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  1. #1
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    Wearing a dress on a bike is almost a subversive act......

    One reason I stayed on the fence about getting a bike (for transport) was about the clothing. Basically I wear skirts and dresses most of the time and didn't want grease stains, to roll up my pants or wear leggings.

    I later found that can be solved with the bike. And sure enough I have been wearing most of my regular dresses on my bike. And choosing other bike friendly ones (I.e with a flared skirt).

    What is most odd about the whole thing are comments. Not really in particular about my clothing. But if I have a dress on 3-4x people stop and chat with me in my bike. It is really strange. Obviously there are occasional comments about me like "you look so cute on your bike" "nice dress" and the occasional catcall.

    But maybe, for some people it is kinda weird. Because wearing a dress on a bike makes it pretty clear that it is not exercising. (And perhaps more interesting because of my package: chubby black girl with preppy clothing vs you know hipster girl)

    Anyone notice interesting behavior based on your clothing.

    P.s. When I bike to the gym I am totally invisible, few comments.
    Last edited by jade408; 06-25-14 at 11:30 PM.

  2. #2
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    Anybody riding a bike is practically invisible to a certain segment of the population, but you probably do look cute. Also, I don't think it odd to ride with a dress on. Isn't that why mixtes exist?

    I DO have an unrelated story. A few years back, I was at my local bike store and spotted a bright yellow jersey. Ah, I thought, that's highly visible! I took it home. On the maiden voyage with my bright yellow jersey, I was riding out of town past a trailer park. A boy of about ten or so saw me and yelled, "Are you a racer? What race did you win?" I said, "No, just a pleasure rider." He look disappointed, but I was buoyed with pride at the dashing figure I must be cutting.

    A few years later, I learned that the right to wear a yellow jersey was earned by winning a road race.

    That boy must have known this.

    So I never wore that jersey again.

  3. #3
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    If you buy a bike with the gears in the hub you'll also have the option for an enclosed chain. Come to the Netherlands where women biking with dresses could never be thought of as an issue for discussion.

    They even have guys who bike with dresses over here.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dirt Road View Post
    A few years later, I learned that the right to wear a yellow jersey was earned by winning a road race.

    That boy must have known this.

    So I never wore that jersey again.
    Nonsense!! It's a specific yellow jersey that is worn by the leader in the TDF ... not any yellow jersey.

    Wear the jersey. It is a good, visible choice. I have several yellow jerseys as well as yellow jackets and vests.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dirt Road View Post
    Anybody riding a bike is practically invisible to a certain segment of the population, but you probably do look cute. Also, I don't think it odd to ride with a dress on. Isn't that why mixtes exist?

    I DO have an unrelated story. A few years back, I was at my local bike store and spotted a bright yellow jersey. Ah, I thought, that's highly visible! I took it home. On the maiden voyage with my bright yellow jersey, I was riding out of town past a trailer park. A boy of about ten or so saw me and yelled, "Are you a racer? What race did you win?" I said, "No, just a pleasure rider." He look disappointed, but I was buoyed with pride at the dashing figure I must be cutting.

    A few years later, I learned that the right to wear a yellow jersey was earned by winning a road race.

    That boy must have known this.

    So I never wore that jersey again.
    Really? You're so influenced by others' opinions?
    Dream. Dare. Do.

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    Well, you can attract just as much attention in training clothes. I like to ride in my running shorts, even though of course for longer distances it can be kind of painful. Anyway, they are pretty... well, short, so guys stop and chat with me quite frequently, few times some idiots in their cars tried talking to me while we were waiting for the light to change and it was always like "Could we give you a ride? We'll take your bike as well".
    But I agree - dresses, skirts and any type of clothing that is either not associated with sport or showing much of your body does attract attention. Try riding in high heels, I did it few times (really short commutes, I was late and my purse was too small to fit in shoes) and everyone I passed was making comments (which made it all the more dangerous because it was hard to stay focused). Also, I never agreed to go for any kind of bag that is convenient so people always laugh at my huge bag and seem to think it will make me fall down any minute.

  7. #7
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    Wearing a dress on a bike is almost a subversive act......

    I ALWAYS ride in yellow shirts!
    I would happily ride in a replica of the TdF leader's jersey if they weren't so darned expensive, hihi... A cotton t-shirt with cut-off arms works fine. I picked some neon yellow ones on sale recently

  8. #8
    Long Distance Cyclist Machka's Avatar
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    Me, in one of my yellow jerseys ... and in fairly typical cycling attire ...




    And in answer to the question, "Anyone notice interesting behavior based on your clothing." ... not really, but if anything, it sort of seems like I'm treated with a bit more respect on the road when I dress in cycling attire. Very hard to tell.

  9. #9
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    Here in New Orleans(metro area)-
    I can't EVER remember seeing a woman riding in a dress.
    And rarely see black women riding-and never for transportation-just for exercise and usually with male SO-
    Black men around here -have always ridden for transportation-as far back as I can remember-late 1950's

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    Senior Member okane's Avatar
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    Wheeeew! Thanks for that post

    Quote Originally Posted by Machka View Post
    Nonsense!! It's a specific yellow jersey that is worn by the leader in the TDF ... not any yellow jersey.

