“Regular clothes”

fullsizeoutput_1e06There are those of us who like Traveling at the Speed of Bike as transportation to actually go places, and we’re big advocates of wearing “regular clothes.” However, if you ride often, you learn some quick truths*. Wide pant legs, for instance, get caught in chains. Certain necklines reveal your entire chest if you are riding a road bike and are leaning over. A skirt too billowy or long can get snarled in your spokes. These are not reasons to give in to Lycra (although there is a time and place for that) or to give up looking nice for when you arrive at a business meeting or brunch. These are reasons, however, to look for a few specific product features when you shop.

I almost never buy something now that isn’t “bike worthy.” I look for tapered pant legs, form-fitting tops that are long enough to cover my butt when I lean over, and above-the-knee skirts that are loose enough for movement. My budget is tight, so price is a concern (and, in all honesty, I find some of my best selections at my local Goodwill store). If I can find something with some sustainability attributes as well, such as made from organic fabric, that’s a total win.

I hit upon this dress a few years ago, and have been blown away by how perfect it has been for bike riding. The top is form-fitting (with a built-in bra!) and sleeveless (which is a great fit for my climate a good portion of the year); the bottom is loose enough and longer in the back; it has a hood, which is oddly welcome during those sudden summer downpours; it’s made from organic cotton (with 5% Lycra for stretch); it comes in three colors; it’s machine-washable and dryable; and it won’t bust the bank. In short, I bought it, I use it, and I love it. I usually wear black sandals or black Toms with it, and I wear body-hugging shorts underneath (which I’ll share with you soon). Click the photo below to take a look. You may want one, too. We could be twinsies.

In full transparency, I will add that after a few years of steady wear, the seams did come apart a bit and after some minor repairs I deemed it done. However, I love this dress so much that I just ordered another one, also in black. So you’ll see me out there in it for another few years to come.

Tap in every day this month for posts about every product in my “Pedal Power with Pattie”-Approved Shop. Hope to see you out there Traveling at the Speed of Bike!

* You’ll get tons of practical rubber-hits-the-road tips in my classes

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