She's like the wind: How to cycle in a skirt

Bryna Hallam

Everyone, I have an announcement! I have a superpower: I can call the wind. But it only works when I get on my bike, and it's ALWAYS A HEADWIND. So maybe more a curse than a power.

The discovery has led to another item to add to the list of sure signs of spring: The first time I wear a new skirt with regular tights (not heavy leggings) and the wind blows it up, revealing a good 10 inches or so of my thigh. I'm sorry/you're welcome for the excitement, passersby!

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I wear skirts a lot on my bicycle, so I'm (usually) pretty good at dealing with such things. On the day in question, for example, I was wearing a pair of bloomers (yes, really) under my skirt, though you probably couldn't tell as I blew by.

I could just wear pants, of course, or change once I got to my destination – in this case, work. But I like to wear my normal clothes when I cycle, and my normal work clothes include skirts and dresses. Basically, I'm kind of lazy – and perpetually running late – so I don't want to have to change once I get there.

Here are my top tips for cycling in a skirt:

1. A step-through bike frame makes mounting and dismounting easy peasy. But it's not essential:

You can also mount from the curb, which means you don't have to lift your leg as high.

2. Choose your skirt/dress wisely. A narrow skirt probably won't work (unless you convert it). It needs to have enough give for you to pedal. If there is some sort of weird seam, it would be best if it didn't hit the seat, lest it rip. (Yes, this is from experience. I can only hope it didn't give out on the way to work – I didn't notice it till I got home.)

3. Modest? Wear opaque leggings, shorts or bloomers underneath.

4. There are accessories (of course there are) to help keep your skirt in place. I've used garters with great success. There are also skirt clips. (I once tried to fashion something to hold a skirt out of one of those clips you use to close chip bags. An utter failure. And ugly.)

5. I have a theory, too, that a skirt is less likely to flip up if you pedal slowly and steadily.

If all else fails, do your best to hold the skirt in place – while staying safe, of course – or take comfort in the fact that you're going so fast no one's really going to see anything!

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