    Wear the jersey. It is a good, visible choice. I have several yellow jerseys as well as yellow jackets and vests.
    I just purchased a yellow jersey (nothing on it....plain bright yellow) because A. It was the only one they had that fit me properly B. It really is high vis and I ride mostly on public streets

    Now if you can come up with a couple of clever retorts for those sure to come nasty comments from passing cars..........

  11. #11
    Long Distance Cyclist Machka's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by okane View Post
    I just purchased a yellow jersey (nothing on it....plain bright yellow) because A. It was the only one they had that fit me properly B. It really is high vis and I ride mostly on public streets

    Now if you can come up with a couple of clever retorts for those sure to come nasty comments from passing cars..........
    I love my yellow jerseys for similar reasons ... comfortable and bright.


    As for the clever retorts ... just smile and wave.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by jade408 View Post
    And perhaps more interesting because of my package: chubby black girl with preppy clothing...
    Even in these enlightened and progressive times I think most people would still find a girl with a "package" interesting. (Attempted humor relying on word play regarding taking the OP's words out of context AND playing on traditional gender identification based on physical appearance....can't be too careful on the internet!)
    "When life hands you lumens, make lumen-aide!"

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    +1 on hi-viz yellow as a completely appropriate color for jerseys. They honestly don't look much like the yellow jersey of the Tour de France or other major cycling events.

    Froome.jpg $T2eC16F,!y8E9s2fjFUjBSM(G,5Epg~~60_35.JPGEven in my hi-viz yellow, I don't think I'll be mistaken for Chris Froome any time soon.

    As far as hi-viz yellow dresses for female riders (not a good look for guys even if they shave their legs) sure, why not
    Last edited by GravelMN; 06-16-14 at 07:47 AM.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by jade408 View Post
    One reason I stayed on the fence about getting a bike (for transport) was about the clothing. Basically I wear skirts and dresses mist of the time and didn't want grease stains, to roll up my pants or wear leggings.

    I later found that can be solved with the bike. And sure enough I have been wearing most of my regular dresses on my bike. And choosing other bike friendly ones (I.e with a flared skirt).

    What is most odd about the whole thing are comments. Not really in particular about my clothing. But if I have a dress on 3-4x people stop and chat with me in my bike. It is really strange. Obviously there are occasional comments about me like "you look so cute on your bike" "nice dress" and the occasional catcall.

    But maybe, for some people it is kinda weird. Because wearing a dress on a bike makes it pretty clear that it is not exercising. (And perhaps more interesting because of my package: chubby black girl with preppy clothing vs you know hipster girl)

    Anyone notice interesting behavior based on your clothing.

    P.s. When I bike to the gym I am totally invisible, few comments.
    Yeah, I think you're right that a cute, preppy, black girl in a skirt on a bike would stand out a bit and attract comments for that reason. Personally, as a black guy, I don't notice any interesting behavior around my clothing, and I do ride both in full lycra kit and street clothes, although my casual style is, well, not terribly stylish! Probably if I wore something more like a costume, say a Renaissance period getup, or a Zulu warrior's sparse clothing, I might catch more of that!

    And I'm only being slightly hyperbolic; around my progressive, college town, lots of folks of all kinds ride, so to stick out to the extent you'd draw comments would take a whole lot of different-ness. Cute girls, though, will always get attention anywhere, I suppose.

    Now, I do get comments when my Monkey Lights are ablaze...
    Chaad--'95 DeKerf Team SL, '02 Lemond Buenos Aires, '05 Novara Buzz, '73 Schwinn Collegiate, '06 Mountain Cycle Rumble, '09 Dahon Mariner D7, '12 Mercier Nano, '12 Breezer Venturi

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by paperbackwriter View Post
    Well, you can attract just as much attention in training clothes. I like to ride in my running shorts, even though of course for longer distances it can be kind of painful. Anyway, they are pretty... well, short, so guys stop and chat with me quite frequently, few times some idiots in their cars tried talking to me while we were waiting for the light to change and it was always like "Could we give you a ride? We'll take your bike as well".
    But I agree - dresses, skirts and any type of clothing that is either not associated with sport or showing much of your body does attract attention. Try riding in high heels, I did it few times (really short commutes, I was late and my purse was too small to fit in shoes) and everyone I passed was making comments (which made it all the more dangerous because it was hard to stay focused). Also, I never agreed to go for any kind of bag that is convenient so people always laugh at my huge bag and seem to think it will make me fall down any minute.
    You can find liners that are lycra with Chamois type padding that you wear under regular shorts - that is what I use.

    I don't wear black lycra. I have in the past when I was young and thin, and when I am thinner, I might just. But for the moment I wear looser shorts and the liner, and that keeps me comfortable on longer rides.

