My husband, who was a young boy at the time, was on a road trip with his parents when nature called him. Since they were on a long stretch of highway far from the next rest stop, his parents pulled the car over to the side of the road so he could relieve himself. My husband, concerned about his dignity, pointed out to his Dad that other people who drove by would be able to see his private parts!
At this point his Dad, who always has the funniest yet truthful things to say, responded...
If they've never seen it before then they don't know what it is. And if they have seen it before then it's nothing new.
And that was settled.
Whenever I pedal down the street wearing a skirt or dress, this story flashes through my mind. I've mentioned before that I don't like to change in and out of my clothes (and carry them) to ride my bicycle and then have to change again when I get to my destination. So I wear the same thing for my bike commute as I do walking around the office. I also prefer skirts and dresses primarily for the freedom of movement and I wear them often. Even during a 53-mile round trip bikepacking adventure this past weekend! Check out Riding in Reno's Deer Creek Bikepacking Report blog post.
There are some things you can do when cycling in a skirt, if you have the same concerns about exposing more than you care to show to the public.
- Wear tights. I love fashion tights because they also keep me warm during cooler months.
- Wear shorts underneath. There are bike shorts and bike bloomers in the market to choose from that are designed to be less bulky when worn as undergarments.
- Choose your skirt or dress carefully for the fabric and the length. But it can be hard to tell what it will do on a bicycle so try it on a short ride first.
- There are clips and garters available in the market or simply use an office clip and coin to attach it to the liner of your skirt or dress. If you're interested in some suggestions, just let me know!
- You can also try this little trick with a rubber band and coin. I've tried it and it works in a pinch!
- There are also several skirts designed for cycling. I've worn one that is a pencil skirt that converts with a simple zipper and hidden placket to a skirt that I can easily pedal in. Imagine that! A pencil skirt perfect for the office that you can also ride a bicycle in!
- When coming to a stop, I usually do not dismount from the saddle but getting off the saddle and standing over your bike could help the skirt to slide back down your legs and keep from riding up your thighs.
Lastly, it's what you make of it. I've been there. I thought my dress would be fine. Several minutes of pedaling and it rides up in the front or rides up in the back or flies up to my hips or flashes my Hello Kitty panties to innocent people passing by. When wearing a shorter skirt, I try to pedal with my knees together and make sure to wear pretty underwear with flowers and lace just in case! Also, having a bag or purse on the front rack can block the view of people nearby. Besides, I pedal so fast and roll by so quickly that they can hardly catch a glimpse anyway. Remember, there are far worse things than seeing undergarments that we all wear after all and if they've seen it before, then it's nothing new!