The quest I’ve been on for some time now isn’t nearly as neat and tidy as this Google Search Story suggests. (They only let you put in 6 or 7 search terms and I used a lot more!)
It all started innocently enough: I just wanted to find some good-looking pants suitable for Chamber of Commerce meetings with design that enabled me to be genuinely comfortable on a bike and (the and is a big piece of this) bike-specific features in fabric selection, leg width, design of the place where the lady meets the saddle, and all the rest. I didn’t want the pants to look like bike pants but I sure wanted them to feel like bike pants.
Since our family watches lots of movies but few movies hold my attention completely I spent quite a bit of laptop time running various search parameters and clicking through results.
Turns out Google isn’t always my best friend even after all the time we spent together on this quest. I couldn’t come up with the right search terms, perhaps because this is a relatively small but emerging market and the few clothing designers trying to meet this need use different terms to describe what they provide.
“Tailored bike clothing for women”? Not necessarily, but perhaps–found one pair that way.
Not “professional clothing for cycling,” that’s for sure–you end up with lots of Spandex sausage-squeezers (aka bike shorts) for professional racers.
“Cute clothes for biking”? Pink flowered jerseys or gear for motorcycle mamas.
I spent some time playing with various permutations of “cycling,” “biking,” and “bike riding” since I read different things into the labels we apply to the two-wheeled tribe.
On the other end of the spectrum, I wanted to wear things for recreational rides that also worked well for my frequent coffee-shop refueling stops. Sure, I can walk in wearing a padded butt and fitted jersey, but this says “in training,” not “cute and comfy.”
The few things I found whetted my appetite for more clothes and gear that don’t scream “I go shopping with Lance Armstrong!” so I could get dressed for biking and get dressed for work and be wearing only one outfit.
I wanted bike bags that don’t look like bike bags–turned out I could find those.
How about a jacket or raincoat with a cut that protects my lap yet won’t get caught in the spokes? I think I’m onto a line of those.
Pretty helmets? Found them but they’re kinda spendy so I haven’t ordered yet. (If a bunch of you are willing to pay $175 for an adorable helmet with a cover that makes it look like you’re wearing a hat, just say so and the Yakkay helmets are on their way for the next Bike Style shopping event.)
I have a whole spreadsheet of the results of the quality time Google and I spent together. Meanwhile, the quest continues. Good thing my family adores watching movies–it creates lots of search opportunities.
- Wearing Real Clothes: A Radical Political Statement
- You’re the Catalog Buyer: What Do You Like?
- Women’s Clothing for Biking that Doesn’t Look Like It’s for Biking: What to Wear, What to Wear
- Bike Style Spokane’s YouTube channel
- What articles of clothing do you really wish you could find with bike-specific design that doesn’t show as such?
Since I’ve written about my shopping/purchasing philosophy and values you may well wonder at all this online shopping. I’ve looked locally and the items I want just aren’t here, which led to the beginnings of my business to bring them to town so Spokane can ride in style–filling the gap between Nordstrom and your local bike shop.