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  1. #1
    not a role model JeffS's Avatar
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    OT: Cycling tight awkwardness

    I stopped by the library tonight to pickup some books. Walked in in my bib tights with a wool top over it. For some reason, I felt incredibly awkward. I usually don't think twice about running into stores on the way home. I'm not sure what it was - but I wasn't comfortable.

    Seems odd, but it could just be that I'm new to the library. I've been buying books for years. This is another effort to reduce my consumption. Anyway, I was there no more than 5 minutes, though the security guard did wander by (probably by chance).

    Are there public places that you feel more of less comfortable going into in your commuting gear?

  2. #2
    Huff Puff
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    My commuting gear is usually a pair of Chrome knickers and a cotton shirt. The only place I'd be worried about is a fancy restaurant

  3. #3
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    I was worried about it at first, but I really don't think that people even notice all that often. I've gone into grocery stores, my son's school, work, the college I attend... rarely do I get a peculiar look.

    I use Performance T*****x tights and they do look sort of like regular black jeans from a distance... not very form fitting. Maybe that's why people are oblivious to them...

  4. #4
    Daily Rider hairlessbill's Avatar
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    Same here, I usually wear some Humvee 3/4 knickers and a loose top on my commute. Makes me feel closer to blending in somehow.

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    Spandex: it's a privilege, not a right. If you've earned it, rock it.

  6. #6
    Laid back bent rider unixpro's Avatar
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    The only time I feel a little self-conscious is when I'm wearing my rain gear and go into a very quiet place, like a library . The noise I make as I move around seems inordinately loud to me. Other than that, I feel fine pretty much anywhere.

  7. #7
    tsl
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    Quote Originally Posted by JeffS View Post
    I stopped by the library tonight to pickup some books. Walked in in my bib tights with a wool top over it. For some reason, I felt incredibly awkward. I usually don't think twice about running into stores on the way home. I'm not sure what it was - but I wasn't comfortable.
    Could it have been all those lady librarians checking out your... erm... shape?

    I work at the library, and I wear tights on my commute, changing at work. Trust me on this, those lady librarians do notice and appreciate such things as a fine looking butt in tights...

    Actual conversation regarding lycra shorts:

    Elderly stereotypical librarian lady: You know, I never thought I'd live to see the day when men came to work dressed in their underwear.

    Me: And yet, I don't hear disapproval in your voice.

    Elderly stereotypical librarian lady: Who do you think orders the romance novels?
    My two favorite things in life are libraries and bicycles. They both move people forward without wasting anything.
    The perfect day: Riding a bike to the library.—Peter Golkin


    Lucky for me, I work at a library and bike to work.

  8. #8
    Senior Member neilfein's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by fattyfatskinny View Post
    Spandex: it's a privilege, not a right. If you've earned it, rock it.
    Wow, that's close-minded.

    I'm 20 pounds or so overweight. Are you saying I should wear clothes that make me less comfortable cycling? If you have a problem with my wearing skin-tight shorts, it's not my problem.

    And if you're just kidding... well, you do know it's unhealthy ro be that skinny. You should eat something!
    Tour Journals, Blog, ride pix

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  9. #9
    Neil_B
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    Quote Originally Posted by neilfein View Post
    Wow, that's close-minded.

    I'm 20 pounds or so overweight. Are you saying I should wear clothes that make me less comfortable cycling? If you have a problem with my wearing skin-tight shorts, it's not my problem.

    And if you're just kidding... well, you do know it's unhealthy ro be that skinny. You should eat something!
    You have nothing to worry about, Neil. Especially when folks see you next to me and my enormous gut. :-)

  10. #10
    Neil_B
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    Quote Originally Posted by JeffS View Post
    I stopped by the library tonight to pickup some books. Walked in in my bib tights with a wool top over it. For some reason, I felt incredibly awkward. I usually don't think twice about running into stores on the way home. I'm not sure what it was - but I wasn't comfortable.

    Seems odd, but it could just be that I'm new to the library. I've been buying books for years. This is another effort to reduce my consumption. Anyway, I was there no more than 5 minutes, though the security guard did wander by (probably by chance).

    Are there public places that you feel more or less comfortable going into in your commuting gear?
    Not really, except church. I keep my lycra hidden then.

    However, I have had people stare at me when I go into a store. On one occasion it was entirely justified - I'd ridden 80 miles that day, some of it in the rain. A 6' 1", 250 pound, dirty, sweaty cyclist in lycra draws attention. An obese elderly couple at the counter buying potato chips thought I was like something from another world.

  11. #11
    Senior Member tarwheel's Avatar
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    The first time I wore lycra shorts and tights I felt a little bit self conscious. However, they were so superior to what I had been wearing that I go over that in a hurry. I rarely ever feel self conscious anymore except sometimes at work when I run into people who don't realize I bike commute and they give me wierd looks.

    Funny story about that, I was at an out-of-town meeting with some other guys from work. Somehow we got to talking about cycling, and one of the guys started going off about how goofy cyclists look in their lycra shorts and tights. I didn't say a word but ran into him in a hallway a week or so later while I was still wearing my cycling gear from riding to work. I thought that was funny.

