I Love All These Cyclists! (except when I don’t)

Bikes, bikes, everywhere! Today’s weather was magnificent and Chicagoans took notice. With all the bikes, you would have thought you’d stepped into Copenhagen, except for the prevalence of sportswear and helmets. Such a lovely sight!

Evening sun over Grant Park

Evening sun over Grant Park

Of course, there’s the little devil on my shoulder that wishes the crowds would get out of my way. The devil rears her head particularly around less-skilled cyclists, often male, who insist on scooting ahead of me at red lights, as if they’re actually faster! Sorry, boys, but I’ve been out here all winter and chances are very high that I will pass you without breaking a sweat, unless you are all Lance Armstronged-out (though I did pass one of them this week). I don’t care if your ego’s hurt by my pink helmet and basket – I’m not racing, I’m trying to get somewhere. ;)

With the warm weather, I’ve reverted to my summer uniform, a mix that I would like to think of as mountain chic, despite the complete lack of mountains. I have several Patagonia skirts with built in shorts underneath and tanks with built in bras, plus a smattering of Lululemon and Prana (yoga clothes). My Keen cycling sandals are a bit ugly, but they never get smelly, no matter how often I wear and sweat in them.

After the evening commute

After the evening commute

During the week I change into a suit once I get to the office, so for my commute comfortable and quick-drying clothes are important. On the weekends I wear whatever clothes and shoes I’m wearing out. That’s one of the many reasons I look forward to the weekends: I can wear real clothes and shoes from my wardrobe. Regardless of what I’m wearing, the beauty of warm weather is that I’m wearing less of it – finally freed from the shackles of a winter filled with coats, long underwear, scarves, gloves, mittens, ear muffs, and several layers of wool socks. Woo Hooo!

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12 thoughts on “I Love All These Cyclists! (except when I don’t)

  1. Oops! That must have been me… sorry. :(

    I don’t think me Keens stink either, hopefully. I’m thinking new wardrobe for the summer.

  2. jj says:

    i’ve been meaning to get some patagonia skorts. must do that this year. i usually just wear unpadded biking-type shorts under whatever skirt i want to wear that day. i’m jealous that it’s warm enough already for tank tops there! we might hit that sort of temperature this weekend – here’s hoping!

  3. anna says:

    I know exactly your problem with these type of cyclists. It’s not the problem that they are slow and unexperienced, I watch out for those and respect them. But what I can’t stand is when they squeeze by at red lights (maybe even run a red light) and then block me as I want to carry on.

    About clothes: I wear normal clothes and normal shoes every day (I don’t have any bike gear except gloves that I use for more comfort on long tours) and luckily I never have a problem with sweating or such. But my commute isn’t all that long and I can understand if you want to change before you get to the office. But there are not many people here who change their clothes, in fact I don’t know anybody (ok, my officemate carries a spare shirt but not more). But we don’t really have to dress formally very often. Sometimes I argue with people who say that they can’t cycle because they have to wear a suit. I always tell them that in the Netherlands and Denmark everybody cycles in suits if they need one – and if they don’t like that they could always leave it at work (like you do). Humankind is very strange though – we invent a dress code so that most people think they need an SUV to get around. Very silly if you think about it. Glad you show them that it can be done differently ;-).

    • dottie says:

      That’s very true about inventing a dress code that requires an SUV. Funny and sad at the same time. One day I hope not to need suits, then I definitely would wear my normal clothes on the bike (and those clothes would be a lot more fun and interesting). My set up of leaving all suits and work shoes at the office works perfectly. I’m a big sweat-er (not to be confused with sweater) and would be so hot and uncomfortable in a suit for 7 miles, plus I try to wear my suits as many times as possible before dry cleaning.

  4. MamaVee says:

    Looking good!

  5. I also love your point that, because you have been riding all winter, you’re are really a much faster cyclist than almost everyone out there. It’s very true. I’ve past “speed racers” on my Schwinn or more often, known that if I really wanted to keep up with them, I could. Regular riding has had a cumulative effect for me and my commutes are much easier, this year.

  6. […] I Love All These Cyclists (Except When I don’t) – I rarely ever have this problem except when I do. Seeing other cyclists on my route is the exception rather than the rule… except for all the folks who are riding the bus with their bikes now-a-days. […]

  7. LisaGW says:

    Keep on keeping on, Girls. Love your blog!

  8. Scott says:

    “we invent a dress code so that most people think they need an SUV to get around”

    Completely true. I cycle straight to the court house in a suit sometimes for a morning hearing, and no one has any idea I came by bike. The only clue is the hooks on the back of my Ortlieb office bag. But if I get a Velorbis, I will use my leather briefcase on the built-in rack — very sharp!

  9. philip says:

    You have certainly caught my sentiment in this one. I remember the winter miles. Snow, and icicles trying to form under my nose, the freezing wind and frostbitten hands. All winter I have been out on roads that are now as familiar as old friends. Suddenly with warm spring sunshine, I am jostled at lights, with the occaisaonal smirk at my rotund frame. Young bucks blast away from the lights with pride taking place of manners or safety. The tortoise can pedal though, his short legs powering through the big rings, and illustrating that cycling is much more substrantial than a burst across a road junction.

  10. Man says:

    I bike three miles to the train station, take the train in to the city and then walk a few blocks to work (plus the reverse commute) all in a suit. There are some adjustments I make for example; I never wear my tie until I get to work and if it is extremely hot I remove my coat and fold up on the back bike rack. Women’s suit skirts probably are not the most comfortable to ride in.

    )Does your workplace offer bike showers or do you have to change inside your office? Curious as our building is actually considering bike showers and covered parking as part of the building renovation)

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