There are different challenges about bike commuting in the summer months. One big one is what to wear and I think it’s one that affects women more than men.
I’m writing this at my desk wearing full cycling kit: bike shorts, jersey, cycling socks, and clip-in shoes. I try not to do this but sometimes it happens. I went for a short ride before work with a colleague. I landed at my desk with intentions of changing right away but then the phone rang. It was urgent and so 30 minutes later, I’m late for my first meeting. Now I’m a dean the first meeting is in my office. Luckily it’s not a formal meeting. It’s about our United Way kick off and so I apologized and went ahead. After drafting this post, I’m changing. Promise.
Of course, you don’t need to wear bike kit to bike to work. Often on my commuter bike I wear skirts and dresses. But it’s still a casual look. It’s more casual than some people can get away with at work. And not everyone can afford the time to change at the office. When I’ve got a busy week I drive in on Sunday and drop off clothes, shoes, and food for the week.
This week an article posed the question about office dress codes and alternative methods of transportation.
“When it comes to getting more people on bikes, showing them the convenience of cycling is only half the battle. The other half is creating work environments where looking like you arrived by bike isn’t a source of embarrassment, and where you don’t have to dispose of the evidence by showering and changing clothing as though you just committed a crime.”
TreeHugger followed up, Are office clothes an impediment to green transportation?
Now the CBC is puzzling why fewer women than men commute to work by bike.
Lots of people think part of the story comes down to clothes.
From the CBC story: “Several of my [female] colleagues said to me they would do more cycling if they did not feel compelled to meet certain criteria regarding their appearance at work,” said Noel. “We associate cycling with a sport, we think we’ll be hot or that we’ll have to pedal fast. I had to rethink some of these ideas to make my bike commute more suitable.”
We need more wiggle room. Just like you don’t need to wear fancy cycling kit to commute by bike, everyday clothes are just fine, maybe we don’t need such fancy clothes for work. We can relax the rules both for commuting and working and wear the same thing all day.
Do you commute by bike? How do you handle the clothing question?
Me at work after changing out of bike clothes in a variety of summer casual outfits of the day. #ootd