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Bicycle Commuting Tips: Ladies, Bike in Your Best

In preparation for Car Free Fridays, here’s some tips for women who choose both two wheels and fashion, from our intern and veteran bike commuter Jessie Buckner.

susieEver have those days where you would really like to be lady-like, but you also really want to ride your bike? Or you’re just an everyday commuter that is tired of having to carry a change of clothing. I have a few tips for those ladies who choose two wheels and fashion.

First, get a good pair of undershorts. I tend to wear shorter running spandex (I have Nike, but brands don’t matter).  I don’t like to wear cycling shorts under skirts because of the padding.  I’ve also just worn short shorts before, (American Apparel has a few good short shorts).

Depending on the skirt and how full it is I do several things.  Most frequently I’ll use a hair tie or two to shorten the skirt and bunch it so it doesn’t get caught in the tires. If I’ve forgotten an extra hair tie, I’ll go for the slightly more embarrassing version of tucking my skirt into my shorts. It might look silly, but it’ll save you from the more embarrassing experience of ripping your skirt and falling on your face.  Also, depending on the tightness of the skirt, you might want to situate it differently.  If you’re wearing a tighter pencil skirt or something that might restrict your legs from pedaling, I tend to pull it up so that the seat is not making a dent in the fabric and its my shorts fabric that is touching the seat.  If its a looser cut skirt, I’ll just let my skirt fabric rest on the seat.

I tend to wear a lot of cotton or fabrics that wrinkle less.  If its a short bike ride, things tend not to wrinkle anyway.  I also suggest that you get a fender for you bike so you don’t splash your nice clothes with road muck.

As for shoes, I do prefer to carry my shoes with me, especially sandals.  You can cut your toes very badly riding in sandals.  I have ridden in heels before though carefully balancing the ball of my foot on the pedal.  My one bike has cages on the pedals so I switched to bmx platform pedals so I could wear pretty much any shoes.

-Jessie Buckner is a summer intern at BikePGH.  She’ll be working on BikeFest and related activities.

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