CityCyclingEdinburgh Forum » Debate!

At what point is technical clothing 'bad'?

(119 posts)
  • Started 8 years ago by Wilmington's Cow
  • Latest reply from gembo

No tags yet.


  1. Min
    Member

    Whoops I missed some. No-one (or hardly anyone) buys equipment for things they are not enthusiastic about. All of my bike equipment has been bought because I love bikes and cycling. Would I cycle to work if I didn't? Certainly not, too hostile. I only do it because I love it.

    Posted 8 years ago #
  2. chdot
    Admin

    "I only do it because I love it"

    You sure it's not because you want to be pigeonholed as "other"??

    Posted 8 years ago #
  3. Min
    Member

    Well there is probably a certain amount of bloody-mindedness about it. ;-)

    Posted 8 years ago #
  4. Dave
    Member

    Sitting in PY with quite a varied and motley crew of fellow "out-groupers" feels quite nice. There's a great "us and them" banter, we moan about the same stuff, we don't identify with the general public (to a greater and lesser extent, and all my own observation).

    I do believe that the way cyclists look has a strong effect on cycling participation and cycling advocacy - however, I don't care enough about cycle participation or infrastructure to want to be a positive role model.

    For instance (controversy alert) I look at the photos from the protest and even I find myself thinking "cyclists [small irrelevant subgroup] wanting special treatment" rather than "normal folk asking for fair treatment" which is what it really should be. To a non-cyclist I suspect this alien gulf is really large.

    Posted 8 years ago #
  5. PS
    Member

    For instance (controversy alert) I look at the photos from the protest and even I find myself thinking "cyclists [small irrelevant subgroup] wanting special treatment" rather than "normal folk asking for fair treatment" which is what it really should be. To a non-cyclist I suspect this alien gulf is really large.
    Is true.

    The clothing stuff is an infrastructure thing.

    The cycle-specific stuff is mainly in the interests of comfort and safety: Wicking/comfortable clothing taking into account the physical exertion (which I'd say is by and large much greater on the road, on aocount of average speed, the need/urge to keep up with traffic/get away from lights quickly etc); flouro clothing for self-preservation from motorised vehicles.

    An unhurried commute in "normal dress", where you can arrive at your destination in acceptable condition to go about your day would be greatly facilitated by dedicated infrastructure where the level of physical exertion could be reduced and you don't need to make yourself so starkly visible.

    Posted 8 years ago #
  6. wingpig
    Member

    I try not to be identified too closely with anyone in case any erroneous assumptions of similarity are made. Sometimes even when you've clearly stated what you think it gets wilfully misinterpreted. I felt quite uncomfortable in the only Spokes public meeting I went to years ago, though I'd be interested to try again now that I'm not necessarily any more 'into' cycling but am more aware of the various ancillary related information-exchanging activities. Similarly I was quite glad that we were all coralled at the active travel budget thing so that there was no risk of unfortunate critical-mass-style roadblocking.

    Along those lines, I would have said "you don't feel that it would be potentially advantageous in case of collision to dress in a way which would hopefully reduce the validity of the arguments of anyone claiming that they didn't see you" rather than "you don't need to make yourself so starkly visible" just to try and pre-emptively thwart anyone who wanted to jump on it and shout that no-one NEEDS hi-viz it's all a conspiracy by the motor industry ARGFROTH and so on.

    Posted 8 years ago #
  7. PS
    Member

    Well, true. I don't own any fluoro stuff, so shouldn't have really commented on that. ;)

    Posted 8 years ago #
  8. crowriver
    Member

    For instance (controversy alert) I look at the photos from the protest and even I find myself thinking "cyclists [small irrelevant subgroup] wanting special treatment" rather than "normal folk asking for fair treatment" which is what it really should be. To a non-cyclist I suspect this alien gulf is really large.

    That's pretty much what the minister said when he kept repeating "I can see there are lot of people here who are passionate about cycling", and "this is a sign of a healthy democracy where people are prepared to speak out for their interest".

    Translation: Isn't it wonderful that in this enlightened country we tolerate these lunatics? You are a tiny minority and while I respect your right to complain I'm going to cater to the majority, thanks very much.

    Posted 8 years ago #
  9. Uberuce
    Member

    Rugtomcat: as for the argument that this is detrimental to getting people riding, nah, I don't buy it

    This. Of the obstacles I found in mind when I was encouraged to cycle, the need to buy cycling gear wasn't one.

    Posted 8 years ago #
  10. Dave
    Member

    But then you're one of the people for whom it wasn't an obstacle, since you do cycle - bit of a truism really :-)

    This is one of the reasons why it seems to be such a difficult debate. By definition everybody who currently cycles can honestly say that they aren't a non-cyclist because of weather, hills, clothing, traffic, being looked down on as an underclass, whatever. That doesn't mean though that the 99.9% of the population who are put off cycling weren't put off for one of those reasons?

    Posted 8 years ago #
  11. Instography
    Member

    Nor does it mean that they are. And that's the difficulty of the debate. It rests on a supposition that people can only try to refute from their own limited experience. I suppose I could cite the research evidence - the representative population surveys that try to establish the barriers to cycling and show that never, ever, do people say that what puts them off is the clothes or that they feel intimidated by the lycra or that they're worried about people seeing their varicose veins in their shorts. Never. Mr Copehagenize has made it up. He's looked at Copenhagen and seen that most people cycle in ordinary clothes. He's looked at, say, Edinburgh and seen that fewer people cycle but more of the people who do wear technical clothing. He then jumps to the conclusion that it's the clothes. His eureka moment: that's what makes the difference! He made a lunge, grabbed the wrong end of the stick and flailed with it at the wrong target.

