I'm part Dutch, you know: What do YOU wear to bike?

So I'm biking in the heart of downtown Spokane on my way to (yet another) meeting, wearing the outfit you see pictured here. Yes, the whole thing including the black patent leather criss-cross strap stiletto pumps with the 2-1/2" heels.

A truck rolls up in the lane to my right. The window goes down. An older man leans out, looks at me and says, "I don't think I've ever seen a bike rider wearing pearls."

14 comments :

  1. Michael A. SenskeMay 24, 2010 at 6:51 PM

    I am speechless. Never in a million years would I expect to see a person commuting on a bicycle dressed that well. How are you even able to ride dressed like that???

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  2. sheesh--I can't WALK and dress like that. you are amazing! love ya, Betz

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  4. Very cycle chic! But, how did you manage the skirt and the top tube on your bike?

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  5. Wardrobe details clearly called for--

    The skirt, while straight (the never-out-of-fashion pencil cut), is made of a nicely stretchy fabric that accommodates the quick up & over the bike bar maneuver (preceded by a check of the vicinity to make sure I'm still the lady my mother raised me to be).

    My pedals have clips on one side and a platform on the other. I actually find heels kind of handy--they keep the foot from sliding forward.

    Just goes to show you don't have to wear black Spandex shorts to commute by bike.

    For further proof that goes far beyond my stretchy skirt and spike heels, see this blog post/film http://bit.ly/aRLLDl (while bearing in mind that Spokane has a helmet ordinance--many of the people in this aren't wearing one).

    --barb

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  6. Barb, you are my hero.
    Forgive me for this statement if it's redundant: it's my first time on your site (thanks to friend Staci from the SRTC,)but I've heard that the ratio of men to women who commute on bicycle in the US is roughly 7 to 1. I'm sure the chicness issue is one huge reason women will not even THINK of commuting. The other is the expectation to mix autos and bicycles AKA safety fears. I'm a fan of bicycle only infrastructure, but not really afraid to ride in traffic, although it only takes one reckless driver to ruin my physical life.
    ROCK ON and let's recruit more LADIES!!!

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  7. Whoohoo for us ladies on bikes!
    I've ridden in skirts a few times, but never heels (I almost always wear flats since I'm 5'10".

    Looking snazzy, Barb!

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  8. Wonderful to see! As you know, this kind of outfit is normal for millions of European cyclists each day. Brilliant to see it in Spokane!

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  9. I wish it were more the norm to show folks it's very doable and doesn't require special clothing.

    A recent study called the women the "indicator species" for biking: The more women who feel comfortable biking in their community, the more bike-friendly it is. Check out this research from Scientific American: http://bit.ly/88eGmk
    --barb

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  10. At Rings & Things, our female bike commuters currently outnumber our male bike commuters about 8:2. During BTWW, both guys were out of town, and 2 extra women rode, making it 10:0.

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  11. And, since we work in a warehouse/office, most of us don't have to dress up (very often). I think only 1 person (who works in the Showroom) changes to dressy clothes after arriving. The rest of us wear shorts, skorts or jeans to ride & at work.

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  12. Check out this piece by the founder of a bike manufacturer on the importance of stylish women for the boom in biking: http://bit.ly/9CRQLx

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  13. Congrats first on being a Mom of 4! Also congrats for riding to work. My wife and I traveled over 50 times to Europe where we admire those who ride in normal clothing going about their lives. We are developing e-bikes for commuters. Great to meet a blogger who bikes!

    Rob Nelson

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  14. Wow... now that you mention it, I guess nearly all the bike commuters I see in Los Angeles are men, but we all seem to wear whatever our work demands. So when I saw the photo above, I didn't bat an eye at what you were wearing, it looked normal to me (until I read the comments-- good for you).

    What made me do a double-take was seeing you with your bike ON CARPET, in a corporate-seeming setting! No bike commuter I know ever gets away with that sort of thing. ;-)

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