So about a week ago the Times put out this article on perhaps the latest way to waste money: bicycles. You could tell that the person who wrote it hasn’t ridden a bike since his Huffy was stolen from him after Mrs. Cobbler’s 4th/5th grade combination class. You could tell because the author brazenly endangered the public by publishing such dangerous advice as never wearing a helmet, as helmets somehow make biking less accessible because it makes you look dorky.
As someone who fully embraces his dorkiness (Star Trek soon bitches!) and rides his bicycle all over the damn place, let me be clear: biking is dorky. There’s no way to ride a chain-driven, two-wheeled, human-powered device and not be a little bit of a nerd. But I’ll let Bike Snob get into all that.
So while the article, with pretty awesome photoshoot, was strangely silent on, was how a person could and should dress while on the Steel Steed. This is where PMG comes in.
Rule 1: You’re probably gonna start sweating.
Biking is exercise. That’s why people say it’s a great way to stay in shape. As such, I can’t imagine, unless you live in some crazy MC Escher world where you’re somehow going downhill both ways, you’re going to work up a sweat. If your commute is pretty flat and it’s pretty cool, you can probably get away with wearing your collared shirt and work/suit slacks. I don’t know why people insist upon wearing an entire suit when they commute. You’re not the Batman, you don’t have to appear to the scene of the crime fully dressed.
If possible, wear something you could change into and out of. There are some really cute vintage cycling jerseys out there that will give you some cred without damaging your fragile heterosexual ego. If that is too involved, wear a t-shirt.**
Rule 2: Go ahead and unload.
Like Han Solo, you should be very clever as to where to put your cargo, such as it will not interfere with your bike ride and/or Imperial scanning crews.
Having a pack on is a surefire way to get a crazy sweat stain on your back, so putting things onto panniers/racks lets you stay and look cool.***
Heh. I said “racks”.
Rule 3: Positions.
Hand (and body) position on a bicycle is like hand (and body) position while at 2nd base: it can really ruin your good time if you do it wrong. I’m not talking about baseball. If style is your goal, you’ll probably want a bike that is upright, with curving, swept-back handlebars. Anything else will cause you to hunch forward.
Rule 4: Wear a helmet.
I told you biking was dorky. But you know what is even dorkier? Brains. On the outside of your skull. There are tons of helmets out there, some fit for adults, some fit for adults in denial, but with the range of options there really is no excuse.
So if you want that idyllic bicycle scene where you’re careening freely through a country back road, adorned in a handsome seersucker suit, loaded down only by a picnic basket with a tiny dog in it, well then the answer is clear: do a whole ton of shrooms and lie down in a park. But if you actually want to get around town and not be a total douche, well ditch the tie (until you get to wear you’re going), ditch the dog (and put your bag in the basket instead), and get out and ride. Also, as demonstrated in the spread, don’t actually ride, just look back constantly.
**Go ahead, I’ll say it’s ok. BUT JUST THIS ONE TIME.
***Again, impossible on a bicycle, but whatevs.