roadbikin’ in skirt and 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.