I’m so excited to be posting today as part of the Summer of No Pants! I had a great time going pants-less last summer, and I was very excited when Marigold invited me to join as a guest blogger this time around. I thought the best post for me would be to use my time to evangelize to everyone about riding on bikes with skirts!
Yes, bikes and skirts! You can look nice and still be active! Summer weather is the perfect time to eschew vehicular modes of transportation and travel in the open air! I actually do not own a car, and I reside in the self-proclaimed bike capital of the country, so I bike all year long. I suppose that’s not as comfortable for people who live where it snows. But no excuses now! The sun is shining! Get that cruiser out, pump up the tires, and go for a ride!
Riding bicycles in a skirt isn’t a novel idea, by any means. If women traveled locally from the late-1800s until the middle of the last century, there’s a good chance it was on a bike. And bicycles empowered women! They could get places independently, and it encouraged some fashion change to help with our independence as well. Did bikes eventually lead to the comfortable way we dress now that’s the very reason for Summer of No Pants? Umm… no comment.
Tips for riding
So I have a step through type bike. This is obviously easier for skirted riding than one with a bar across, but non-step throughs are totally cool too. The main points to remember there are to tilt the bike toward you, and maybe use walls to your advantage as you get on and off wherever possible to minimize exposure. These are my best tips to prevent feeling exposed while riding.
- Tilt your knees together. Pretty simple alteration to make when you ride. Just angle them a bit closer together to minimize the gap, should you be concerned with gazes at your nether region. Just try to pretend you’re uber ladylike.
- Tuck longer billowy skirts under you as you sit. We don’t want that extra fabric billowing out and up. Breezy fabrics can easily be caught by breezes.
- It is OK (and not against SONP regulations!) to wear something under your skirt! The girls on the school monkey bars wear little shorties, and you can too if you want a little more modesty. Shorties, leggings of any length, fun and fancy bloomers, or tights in cooler weather can add a feeling of security as you ride.
- Place a hand strategically between legs when needed. You’ve got two hands, you can spare one, right? Unless you’re one of those people that can ride without any hands at all. Then I envy you.
- Skirt garters! I haven’t personally used these, but good idea, right? An elastic band around your thigh that clips onto your skirt to keep it in place. Genius!
- Place a rubber band around a penny to make your skirt into pants. Super timely! This was just posted the other day, and it’s kinda hilarious.
Types of skirts
Let’s go over some different types of skirts and how well they work for biking.
Pencil – OK, this one is really the most awkward to ride in. There isn’t enough hip room to sit down without the entire thing coming up. And the lack of drape means there’s no extra fabric to fall between the legs. I’m not saying it can’t be done, but it isn’t the best choice. A stretch fabric pencil, or one with a back vent helps.
Maxi/Midi – Anything in the calf to ankle range. A good choice for freedom of movement. No worry about the fit being too tight here! But beware the extra fabric! Clip or even knot the length so it doesn’t get tangled up or caught in the spokes of the back wheel or greasy from the chain. Midis and past the knee circle skirts can be tucked under as you ride.
A-line – An a-line knee length skirt is my favorite for riding my bike. There is enough room through the hips to sit, but not so much that it trails and creates a hazard or a dirty skirt. Flat or with gentle gathers or pleats work too. I suppose this is the “Baby Bear” category – not too tight, not too loose.
Crafty things to make
This wouldn’t be a crafty post without some suggestions on fun things to make to support your biking in skirts! Here are a few helpful tutorials around the web.
- Skirt guards. Make a fancy crochet cover for your back wheel so your skirt doesn’t get stuck in the spokes. Marigold did a fun tutorial for one using recycled tees last year.
- Skirt garters. A little elastic to fit the thigh and something to clip to your skirt, and you’re set! Check out the inspiration here from Makezine.
- Make some leggings. Long, short, or somewhere in between. Buy a pattern or make one yourself. Here’s how to draft them from Deby at So Sew Easy.
- Make your own bike basket. Whip up something to carry your goodies if your skirt doesn’t have deep pockets. Here’s a little one with a water bottle pocket.
- Dress up your existing store bought basket with a pretty liner. Maybe even add handles so you can bring it in the store!
- Can’t find skirts you like to ride in? Make one! I made this red floral one with a big side pocket to accommodate my non-vehicular transportation. I call it the Saturday Skirt, because it’s perfect for all the casual weekend trips to the park and the market, while on a bike, of course. The pattern is now available in my shop or at Craftsy with a promo price of $5 through this Friday the 11th!
So skip the car in your daily errands this summer! Got a skirt on? No problem! Hop on your bike for a trip downtown or to the store. Save some gas, get some sunshine, have fun, and wear No Pants!