Cycling the green way for transport
Cycling is growing as one of the most acceptable and sensible ways to travel, but we live in a world that seems to be caught between practicality and vanity. That forces the question of what do you wear? Some people are comfortable in jeans and a shirt; others are intense and wear as little as possible to minimize weight. Still others are so focused on safety that they looked like a mummy wrapped in reflective tape.
If you’re the king of cycling, Lance Armstrong, then you’re likely stripped down to spandex and you don’t worry about anything else. You skip the backpack and the travel goods, reflective tape and other visibility accessories because you want to travel light.
But what if you’re riding for pleasure in the late hours – or riding to work in the early morning hours? You’ll want something that’s comfortable, casual, but helps with visibility. Your bike has reflectors but you’ll need some additional reflective tape to keep you visible.
Aside from that, it could start pouring and drench you in a matter of seconds if the rain is hard enough. That’s why it’s also a good idea to focus on garments that offer some degree of waterproofing, such as high quality outdoor cycling gear with seam sealing tape to keep you dry.
Of course there will always be people who rely on spandex for those long rides, road racing and etc. but there are plenty of people who cycle as part of their daily routine. Once you get spandex on, it’s not easy to change depending on where you’re headed. Besides, no one likes being made fun of because they’re decked out in spandex and a helmet covered in reflective tape.
Think cycling isn’t a growing sport? Think again. Last year, Americans alone spend over $3 billion USD on bicycles and another 2.6 billion on accessories that includes safety and high visibility clothing. Take that overseas to the U.K. and much of Europe where there are long-distance racing circuits and you’ll see equal expenses.
Cycling and clothing
When it comes to clothing and fashion, the industry is really leaning toward the utilitarian rider. What does that mean? Well, you know that bike fashion is getting huge when brands like Levi Strauss start putting out biking jeans and jean jackets specifically designed for riding by incorporating reflective tape.
Reflective tape aside, the jeans are cut differently so they’re higher in the back (nix the plumber’s butt) and are made of a more elastic material for added comfort while cycling.
Granted, sport-specific clothing isn’t necessary to enjoy the sport or hobby depending on your outlook. But, it’s good to know that if you want to start cycling casually, there are manufacturers out there working reflective tape and visibility as well as comfort into more clothing options so you don’t look like a spandex goon while cruising through the city.