One of the most interesting aspects about cycling is checking out the fashions worn by my fellow cyclists. I can’t help it. I’m observant. I look at people. I notice details.
Like the rather tubby man wearing a very tight-fitting-and-leave-nothing-to-the-imagination full body suit in brilliant RED Lycra spotted trundling down Kensington High Street a couple of weeks back. He’d give Santa a run for his money, that chap! I never saw his face, but I did wonder whether he was sporting a long, white beard!
Or the woman with a long, long, l o n g flowing black scarf that whipped around in the wind and threatened to get caught up in her spokes. I’ve seen other women wearing long wool coats in which the coat tails posed similar dangers.
And I’ve lost count of the number of people who wear unsuitable footwear: women in high heels (how the hell do they get any traction?), men in shiny brogues (how scuffed must they get?), and people who should know better cycling in flip flops.
Of course I’m no fashionista, but I like to think I dress sensibly. I don’t do the full-out Lycra thing (it’s not a horror show, after all) but I dress for the weather and always make sure my clothes fulfil the ‘be safe, be seen’ mantra. Over the past 18 months or so I’ve forked out considerable sums of money to buy wicking t-shirts and wicking fleeces, a day-glo waterproof jacket, waterproof over-trousers, a night-viz waistcoat, tights (fleecy for winter, Lycra when it’s not so cold) and an assortment of baggy shorts.
The one thing I’ve not bought is any ‘official’ cycling shoes, because I’ve figured my trainers are more than capable of doing the job. More recently I’ve started wearing slip-on shoes designed for horse riding, because they’re warm, comfortable, very sturdy and there’s no risk of shoelaces getting caught in my chain now that I no longer have a chain guard.
But today, while on an excursion to Evans Cycles to buy some new brake blocks, I decided it was time I rectify the shoe situation. And so I tried on some racy looking cycle shoes and found a pair I liked: commuter friendly, suitable for walking in and not a lace in sight!
Unfortunately, my size wasn’t in stock but the very helpful sales assistant has put them on order for me. This means that with a bit of luck by this time next week I’ll be sporting these little silver jobbies!
My bike riding may never be the same again!