Skirts can be easier to ride in than pants, but they have their dark side. Read on for a little Twitter discussion I was reminded of the other day. (Note for those who aren’t on Twitter: When someone replies to a tweet the original appears above with the reply below in this format, so you’ll see some tweets duplicated.)
Shocking I know, but I may give up on my pants obsession ow.ly/8XKEl because of @letsgorideabike ow.ly/8XKDS
— Barb Chamberlain (@BikeStyleSpok) February 9, 2012
Skirts = more comfy. MT @BikeStyleSpok may give up on my pants obsession ow.ly/8XKEl b/c of @letsgorideabike ow.ly/8XKDS
— BornAgainBicyclist (@BornAgainBikist) February 10, 2012
@BornAgainBikist @BikeStyleSpok @letsgorideabike I prefer pants. Skirts either constrict, catch on saddle, or billow.
— Nancy L. Seibel (@MidAtlanticBike) February 17, 2012
Skirts rule! “@BornAgainBikist: Skirts = more comfy. MT @BikeStyleSpok on pants ow.ly/8XKEl @letsgorideabike ow.ly/8XKDS”
— KidicalMassYYJ (@KidicalMassYYJ) February 16, 2012
@midatlanticbike @BornAgainBikist @letsgorideabike I’ve had a couple of “skirt catch” moments that caused some alarm; learned to position.
— Barb Chamberlain (@BikeStyleSpok) February 18, 2012
@BikeStyleSpok @midatlanticbike @BornAgainBikist @letsgorideabike I can relate to the “some alarm!” LOL
— Nancy L. Seibel (@MidAtlanticBike) February 18, 2012
Just the other day I experienced “some alarm” and was reminded yet again of the importance of the skirt scoot maneuver.
What’s that, you ask? My nickname for a little move I’ve adopted, born of a combination of the occasional disastrous skirt fabric/length combo and my fondness/weakness for alliteration.
This is the maneuver I now try to remember to execute any time I get on the bike, whether it’s as I leave the house in the morning or when the light turns green: Lift up and slide back, making sure the fabric of the skirt is trapped between the saddle and your butt.
It’s just a simple little step, but an easy one to forget. The times I have forgotten it and just plopped onto the saddle led to the “some alarm” tweet above. Those were the times when a skirt with an unforgiving non-stretch fabric happened to be just the right length to get caught over the back of the saddle.
What happens next, as you begin to slow for a stop and plan to step smoothly and gracefully off the saddle, is that you can’t. You are caught on the saddle by the fabric of your skirt and you are starting to tip over.
So far I’ve been lucky. I’ve felt the catch in time to push back on the pedals and unhook the skirt, but not without a nice little adrenalin rush. (Note that this reinforces the need to get comfortable standing on your pedals.)
I’ve already mostly moved away from straight skirts in my wardrobe as I’ve shifted my shopping toward a bike-friendly mindset. I ride a regular road bike for my commuting as well as for fun and straddling the top bar is just less (ahem) ladylike in a straight skirt that I have to hoist to mid-thigh to get enough leg maneuvering space. (I still have a few I won’t give up, mind you–I’m careful about where I stand when I hoist on so I continue to be the lady my mother raised me to be. Avert your eyes, you creeper.)
The moment of panic when I realize I didn’t skirt-scoot and I am now skirt-stuck is a reinforcement of my fashion move toward skirts with a slightly flippier hemline, and definitely ones with stretchy fabric.
- What to Wear for your Bike Commute? Clothes.
- Wearing Real Clothes: A Radical Political Statement
- Riding in Skirts: Today’s Reactions
- It’s Pants Week. Share My Obsession.
- Women’s Clothing for Biking that Doesn’t Look like It’s for Biking: What to Wear, What to Wear
- What clothing-induced moments of panic have you experienced?
- Any great tips for avoiding said panic in the future, à la skirt scoot?
My “bike-to-work” costume is leggings and a short wool skirt. I definitely have felt “some alarm” when I come to a stop and realize it’s caught on the back of the seat. I’ve been stuck more than once teetering on my tiptoes, unable to get off my bike and praying that the light turns green quickly! I’ve developed a “backwards scoot” maneuver for stopping that is pretty routine now.
What cracks me up is when people say girls cycling in skirts is risqué. Really? More risqué than a roadie with skin-tight lycra clearly outlining his package? For me, riding a bike in a skirt just as comfortable as pants (more so in the hot summer).
I love this post. And your skirt! I’ve made the same choice. When I am on the bike in a skirt, the skirt is a stretchy one.