What to wear for a short bike ride

I was talking with my neighbor Ben, one of the owners of the JRA Bike Shop in the Seattle neighborhood of Crown Hill, about what to wear for a short bike ride. He told me about a Yehuda Moon comic strip in which a customer comes into the Kickstand Cyclery looking for bike clothes for his commute to work:

Customer: I want to start commuting to work and I need some biking clothes.
Yehuda: How far is it to work?
Customer: 3 miles.
Yehuda: You can get away with ordinary clothes, I bet. Just use this Velcro strap around your pant cuff.
Customer: That’s it?
Yehuda: Do you want a costume, or do you want to get to work?

Yes, we glossed over a zillion details as we laughed at the silliness of donning Lycra for a quick errand, including, among other things, a well-tuned bike with inflated tires, reasonable weather, and a way to transport anything you need to carry with you. Nevertheless, the recurring lesson from the folks at Copenhagen Cycle Chic and, closer to home, Let’s Go Ride a Bike remains true: for a short jaunt, you can just get on your bike in whatever you’d normally wear when you walk out the door in the morning.

Hats off to Ben, who has a vested interest in selling biking stuff, for pointing me to Yehuda Moon and for seeing the humor in that strip.

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