About the Quest

This started out as the story of a quest. Odds are that if you’re a woman who rides a bike and has a personal sense of style you share the goal of the original quest for the intersection of style and comfort: finding clothes that look as good as they feel whether you’re turning your cranks, hanging out at the coffee shop with friends, or walking into the office.

But what I wear is hardly the most important part of every day, and being on my bike is part of my life, not just part of my closet criteria. This blog has evolved to include posts about other quests: the search for better transportation policy to create safer places that welcome any and all whether they roll or stroll; for interesting places to ride; for poetry that celebrates or mentions bicycles; for connections across and between places, cultures, and types of riding; and beyond bicycling to include posts on other modes.

I commuted by bike for years in Spokane, a city whose beautiful downtown basically sits in a bowl so there’s no avoiding those hills. My day job involved plenty of meetings in board rooms with groups like the local Chamber of Commerce so “real bike clothes” (those Spandex-y things that mostly come in black) didn’t cut it. And Spokane boasts beautiful four-season recreation—which means, of course, four seasons. From Spokane my bike journey took me first to Seattle (where I experienced real hills), then to Olympia (much shallower hills, yay!), each city presenting new places to ride and new topics to write about.

In my early years years of improvisation and bathroom stall clothing changes I developed a bag of tricks that you’ll find here in numerous posts on clothing and commuting. It isn’t easy. Let’s face it–a lot of women’s clothing isn’t cut to be comfortable for riding a bike (or many other activities, for that matter!). And a lot of the most comfortable clothing is too sporty for business. (Who wants to make a swishing sound when you walk or wear someone’s logo on your butt?)

The Quest, Part Deux: Along the way I found a lot of great women’s bike blogs, which led to my modestly titled Comprehensive List of Women’s Bike Blogs. It’s sadly outdated; it needs some care and feeding I haven’t had time to give it for a while but I keep it up because it’s at least a starting point, and I’ll come back to it one of these days.

The search for a better bike life, one lived with style, continues. Join the quest.

P.S.: I updated this post most recently on January 15, 2023. Older comments reflect an earlier version that focused a lot more on the clothing question.

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Reader Comments

  1. I really enjoyed reading your article about your journey to find stylish and comfortable cycling clothing! I can definitely relate to the challenges of finding clothes that are both functional and fashionable. I’ve also found that commuting by bike is a great way to get around, and it’s so much more enjoyable when you feel good in what you’re wearing.

  2. Latah, WA. is organizing it’s first 32 mi. paved county road, Bicycle Poker Ride in conjunction with the Harvest Celebration: hayrides to pumpkin patch, live music, pie contest, etc. The Poker Ride proceeds help benefit the local food bank that assists 4 communities: Rockford, Waverly, Fairfield & Latah. See our website for more info. or call Marie Gable @ 1-509-286-3820.

  3. Greetings,

    My name is Brian Devens, I am the founder and President of Ascend Sportswear – a company that specializes in providing high quality custom cycling gear to groups, teams, and clubs throughout the country.

    As a recreational cyclist, I have thoroughly enjoyed following your blog over the past several months. I admire the valuable and entertaining content you produce for women cycling enthusiasts(my girlfriend loves you)!

    I am reaching out you because Ascend Sportswear recently launched a one of a kind design program for custom orders – providing each team or club that works with us their own professional designer at no extra cost.

    Because we believe so strongly in our design program and custom ordering process, I want to offer you a free custom cycling jersey and connect you with one of our professional designers to create a jersey tailored to your exact specifications (maybe a design that incorporates your awesome blog! ☺).

    We are not only looking to get the word out about our unique design program, but also the quality, quick turnaround, and simplicity of ordering from Ascend Sportswear.

    Our hope is that you are interested in seeing what Ascend Sportswear is all about while receiving a free professionally designed custom jersey in the process!

    Visit http://ascendsportswear.com/custom/custom-design/design-process/
    to learn more about our program.


    Brian Devens President and founder of Ascend Sportswear

  4. You are a busy person –your real in person advocacy work, etc. plus this blog and the blog list of women’s blog.

    I’d say you’re organized both on and off bike! My best wishes.

  5. I REALLY admire your efforts to expand biking in Spokane. I grew up in the valley, and did long rides as a kid. 85,000 road miles later, my body is 60 years old, but I still feel the pure magic I did when I was a 12 year old riding my 2 speed Schwinn up to Moran Prairie on an early summer morning.

  6. You should be able to add destinations to the poll itself.

    The ride you describe is great. Bear in mind the Bikespedition criteria that include an element of shopping or sightseeing along with food. It’s as much about the destination as it is the ride!

  7. was looking for a place to type in Bikespeditions. The WOW gals have found a fun weekend morning ride- leaving from either Browne’s addition or the Fish Lake Trail trail head(for reverse).
    Ride though ‘vinegar flats on Inland Empire Hwy to the Pullman Hwy. Cross and head about 1/4 mile south on the Hwy. The shoulder area is really wide, on a weekend morning it has not been bad at all. Chaps has a yummy selection of breakfast/lunch goodies! Then continue on the Cheney Spokane Road to Scribner Rd (just past Marshall), drop down to where the Fish Lake Trail ends and ride back on the trail.
    This route has a lot of gradual uphill and one significant hill. Doing the whole route is 18.2 miles. You can of course just ride back to Browne’s addition.

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