Women discuss their commuting attire
A few months ago we asked the woman-identified members of BikePGH’s Facebook community about their bike commuting wardrobe and were shocked by how many women were willing to participate and share their knowledge. In the first few hours, we was contacted by about thirty women! Thanks so much.
We asked each woman about their riding clothing, rain gear and the length of their commute.
The local riders featured in today’s post have specific winter gear that they wear when riding, and have gained helpful insights about what works and what doesn’t. Look for more posts on women & biking in the near future.
What type of clothing do you wear when you’re bike-commuting to work? Is there a specific garment that is your favorite for commuting? In the winter, when there is less sweat involved, I wear a wool long-sleeved jersey and a light windbreaker if needed. But if I do begin to overheat a bit and sweat a little, the wool doesn’t smell! On the bottoms I will often wear Chrome Vanyas. When it was super cold (negative temps), I even placed jerseys under my jacket and wool. In those extreme conditions, wear a wool cycling cap with ear coverage, a neoprene face mask, glasses, ski mittens with a zipper pocket for chemical hand warmers, liners in the gloves, a few layers of wool socks, and chemical foot warmers in my Lake Boots. In the warmer months (starting when it is 50 degrees and above—I run warm), I switch to a kit which is breathable. The bibs have no seams and it wicks away moisture while giving me a bit of padding. The Twin Six bibs are something I find super comfortable.
If you bike when it rains, what is your rain gear situation like? Are there any products you’d recommend to fellow bicyclists? If it is above 50-55 degrees, I don’t worry about rain gear. I feel like I get wet with sweat anyway if it is warm and I wear rain gear. I have had a hard time finding breathable rain pants, even if the label says that they are breathable. I embrace the rain and make sure I have a change of clothing if rain is in the forecast. When it is colder, I really like my Shower Pass rain jacket. It has zippers in the pits, which I think are essential to avoid overheating. Any rain pants from REI do the trick for me.
Where do you work and where do you commute from (i.e. live in Shadyside and commute to Downtown)? I live in Morningside and commute to the North Side via the long way (get over to the Jail Trail and through the Point).
What type of clothing do you wear when you’re bike-commuting to work? Is there a specific garment that is your favorite for commuting? In the winter months I wear jeans or yoga pants with footless tights, extra socks, a fleece liner in my windbreaker, and gloves. Do yourself a favor and buy warm gloves. In the summer I wear regular athletic shorts (loose fitting and no padding) and a jersey with a sports bra. The breathable fabric is lighter and I know it will be dry in the afternoon when I put it on again.
If you bike when it rains, what is your rain gear situation like? Are there any products you’d recommend to fellow bicyclists? If it’s raining in the morning, I take the bus. I have a rain jacket and rain pants, both bike-specific. If it looks like I might get some afternoon rain, I’ll pack my rain jacket. I’ve found I don’t really care for the pants that much and as long as my core is warm and dry, it doesn’t matter if my legs get a bit chilly. Good rain gear is worth every dollar and eventually pays for itself in saved bus fare. Also, because it’s important to have dry clothing to change into when I get to work, I use waterproof panniers. Yes, it’s a fair bit of rain gear, but I also do a little bit of touring, and when you’re out camping, it all comes in handy.
Where do you work and where do you commute from (i.e. live in Shadyside and commute to Downtown)? I live in Highland Park and commute to Downtown.
Stay tuned for more posts on this topic over the coming weeks and months.
From this series: Tips on biking in work attire from Harmony, Mary and Rachel
A huge thanks and shout out to summer intern Gretchen Hershberger for her work on these posts! Stay safe and happy riding!
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