On one end of the spectrum we have lycra-clad, high speed commuters, on the other we have style-conscious, slow bike proponents, and in the middle we have just about everyone else. We’re 100% for any and all of it, because we love bikes and bicyclists and we’re always happy to see anyone on the road who’s not in a motor vehicle.
We know folks who have long commutes and need to ride fast so they don’t spend half the day getting to and from work. We get that. Years back I (Alan) had a 30+ mile round trip commute. If I had ridden at a leisurely 8 miles per hour in street clothes I would have been on the road 4 hours per day. Instead, I wore lycra, rode hard, cleaned up and changed at work, and kept my commute time to a reasonable 2 hours or so.
We also know people who live in the city center and rarely ride more than a couple of miles at a time, so they have no need to ride fast or wear specialized clothing. We get that too. Years back I (Alan again) lived in an urban setting and had a basic city bike that I used to get around the neighborhood. I rode an easy pace that kept me dry and comfortable in whatever I happened to be wearing.
These days, many of our bike trips are short and are ridden at a leisurely pace, but because we’re living car-lite in the suburbs, we sometimes also need to ride longer distances at higher speeds because everything is so darned spread out. Covering those distances in a reasonable amount of time requires greater effort and possibly even specialized equipment suited to the task. Our bike and clothing choices reflect this dichotomy. We tend to prefer versatile bikes that are comfortable when ridden at 8 mph down to the corner coffee shop, but are also light and efficient enough that they’re enjoyable for running an errand 15 miles away. Our wardrobes also reflect this need for versatility and include a fair amount of “technical” clothing that looks presentable but is breathable and comfortable during physical activity (REI loves the EcoVelo’s ;-)).
We’d love to know what kind of distances you’re riding, what kind of average speeds you typically maintain, and what kind of clothing you most frequently wear while on the bike.
Feel free to elaborate in the comments section below.