Spandex? Required? May 27 2015, 0 Comments
I was recently asked "why is it that Americans think they need to look like they're in the Tour de France before they can ride across town?" Obviously it is not possible to answer for a nation or even all the riders within the country, but still there seemed to be validity to the question. People on bikes wear spandex. Some people wear a whole lot of spandex, and there are some reasons to wear spandex. There are also days when a person might even wish others didn't wear so much spandex! In the questioner's mind my attendance at InterBike seems to have qualified me to answer.
There were so many amazing products presented. Specialties within sub-groups embedded in micro-cultures emerged, and all of them with marketing strategies and target audiences. Lots of spandex. And it makes sense. These produces add ease of movement, identification with a culture, and a feeling of fitness. I have a list of new favorite spandex bike skirts, never-wear jerseys and must-have caps.
Even recreational riders like me own spandex. Not quite as much as some riders, but more than I had years ago. I dream of riding a century, cyclocross, or charity tour. It would be fun to own a fat bike, cargo bike, tandem or e-bike. I love watching tall bikes roam my city and helping with a bike rodeo was a highlight of my summer. As a recreational rider, all I need is a bike, two good legs and my favorite helmet (of course, with wind-blox). One of my bike heros, Elly Blue, wrote about choosing your first bike. Her bold statement--it doesn't matter what kind of bike you get. This applies even more to gear; just a bike, legs and helmet are needed!
Taking in the beauty of being atop a bike, feeling the strength in one's own legs, enjoying the ride...none of these require spandex. All of these can bring joy and fitness.