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roadbikin’ in skirt and heels

September 27, 2010

Roadbikin' in heels

I’ve recently begun riding my 1978 Raleigh Grand Prix to work and around town. The reason for this has to do with the new wheels that make this roadbike a dream to ride. Especially on rainy days – more on this later.

But while I happily made the switch from my upright commuter bike to the Grand Prix for my daily rides, I did not concede to any changes of wardrobe or footwear for this foray into roadbiking. Instead, I decided to test whether I could still dress as I would for teaching while commuting to work on my roadbike.

So here is how that’s working out…

As you can see, mounting a roadbike in a skirt and heels is really not a problem. I have seen other women riding roadbikes with dresses and skirts on so I knew this could be done. The trick: I tip the roadbike toward me when swinging my leg over the top tube to help me clear it a little easier while wearing a skirt. I have only been able to do this with my fuller skirts and would likely not be able to wear certain items of my professional wardrobe (narrower skirts, for example) on this kind of bike, but other than that, it’s all systems go.

I am enamored with my new (old) Raleigh roadbike and have loved riding it on a daily basis, so I was determined to reconcile my desire to ride the Grand Prix with my need to dress a certain way for my professional life. And I was surprised to see how much easier it was to make this work than I had anticipated; eschew the pencil skirts and be ready to ride.

The conclusion I’m drawing from this is as follows: the more I’m cycling on a regular basis, the more I’m finding myself able to ride on any type of bike in a comfortable and relaxed manner. A year ago I would have scoffed at the idea of riding a roadbike in heels and a skirt but now I’m seeing that it’s really not about the bike. Or not in the sense that a bike should make or break your commute. If you’re determined to ride and have a bike – any bike- that is a reasonable fit, you should be able to hop on and go. And sometimes the bike you least expected to fall in love with might just end up stealing your heart.

Happy riding!

Fall commute to work

11 Comments leave one →
  1. September 27, 2010 05:04

    I feel like this post was written just for me! I struggle to think of a way to bike to work in teacher clothes and find myself making excuses. Reading your blog has encouraged me to really put forth the effort to do so. I am proud to say that I did bike to work for the first time last week and it was great. I chose to wear capris so that it would be easy to straddle the bar.
    Baby steps…

  2. September 27, 2010 08:29

    hey, now those drivers better be keeping their eyes on the road and not on you! LOL way to go cutie, the change of seasons is def. showing, +I’m loving the purple/darker tones
    viva skirts+bikes+cute shoes and happy riding! dingding

  3. heather permalink
    September 27, 2010 08:55

    i love this post! I ride a roadbike as well and had to scoff at the bike shop guy who made a comment about how hard it would be to wear skirts while riding it (he kept steering me toward step-throughs). i’ve already proven him wrong, and love this pictorial evidence – especially for anyone who says you can’t wear skirts and dresses and make a road bike work. well done!

  4. September 27, 2010 12:33

    Awesome! In my experience, more leaned-forward bike positions can actually be better for skirts, because the wind more naturally blows the skirt straight back against your legs, rather than blowing it up. :)

    I’m interested to hear more about your preference for this road bike.

  5. September 27, 2010 22:12

    now THAT’S what i call “working it no matter what.” :)

  6. Ray permalink
    September 27, 2010 23:00

    you might want to consider putting full fenders on your bike, keep the road spray off you & your attire. keep ridin’ baby !

    • September 28, 2010 02:55

      Ray, yes! That is definitely on my wish list. I have fenders on my Raleigh Sprite and it’s definitely a must on rainy days. As you can see, I’m remedying the situation by wearing dark clothes on the fenderless Grand Prix, which is my solution for now :)

  7. September 28, 2010 01:54

    Your blog is lovely! I feel so inspired by you to commute to work via bike more often. I tend to use the bike when the bus isn’t available or if biking works better with my schedule that day.

    May I add Simply Bike to my blog roll?


  8. October 3, 2010 01:43

    That’s awesome that you can do this; my skirts get jammed in components and when I attempt to ride with them on a roadbike, and even get snagged on the saddle when I step over the frame. But i think I am extra talented in clumsiness!

    It’s interesting that in some ways you find this bike better for commuting than your Raleigh 3-speed; looking forward to reading more about it.


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