Cycling in Sydney Australia
Inspired* by comments, stylish executive Michael O'Reilly's Do we need to 'de-Lycrafy' cycling blog today.
I certainly exhibit lycra lout tendencies in my willingness to assert my rights on the road and educate people of them (often using the medium of sign language), and I wear (and look good in, according to the mrs) lycra when the ride warrants it (which is most of them, in number and in distance). However, if/when I ride specifically to the shops I'll wear normal clothes - perhaps with cycle shoes depending on the bike/pedal/cleats although part of the decision of which new pedal I should have on my CX was so I could ride it with normal shoes if I want to.
True, I have been shopping, gone to my friend's places, mum's, supermarket, bottlo, doctor, dentist, accountant, solicitor, soldier, sailor, candlestick maker wearing said clothing, but as a result of stopping there during a 20-30km commute or after a long road ride.
Most of my lycra lout contemporaries also do similar.
In fact, I did a food shop yesterday on a ladies bicycle wearing shorts, t-shirt and thongs (and a h****t).
Does anyone actually wear lycra/cycle specific clothing specifically to ride to the shops, doctors, pub, friends place etc when the ride is a short utility ride of the type sit-up sooks (if my "tribe" has a label :>) do when they are saving the world?
*The question anyway, I rarely find comments on newspaper blogs inspirational.
I've only ever once worn lyrca when shopping - it was an impromptu visit to some electrical parts wharehouses along Bourke Rd. I was on my regular commute home and decided that it was a good idea. It wasn't - they didn't have the part I wanted. They were helpful, and surprised, but in the end Google found what I was looking for.
I rarely find comments on newspaper blogs inspirational
I concur. Take this one for instance. (I guess Mr O' #51 lets them through because d!ckheads like this shoot themselves in the foot.)
Lycra or not - the only reason people ride bikes on the roads (obstructing traffic that is, and contributing to road toll and pollution) is that it makes them feel "doing the right thing"- in other words, lets them bask in their own righteousness.
Then other taxpayers cope the bill from increased road toll, for reducing the capacity of the road network. But most of all - we cope the bill from cancer rates. Breathing in automotive fumes while breathing heavily carries much greater risk of lung cancer than smoking.
We need to stop playing political games and "debakify" our roads.
De-what-ify our roads? Oh, he means get cars off them, I guess.
EDIT: Oh, and to answer the question. YES, I always wear lycra to go shopping by bike. But I usually leave my helmet at home.
BTW, I am lying. Except the bit about the helmet.
I've got a foot in just about every camp, so I feel qualified to speak :)
That is, I ride for commuting, trips to the shops, I do road cycling and I do MTB.
Your premise is wrong in my view.
I think the question isn't really about people getting the full TDF spandex on for a trip to the shops. My feeling is that many or most of the guys (yes it's mostly guys) who always dress up like this, don't ride to the shops at all. They just don't consider it an option.
They don't believe in having a "cheap bike" as a second or third bike, which can be safely chained up at the shops, and they don't do backpacks or flat pedals. They think riding in a t-shirt is daggy. There's a whole cycling subculture in Australia that is like this, and it's a shame in my view.
A bloke I know who encapsulates this mindset, texts me and asks if he can borrow my torque wrench.
I say sure, I'm home pop over and grab it.
He says he can't because his wife has the car.
I say ride over. (It's about 5km)
He asks how he will carry the torque wrench on the bike.
I say use a small backpack.
He finally agrees to ride over, and sure enough turns up wearing full matching Saxobank spandex.
Out of interest, what guestimated proportion of the cyclists you know are like this?
I probably know cyclists like this, but most - even if primarily lycra louts - are not like this.
Ok, I think I can loosely group most of the riders I know into two groups:
1) There's the ones who rode as a kid, (eg: BMX, dragster etc) and have always had a bike of some form over the years. These are the more versatile and diversified riders who are happy to commute, ride to the shops as well as do sporting forms like road and MTB. They are comfortable riding in a T-shirt to go top the beach for a swim.
2) Then there's the "new golf" riders. These are the ones that fit the profile I mentioned. Extreme examples have been known to load their carbon S-Works into the car to drive 5kms to Centennial Park for a ride.
Ratio between the groups: Maybe 50/50, but trending towards group 2, because the numbers of those who rode as kids declined dramatically in the 90's when helmet laws came in.
Incidentally, skills wise, group 1 runs rings around group 2.
Little digression, what is the cheapest bikes people use? I love my cheap bike. Its a semi-crappy BMX I got off eBay for $4.50. The train ticket to go and get it was twice the price.
Awesome to go up the shops, get take aways, or ride to the station and leave there till I could be bothered going to get it.
The ultimate freedom machine.
But I am kinda interested to see what would happen if I put my full-on 200km road riding kit on to ride the 2 ks to the shops on it, get out the Giro helmet, LG shoes etc. Who dares me??? Sounds like a challenge ;)
$300 Schwinn Madison fixie off Gumtree. I bought it as a commuter, something I would feel comfortable about losing if it got stolen. I've used it as a pub bike, ridden it to the football (Go the Jets - next year maybe), and it loves going to Bunnings.
>In fact, I did a food shop yesterday on a ladies bicycle wearing shorts, t-shirt and thongs (and a h****t).
Just wondering if you got any dirty looks when you were riding the ladies bike around the food shop.
But maybe I misunderstand - were you walking around the shop wearing shorts, t-shirt, thongs and a helmet?
When the question came up as to what to do with your helmet when you ride to the shops, one true believer stated that they prefer to wear it in the shop as it marks them out as a cyclist - at that point I just slowly backed away!
I almost forgot it was on my head so almost did walk around the shops wearing it, but I remembered in the nick of time and locked it up with the bicycle.
I wish I wore lycra to the shops yesterday, it would of saved me the embarrasment of getting home and realising my fly was down the whole time.
LOL. You have won the internet for today.
I don't, but I've been known to wear cleats with jeans and carry my deck shoes in my shopping bag. I am pro-helmet, but admit it feels less than "hipster-ish" with my racing helmet on when not in lycra.