    I get mine from Mountain Equipment Co-op (MEC.CA), but I'm sure they are available many places.

  16. #16
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    Clothes make the man.... or in this case the woman... or the cyclist. How we dress... how we present ourselves to the public... determines how people react to us. Interestingly... discarding unusual, or provocative clothing... wearing a smile (or not) makes the biggest difference in how people relate to each other.

    Clothes make the man. Naked people have little or no influence on society ~ Mark Twain
    [Twain quote pre-dates the Kardashian's]

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dave Horne View Post
    If you buy a bike with the gears in the hub you'll also have the option for an enclosed chain. Come to the Netherlands where women biking with dresses could never be thought of as an issue for discussion.

    They even have guys who bike with dresses over here.
    I've got the internal hub and a partial chain case on my bike. . My friend joked when she saw my bike it was very dutch.

    Quote Originally Posted by paperbackwriter View Post
    Well, you can attract just as much attention in training clothes. I like to ride in my running shorts, even though of course for longer distances it can be kind of painful. Anyway, they are pretty... well, short, so guys stop and chat with me quite frequently, few times some idiots in their cars tried talking to me while we were waiting for the light to change and it was always like "Could we give you a ride? We'll take your bike as well".
    But I agree - dresses, skirts and any type of clothing that is either not associated with sport or showing much of your body does attract attention. Try riding in high heels, I did it few times (really short commutes, I was late and my purse was too small to fit in shoes) and everyone I passed was making comments (which made it all the more dangerous because it was hard to stay focused). Also, I never agreed to go for any kind of bag that is convenient so people always laugh at my huge bag and seem to think it will make me fall down any minute.
    I am not a huge heels wearer generally. But it might be amusing. So far just boots and wedges.

    There seem to be lots of men out there that want a ride......

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    Quote Originally Posted by chaadster View Post
    And I'm only being slightly hyperbolic; around my progressive, college town, lots of folks of all kinds ride, so to stick out to the extent you'd draw comments would take a whole lot of different-ness. Cute girls, though, will always get attention anywhere, I suppose.

    Now, I do get comments when my Monkey Lights are ablaze...
    i love monkey lights.

    *I am more like little sister cute, not hot girl cute.

  19. #19
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    The Hi-Vis jersies that most people wear are not really yellow, they are chartreuse, which is a bit of a different animal. I suppose calling chartreuse yellow is like calling pink light red.

    I always wear one, they are comfortable, the back pocket is always reachable and I just like th extra visibility.

  20. #20
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    Before I head out for a ride, I always stop by the local trailer park to seek out prepubescents to approve my clothing choices...

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by jade408 View Post

    *I am more like little sister cute, not hot girl cute.
    In terms of male behavioral response, I think there's no meaningful distinction to be made there! From pleated tartan skirts, to business pant suits, to hooker hose, guys'll take advantage of any pretext to, um, "express their appreciation" of la bella figura.
    Chaad--'95 DeKerf Team SL, '02 Lemond Buenos Aires, '05 Novara Buzz, '73 Schwinn Collegiate, '06 Mountain Cycle Rumble, '09 Dahon Mariner D7, '12 Mercier Nano, '12 Breezer Venturi

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    Quote Originally Posted by danmc View Post
    Before I head out for a ride, I always stop by the local trailer park to seek out prepubescents to approve my clothing choices...
    "C'mon, kids, really...does this make me look like the King of the Mountains? Are the dots too big?"

    Chaad--'95 DeKerf Team SL, '02 Lemond Buenos Aires, '05 Novara Buzz, '73 Schwinn Collegiate, '06 Mountain Cycle Rumble, '09 Dahon Mariner D7, '12 Mercier Nano, '12 Breezer Venturi

  23. #23
    Senior Member Giant Doofus's Avatar
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    For my commute, I just wear whatever I plan to wear at the office, which often means skirts and dresses. With a step-through frame this is no problem at all. I do get lots of comments, but they tend to be the "hey, that's really cool" variety. I also get lots of double takes on the road, and it seems like maybe motorists give me a little more space when passing. There's something about a woman in a dress on a bright red bike wearing a high-vis saftey vest that makes people think my bike handling skills might not be great! I'm okay with that perception because it works in my favor

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rowan View Post
    Really? You're so influenced by others' opinions?
    It's a very rare bird that's not swayed by the flock!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Giant Doofus View Post
    For my commute, I just wear whatever I plan to wear at the office, which often means skirts and dresses. With a step-through frame this is no problem at all. I do get lots of comments, but they tend to be the "hey, that's really cool" variety. I also get lots of double takes on the road, and it seems like maybe motorists give me a little more space when passing. There's something about a woman in a dress on a bright red bike wearing a high-vis saftey vest that makes people think my bike handling skills might not be great! I'm okay with that perception because it works in my favor
    LOL! I do have step-thru frame. Although a more muted Royal Blue. Most of the ladies in my neighborhood on bikes are of the hipster variety. Or clearly working out. Occasional moms with tots. I see a lot more dads toting the kids in the trailer.

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