Cycle to work for Ride to Work Day 2013

Happy Friday, BusiChic – I hope that yours has been a good one.

Hey did you ever get around to watching Tim Minchin’s occasional address that I mentioned in this post? One of the simple but valuable bits of advice he dishes out is the importance of exercise to make us more resilient but also to tire our bodies so that we can fall asleep and rest our busy brains. How much exercise have you done this week? I’ve done one pilates class and one walk this week which now that I think about it is actually not very good; particularly considering how much I’ve been hobbling about after that one pilates class! So if like me you’re looking to up the exercise, you might like to know that next Wednesday October 16 is Ride to Work Day!

A Smart Casual cyclist rides in style.

A Smart Casual cyclist rides in style.

I am an 8-minute bicycle ride from work which means that I can wear my work attire to work- rather than “traditional” exercise gear.

Those in Smart Casual workplaces have a much easier job when it comes to getting dressed for cycling and work – the two can go hand-in-hand.

Those in more conservative offices have it a bit tricker.

My key considerations for non-lycra bicycle-friendly that works in a Business Casual environment:

  1. Sweat factor. You are going to work, do not be the smelly person- breatheable fabrics are your friend here.
  2. Comfort. You are exercising and need a full-range of motion, don’t wear clothing that will restrict you from comfortably mounting and dismounting a bicycle. For example your regular pencil skirt will not be comfortable and rather revealing to ride in.
  3. Fabric volume. Keep volumes of fabric to a minimum for aerodynamic reasons (i.e. too much billowing fabric will slow you down) as well as safety (i.e. billowing fabric has high potential to get caught in your bike chain or wheel which will tear clothing and potentially see you coming off your bike). Experienced skirt-wearers may choose to practice the art of sitting on volumes of skirt 😉
  4. Style. You want to look good. Heck you also want to stand out so that cars can see you. But you also need this style to be “impressive” enough for meetings. This can be tricky.

I’ll be wearing:

  • Breatheable top: I like to wear linen t-shirts for this reason and if you do sweat a bit, they dry quickly.
  • Black cropped pants – avoid getting stuck in your bike but also in a decent fabric that looks formal enough for my workplace. i.e. no lycra.
  • Scarf to add some colour but also because cycling gets breezey! I’ll also wear a belt to make the look more put-together.
  • Bomber jacket. I find the style easier to ride in than a blazer which can be more restrictive. In the office I may keep a more formal blazer just in case an important meeting pops up.
  • Mad heels – I love a good shoe and will try to opt for one with a sturdy (rather than stiletto) heel to avoid it catching on my bike.
  • If it’s raining in Melbourne, I’ll be wearing a Rayncape which long-time BusiChics may recall I wore in week 25 of the Little Black Dress Project.

 Want more Cycle to Work style?

See what BusiChic cyclists wear when they ride to work here. If you would like ideas on where to buy things, check out the ride to work piece that I wrote for Women’s Agenda.

Will you be riding your bike to work next week? What’s stopping you? If you are interested in riding, take two minutes to register here to help the Bicycle Network campaign for better bike amenities for cyclists. 

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    1. I used to cycle to work! I worked for a fashion designer so there wasn’t much of a dress code. I’m a big fan of short skirts and dresses so I had a pair of plain black gym shorts that I used to wear under whatever I was wearing that day – then when I got to work I’d take them off at the bike rack (there was never anyone there!) and put them in a zip bag with my helmet, water & lights,which I would then loop the bike lock through.
      another tip is if you need a warm layer in winter, you’ll warm up during the ride so make sure it’s something that’s easy to take off quickly and doesn’t have to pull over your head – don’t be the girl who tried to pull her jumper off at the traffic lights and got stuck because she couldn’t get it over her helmet! (that was me).

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