So there’s a bit of controversy around cycling in skirts. While some can make it difficult to ride (maxi dresses!), you can usually make most styles work. Pre-Bikeable Jo, I always wore dresses and skirts and since then, I’ve enjoyed the challenge of keeping this style alive on my bike.
Back in November, I did a a session on the bikeable style for Trade School Edinburgh, a project which a friend and I organise. For the session, I put together an ideas board of all things bikeable and got some great tips from the folks who came along.
While this list continues to grow – allow me to offer some of the tips I have gathered along the way.
- Finger tip rule. I usually don’t cycle in a skirt shorter than my fingertips can reach, especially if I’m not wearing tights. Getting off the saddle on a green light would just be inappropriate!
- Rethink cycle shorts. If your skirt is a bit short, there are few ways to make it bikeable. I’ve spotted a few of these lace-lined cycle shorts and thought they would make a great accessory to any commute. Regular cycle shorts underneath a skirt would do the trick, but I like the idea of a wee glimpse of lace!
- Tights, tights, tights! I have drawers full of thick black tights which are super handy for cycling. They can also keep you you warm on any cold Edinburgh day.
- Bring back the leg warmers. For the very cold days, you may need some extra layers regardless of how thick your tights are. While they may get some grease stains from the chain, try to keep them snug and wear a darker colour.
- Protect your skirt. I personally haven’t used a skirt guard but I have seen them whizzing about town. Etsy is a great place to find tailored made bikeable accessories – skirt guards included. Check out these in black mesh and knit. There is also a more standard style in wire.
- Try bikeable shopping. I love finding a skirt on the rack that is stretchy and allows for some movement. Keep this in mind as you hit the stores.
As for getting on and off, this is a bit of an art form. I try to get off when I’m not facing traffic (done it ) or in front of a classroom window full of students (definitely did that too). I don’t have a ladies’ bike frame which makes it a bit more difficult, so it’s something to keep in mind when purchasing your bike. Jemma from Help! My Chain Came Off offers some great advice on how to wear a skirt with pride, especially when getting on and off bikes.
Before I leave you to experiment with wonderful world of skirts, I want to share with you a pretty great idea. I’ve created a Pinterest board for Bikeable Jo (as it turns out, Pinterest isn’t just for weddings and baby rooms!) and I stumbled upon the blog, Skirts on a Bike. They converted the once restrictive pencil skirt into a bikeable must-have. It’s as easy as simply replacing the side seams of the skirt with zippers and adding a bit of extra fabric. You can even download the patterns for a cheap.