Pffft! Why would I do that? I'm just riding a few miles to work, ya know? It isn't like it is a race, or some epic ride. So my shorts are Dickies. Oh! And when it gets colder? Dickies 874 cotton twill pants. Dickies 874's are the best, under-the-radar commuter pants ever. And Dickies makes a similar model in a short, but I typically go for the longer cut leg models for my shorts.

Up top I'll wear a t-shirt, and if it is colder, a long sleeved wool jersey and a windbreaker over all of that. Now that it is warmer I wear a synthetic blend hoodie that seems to keep the wind out pretty well. It is emblazoned with a local dairy's logo. I'm fine with that. The less I look like a cyclist the better, when commuting or cycling for recreation.

Plus, wearing this sort of garb is just easier. It's what I am wearing anyway. No need to switch into "cycling kit". What a hassle! Just give me my helmet and a pair of gloves, (maybe), and I am off. Now I have some new kicks in the house that make me look even less like a cyclist and they are clipless compatible. They are from the DZR Shoes company.

DZR S240 shoes and Dickies 874 cotton twill pants.
 They look like work boots crossed with a skate shoe. DZR call them the S240, which is code for "Sub 24 Overnighter". I just say they look like 'regular shoes' and I can mount a clip to them and ride any bike I have. flat pedals, clipless, and walk afterward with no issues. No one would ever guess they are "cycling shoes". (Note: These were review shoes for Riding DZR sent them for teat and review at no charge)

The net effect of all this 'undercover' cycling garb is that I don't seem to get the angst and trouble from car and truck drivers that I do when I am "kitted up". Ya know? There is some strange psychology going on there with that. Anyway. It works.

And who ever said we all need to get all in a costume to ride in the first place? I never dressed special to ride a bike when I was a kid right up until I started mountain biking in my late 20's. I guess I bought in to the "ya gotta wear this and this" to ride a bicycle. Now, hey! I get it. Sometimes 'real bike clothes' are what you should be riding in. But wearing this costume for every ride thing? Not so much. News flash; You can ride in blue jeans and t-shirts. 

 I know, amazing isn't it?

But back to the get ups I'm seeing people ride in now. I suppose many are just getting out after a long winter off the bike and, well.......just trying to escape the madness for a bit. But face masks and full tights with booties when it is well above freezing? Maybe I'm acclimated from being out all Winter on a bike, or......maybe my brain is frozen. 

Like I said, I'm a weirdo. Don't mind me........


Mark Cardinal said...

My kind of weirdo.

youcancallmeAl said...

Lol. Youre starting to sound more like Grant everyday!

Tomcat said...

Those DZR S240 shoes look awesome! That colorway looks rad. If I didn't just purchase a new pair of SPD shoes for the upcoming summer, these would certainly be on my radar.

I'm also for defying the laws of tradition. For me, it's all a matter of what I feel most comfort wearing. Usually that means a sorry excuse for a homemade cotton tank top and a comfortable pair of chamois bicycle shorts. I find jerseys too restrictive, even though I like the utility that the rear pockets provide.

youcancallmeAl said...

With my pipe cleaner legs, I look terrible in shorts. I wish more companies made decent affordable knicker style pants for men.

DT said...

As for the heavy insulated clothing - I find this season to have the greatest swings. As in, I start my ride and it's 45 and sunny, I'm downright hot! Then as soon as the sun dips, it drops to 37 and I'm frozen

Slim said...

As far as shorts vs long pants/tights, well, every person is different. Personally, I have not ridden with bare knees yet this year. It’s been ~45 here mostly, and that is just to cold for my knees.

As far as bike specific clothing vs regular street clothes, it is all good! Do what makes you feel good!

If I am riding to a thing where I want to look good, say out to dinner, I will find clothes that work on the bike and off, like a merino shirt and stretch pants.
But, I have also ridden have a monthly 1 hour meeting that is 45 minutes each way on the bike. It’s a casual meeting with people I know well. I kit up in full tights and jersey, because it feels fun and fast on the bike, and the people I’m having the meeting with know me and don’t care what I look like.
Being from Holland I have spent thousands of hours on a bike in street clothes, but now I own nice bike clothing, I will wear that if the purpose of the outing is cycling.