  12. #12
    Commuter First newbojeff's Avatar
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    I wore tights to my son's school assembly this morning.

    Anyway, if I have a meeting I'm likely to wind up in or I'm not just going from home to my office, I do try to wear more "normal" clothing usually. Things like work-out pants or MTB shorts. I was running low today and wore some fleecy tights. Soooo comfy on the bike.

    Also, for me, some things -- a couple of bike shorts come to mind -- that are extremely comfortable when on the bike are not comfortable when off the bike and I'm more likely to change in a hurry.

    Agreed about rain pants being noisy.

  13. #13
    rebmeM roineS JanMM's Avatar
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    Look for "relaxed fit" tights. Not for wannabe racers.

  14. #14
    Gears? CliftonGK1's Avatar
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    If I'm on my way home and need to run some errands, I have no problem doing my shopping in a neon lime jersey and a pair of plum smugglers. If people give me hassle about it, I just ask them why they're staring at my junk. That's usually the end of the conversation.
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  15. #15
    Very Senior Member MikeR's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JeffS View Post
    IAre there public places that you feel more of less comfortable going into in your commuting gear?
    I always carry my helmet with me (even when I don't have to) so that others will know why I'm dressed like I am.
    It's better to cycle through life than to drive by it.

  16. #16
    Al noisebeam's Avatar
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    Just carry a pair of very lightweight athletic type shorts with you and slip them on when you park the bike. They pack small about the size of a softball wadded up (even smaller for runner type short shorts) and are light.

    Alternately, worry less.

    Al

  17. #17
    Dances With Cars TRaffic Jammer's Avatar
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    Hello... I'm up here..... Just pull em up tighter and thrust at them .... make a giant camel toe for them.....

  18. #18
    Cycle Dallas MMACH 5's Avatar
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    I get stranger looks walking into Home Depot with my purse, house shoes and "Super-Dee-Duper!" Barney shirt than walking around in my lycra.

    I used to have a co-worker who refused to look at me when I was in my cycling shorts. If she did have to talk to me, she would hold a folder out in front of her face so she couldn't see me from the waist down. I tried to tell her that the chamois covered everything, but she wouldn't listen.
    That's gonna leave a mark.

  19. #19
    nashcommguy
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    Quote Originally Posted by JeffS View Post
    I stopped by the library tonight to pickup some books. Walked in in my bib tights with a wool top over it. For some reason, I felt incredibly awkward. I usually don't think twice about running into stores on the way home. I'm not sure what it was - but I wasn't comfortable.

    Seems odd, but it could just be that I'm new to the library. I've been buying books for years. This is another effort to reduce my consumption. Anyway, I was there no more than 5 minutes, though the security guard did wander by (probably by chance).

    Are there public places that you feel more of less comfortable going into in your commuting gear?
    Yeah, I feel a little self-aware in these type of situations. It it's a mini-mart I just buy and fly, but the PO, Bank, Library, grocery store, doctor's visit, etc. I take a pair of bb or regular shorts w/me. This usually does the trick, though it can get a little awkward walking around in road shoes. So, if I'm going to be spending much time off the bike I take a pair of sneakers w/me, too.

  20. #20
    Dances With Cars TRaffic Jammer's Avatar
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    As long as low rise jeans and tank tops are legal on some of the behemoths that routinely walk around in 'em, spandex is the least of our worries.

  21. #21
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    If it weren't for the cold weather and decency laws I would be wandering around the outside of my home in my birthday suit. Lycra bothers me not.

  22. #22
    Senior Member grolby's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MMACH 5 View Post
    I used to have a co-worker who refused to look at me when I was in my cycling shorts. If she did have to talk to me, she would hold a folder out in front of her face so she couldn't see me from the waist down. I tried to tell her that the chamois covered everything, but she wouldn't listen.
    That's... oddly prudish.

    If I'm wearing lycra, I'm wearing lycra and people will deal. Luckily, I have the figure for it . I don't happen to wear it for commuting, so it really isn't an issue most of the time anyway.

  23. #23
    M_S
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    Yeah, that lady takes prudishness to freakish heights...



    Personally I just wear my T-Mobile skinsuit for errand running. Might as well go all the way

  24. #24
    Cycle Dallas MMACH 5's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by grolby View Post
    That's... oddly prudish.

    If I'm wearing lycra, I'm wearing lycra and people will deal. Luckily, I have the figure for it . I don't happen to wear it for commuting, so it really isn't an issue most of the time anyway.
    Yea, she was a strange bird.
    That's gonna leave a mark.

  25. #25
    Senior Member Thor29's Avatar
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    You guys must be riding some serious miles in your daily commute, otherwise I can't understand why you'd put on special clothes to ride your bike. Heck, the hipsters around here ride everywhere in tight jeans with a U-lock in their back pocket... Oh yeah, they're all a bunch of conforming nonconformist lemmings. But still, unless your commute is over 20 miles each way, what's the point? They aren't even that comfortable - loose fitting shorts or pants and a Brooks saddle is far superior for rides under 40 miles.

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