    But even if he's right, let's assume that people are put off by cycling clothing, it doesn't then follow that cyclists should feel any obligation to change their clothing, make themselves less comfortable or more vulnerable to suggest to those poor wee lambs that cycling in Edinburgh or Scotland will be just the same if they wear their everyday togs. It won't be. It's not that those of us who wear technical clothing do so to emulate our racing heroes. I learned by soreness and chafing that proper cycling shorts are better over medium and long distances. I learned that wet is cold. I learned that proper shoes that attach to pedals make cycling substantially more efficient.

    So, sorry, even if there is a cohort of frustrated wannabe cyclists who can't stomach the idea that they might need to dress differently to travel differently. Err, tough. By all means get on a bike with your ordinary clothes and see how you get on. You might get on fine. I have a very good friend who can cycle all day in a pair of loafers and moleskin trousers (and a t-shirt). Whatever you wear you're going to have to get accustomed to it. But I've made my choices and they include lycra, clip less pedals, bright lights and a hi viz jacket. The only thing that fails my comfort and safety test is the helmet but I'm always willing to reconsider that. Just the same as I'm willing to throw the clothes away when Edinburgh has been transformed into Copenhagen. I mean, Copenhagenise Edinburgh first and I'll think about Copehagenising me.

    Posted 8 years ago #
  12. Uberuce
    Member

    @Dave

    I think the difference is that I understood clothes really well already; I knew how they interacted with me when running or walking over distance, and in different weathers, so I had total confidence that my civvies would suffice.

    I didn't have that confidence with aerobic or even anaerobic fitness and certainly not with traffic.

    I do concede the point that I'm only here because I already done a fair bit of walking or running over distance and that makes me a rubbish example.

    Posted 8 years ago #
  13. Min
    Member

    "Translation: Isn't it wonderful that in this enlightened country we tolerate these lunatics? You are a tiny minority and while I respect your right to complain I'm going to cater to the majority, thanks very much."

    Meh, this is a damned if you do and damned if you don't situation. If all the people in cycle spec clothes hadn't been there what would we have been left with?

    A few students? Well THEY don't pay taxes.
    A few casually dressed people? Obviously unemployed otherwise they would be able to afford a car, why should we pay even more to these spongers? And besides, if cycling is so dangerous why aren't they wearing h****ts and hi-viz?

    We all know that is what the criticisms would be, no matter how unfair.

    Frustrating.

    Posted 8 years ago #
  14. Aye, frustration is the word.

    Which doesn't scan half as well as Grease being the word, but Olivia Newton John was wearing biblongs at the end of that movie. Wasn't she?

    Posted 8 years ago #
  15. amir
    Member

    I used to have a thing for ONJ. When I was about 12.

    Posted 8 years ago #
  16. Min
    Member

    Was it the biblongs? :-)

    Posted 8 years ago #
  17. Roibeard
    Member

    Edit - not even the smallest version fits, do click for the full effect...

    Bikeyface nails it!

    http://bikeyface.com/2012/02/03/so-ladies/

    Robert

    Posted 8 years ago #
  18. Cyclingmollie
    Member

    I think this crosses a line for me:

    Posted 8 years ago #
  19. Min
    Member

    Hahahaha!

    (laughing at bikeyface cartoon)

    Posted 8 years ago #
  20. wingpig
    Member

    Ha.
    Wonder if he reads Bikeyface.

    Posted 8 years ago #
  21. Stepdoh
    Member

    Okay I get all the other bits as technical clothing gone bad, but what's with the Duck/Duct tape and the ginger merkin?

    Posted 8 years ago #
  22. Cyclingmollie
    Member

    "Alberto Blanco is in third place when he experiences Shermer's Neck, which happens when your neck muscles are exhausted from holding your head and helmet at a peculiar angle for a very long time.

    His support team used a backpack frame, some straps and coat-hangars, and a lot of Duct Tape to fashion a rig to keep him riding."

    http://vannevar.blogspot.com/2012/01/bicycle-dreams-race-across-america-raam.html

    Posted 8 years ago #
  23. kaputnik
    Moderator

    Bikeyface is brilliant - and as a cyclist is a healthy combination of "cycle specific" and "cycle citizenic". In fact I think it was her (or lovelybicycle blog) retweeting my original "offending" image that drew it to the attention of the Copenhagenizer

    Posted 8 years ago #
  24. Stepdoh
    Member

    Golly. Still doesn't explain the ginger flash, or were they going for Roman Centurion chic?

    They shoot horses... don't they?

    Posted 8 years ago #
  25. crowriver
    Member

    Does he have a medic on his team? I think someone should have said to the rider that he ought to withdraw from the ride, for the sake of his health.

    Posted 8 years ago #
  26. Instography
    Member

    I wonder if this is where Bikeyface got her inspiration for that image, since it appears on Cycle Chic.

    Is there a way to make it smaller?

    this is the original

    Posted 8 years ago #
  27. DaveC
    Member

    Hmm think I know where that photo was taken from. Off to google street view it..

    Nah. thought it was Eindhoven, but not where I thought it was.

    Posted 8 years ago #
  28. Cyclingmollie
    Member

    DaveC: "Nah. thought it was Eindhoven, but not where I thought it was."

    Says "This photo also appears in Global Cycle Chic: Barcelona (Set: 286)" It's on the Passeig Maritim, by the sea.

    On Google Maps: here

    Posted 8 years ago #
  29. gembo
    Member

    What do you call a Frenchman in sandals? Philippe Flop.

    Not the optimal footwear for cycling in.

    Posted 8 years ago #

RSS feed for this topic

Reply

You must log in to post.


Video embedded using Easy Video Embed plugin