Biking as your main form of transportation often involves dressing for your particular event in a way that allows you to also bike in it. Unfortunately, in my case, my bike precludes my wearing anything "skirty". (Sigh. I need one of these restored Bull Dog Bikes with the girl-bar, like the Zebra, for the really girly outfits.) In any case, here are some tips to keep in mind if you want to be comfortable and stylish, while riding your bike.
- ALWAYS wear a helmet. Seriously. DC drivers are not the smartest bunch - esp. when you add into the mix all the tourists, many of whom have not had the fine experience of sharing a busy, narrow, city street with a bike. It has been a bummer to see all the new bikers around town not wearing a helmet. Seriously, your hair will not be that messed up. And if it does get a little mussed, you can always be cool and say that you are sacrificing your hair for the sake of the environment. You might get a date or two for being so chivalrous.
- Wear comfortable bottoms. "Comfort" is in the eye of the beholder, I guess. I have definitely ridden my bike in tight jeans, faux leather pants, etc. But, I find that the best, most comfortable bottoms to wear are those that have a bit of stretch. They are often the kind of pants that also look good on your bottom. Also, since you will have to roll them up on the right hand side (to avoid getting fabric stuck in the chain - like many of us have experienced . . . even Marissa) choose pants that will not wrinkle too much from the fold. This is exceptionally easier in the summer since most of us wear shorts or cropped pants.
- Choose the right shoes. This is definitely an area of personal preference. I have ridden my bike in high heels, in boots, etc. I would just wear shoes that you feel comfortable with peddling in and comfortable in stopping at a red light. And I suggest avoiding shoes that are slip-ons - unless they are very sturdy. For instance, flip-flops are sort of dangerous to bike in.
- Choose a purse that will not slip off your shoulder as you ride. I have several bags that have long straps and that I wear messenger style. This is very comfortable. Or, if I want to take a small bag, I have sometimes been known to clip it to my top with a binder clip (see pic below).