I really need to talk about bikes...

I need to talk about bikes.

Recently, I have noticed a growing trend for "serious cyclists".

By this, I mean that they wear all the "gear": The Lycra, The special detachable shoes, the helmets (sometimes with cameras on top), the fluorescent EVERYTHING...
Maybe even a special lycra top that insinuates that you are part of a club, or are to be involved in some kind of important "professional" race.

This gives them a kind of superiority over "normal cyclists". You know, the ones just going to the shops to get a few things on a sunny day.

Maybe I find this particularly funny and marked because I have been living in The Netherlands - AKA: cyclists heaven.
There, cycling is a form or transport, not a sport.
Girls might cycle back from a party in a dress and heels, or people will transport their new plant pot, IKEA furniture or child from one end of town to another - all on their bike.

There are of course, people who like to cycle seriously, but they have a different kind of bike for the occasion, and don't use it for just going to and from work.

This is the Dutch Queen Maxima cycling in heels:

Cycling in the UK seems to be a way of showing of your "lifestyle choice", or reaffirming your identity.

Maybe you are a "sporty" cyclist as mentioned above, or a "hipster" cyclist with an un-necessary fixie bike, or a "hippie" cyclist with flowers attached to your bike, an organic packed lunch in the front basket, and you cycle "for the environment".

But back to cycling 'as sport' - and the need for all 'the gear'.

There seems to a similar phenomenon in the world of running.
All these people "taking up running", wearing those ridiculous "running pants": stretchy black skin-tight leggings that stop just past the knee. What we would have called "pedal pushers" in the nineties.

It is as if you cannot actually go for a jog if you are female, unless you wear a pair of these. Otherwise you might look suspicious:
"Why is she running?"
"What from?"
If you wear the "pants" you are taking it seriously, even though you probably walk and chat for most of this "jog".
Let's be honest here: its' just a fashion statement. Like those mad leotards in the eighties that exposed your hip and half way up to your underarms.

These "pants" are just an excuse to show off your bum.

They should be called Check-out-my-bum-leggings.

But, I think until being healthy and active becomes the norm and not a "lifestyle choice", and that cycling to work in safe wide bicycle lanes that do not warrant a helmet becomes standard - this lifestyle fitness is going to continue to exist.

For now, I will still have wobbling yummy-mummy bums in my face every-time I take a stroll.



There have been some protests in Edinburgh, calling for better bike lanes and so on - called 'Pedal on Parliament' - you should check it out.

I am also a little bit of a hypocrite because I actually love some of the sort-of uneccessary 'poser' fixie bikes. My favourites right now are from a Belgian company called:

Broke Bikes


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