Every weekday – or nearly every – I pull on my Lycra shorts and jersey and I ride my bike into the office. At first, I think I mentioned, it made me a little self-conscious, the Lycra at work situation. It’s not like I wear my cycling shorts all day and wander around sitting on my co-worker’s desks to have a chat. No, like any normal person wearing Lycra to work, I head from the bike locker to the locker room and change as quickly as possible. But I still bump into people I know and they still look at me funny.
I see some people nod to their friends to look as they grin stupidly, holding back giggles.
At first it bothered me. I even toyed with the idea of wearing street clothes on the bike but decided wearing sweaty clothes all day and being uncomfortable on the bike wasn’t an option for me. I just decided I was dressed appropriately for what I was doing, riding my bike, which is more than I can say for some of the things people here wear to work.
Also, I thought about baseball pants and football pants and my old track singlet and shorts and realized that almost nobody talks about those things as too tight or embarrassing (of course, I admit that if someone showed up to work in football pants he’d probably be stared at).
Today I read this gem from BSNYC:
For example, the kinds of people who throw stuff at cyclists in form-fitting Lycra are perfectly comfortable cheering football players who wear pretty much the same thing—even though football players also spend like half the game lying on top of each other. So you’d think that if people can handle the spectacle of beefy men in tights humping as long as it’s on a gridiron, then at least in the context of elite competition—in particular the Tour de France—America’s “sporting industrial complex” could also treat cycling with a tiny bit of respect.
The snob was talking about some unfortunate comments made by a more influential and more famous Michael Smith, of ESPN, not specifically about the challenges of wearing cycling specific (read form fitting) clothing in public places, but the sentiment obviously stands.