Commuter Style

24 01 2012

Leaving for work on a dark chilly winter morning...

Sharon tries hard not to look like a traffic cone when riding her bike while still being visible to other cyclists and drivers. She’s found a bunch of clothing that’s practical for cycling without being garish. That’s important because if you want more people to ride bikes you need to make them excited about the idea and for a lot of people the traffic cone chic is not an acceptable way to look when arriving at work or a social event. Luckily there are lots of cycling specific clothing and cycling adaptable clothing options these days that you can find to match your personal tastes while staying comfortable.

For visibility Sharon has two powerful rear lights, a powerful [considerately focused] headlight and some reflective trim on her clothing and bike bags.

Not only is it cool that Sharon has found a bike and gear that she is into and reflects her own tastes I think there are a bunch of other potential commuter cyclists who need to see someone dressed stylishly yet sensibly so they can get motivated to start riding to work themselves. Hopefully Sharon is setting a positive example for them as she rolls to work on her Cross Check.

Aaron taking a break after tagging a fence...=-)

Just so the guys don’t feel left out Aaron and I took some male cycling style photos. Aaron always turns up for our rides dressed super nice so I figured I should tap into his fashion wisdom. I’ll be putting up a whole post with his bike clothing tips shortly, but the image above is a taste of what’s to come.

Here I am all coned up!

To avoid a bunch of comments telling me there is nothing wrong with the traffic cone look let me say I agree there is nothing wrong with it. There is also nothing wrong with the bike commuter who dresses up in a Tour de France replica kit and rockets to work on a carbon fibre race bike. However, those two schools of cycling fashion are well represented on the streets around here and are what the general public think about when it comes to riding a bike around town. Since a lot of potential commuter cyclists wouldn’t feel comfortable wearing a traffic cone or skin tight spandex I think it’s important to show them there are other clothing options that are comfortable on the bike, will keep you warm and dry in inclement weather and would be acceptable to a wide range of fashion palates.

Seeing more people on bikes makes me happy and to make that happen we have to give people options they are stoked about.



9 responses

24 01 2012

I am usually dressed in the ever popular and stylish Carhartt look. I put on a traffic safety vest if I need one. Most daily bicyclists here in our small town just wear regular clothes but car drivers are pretty alert because of the huge number of deer wandering our streets and our 25 mph speed limits.

24 01 2012

The distracted/texting/talking driver situation is so bad here (Silicon Valley), that the Traffic Cone look feels like the best choice during much of the year, at least during evening commutes.

24 01 2012

hah I don’t think you guys would appreciate my ‘slobby t-shirt that should be a rag’ + ‘adidas shorts covered in house paint’ look that I was rockin this morning 😉

24 01 2012

@perthcyclist – as long as you were comfy and happily riding your bike – that’s all that counts.

26 01 2012
j almen

Hey Rando
Sharon is a beautiful woman. Why don’t you grow up and marry her?
I enjoy your blog.

26 01 2012

I have no plans to either grow up or get married. I don’t see the point in either one.

28 01 2012

I have several hours of video footage from safety seminars where real traffic cones and more than quite a few impact attenuator trucks have been merrily obliterated by distracted, inattentive motorists. FWIW I tend to run towards the traffic cone style when riding in low light conditions, more fashionable on Sunday social rides.


10 04 2012

Enjoy the blog. Quick question on Sharons bike. How tall is she and what frame size of the cross check is that? My girlfriend is toying with the idea of commuting and I really like the setup.

11 04 2012

@Wes – she’s 5’6″ and rides a 54cm CC.

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