Is it possible to bike in style during the heat of summer? Why, yes, yes it is! Learn how to bike in your maxi sundress and other tips in this blog post.
This is a guest post from one of our Washington DC ambassadors Renee Moore of @bicyclingandthecity. All photos are hers.
Although my birthday is in January, I am a summer baby at heart. Summer is the time for outdoor festivals, concerts, picnics and farmer’s markets. And what I love most about summer is my bike style which is usually a colorful sundress and sandals to bike to my favorite places and events.
My friends often marvel at the fact that I rarely bike in bike shorts and a jersey. I find them unflattering so my bike style is to wear dresses that make me feel happy. Biking in a dress may sound crazy and maybe even impossible but I find it to be the best way to ride and stay cool while biking in the summer. There’s nothing quite like a breeze blowing and having your dress billow in the wind to make your ride even more fun.
So how do I bike in a long sundress? Easy. I tie one end of it in a knot or you can use a rubber band to secure the end. By tying the end, you ensure that it won’t get caught in the chain or get dirty.
When wearing a knee length dress, I opt for a garter with a clip or a big binder clip that you can purchase at an office supply store (hint: you probably have some at your job). The garter will have a clip attached to a band that goes around your leg. You can attach the clip to the hem of your dress to keep it from blowing up and exposing your underwear. The binder simply clips to the bottom of your dress to act as a weight and keep you from flashing everyone who passes you. [Editor's note: we also recommend Bikie Girl Bloomers for this, one of the designers at our Ride in Style Pop-Up Shop]
Even though biking in a dress is cool, it doesn’t mean you may not arrive glistening (my polite way of saying sweaty) to your destination. When the weather is over 80 degrees, it can be challenging finding a way to stay cool in the summer. One of the things you can do is plan an extra 10-20 minutes for your arrival so you can bike slower and arrive with less of a glow. But if you still arrive glowing of perspiration, make sure to carry some baby wipes with you in your Po Campo Kinga Handlebar Bag. They are a lifesaver for those hot summer days. They help to keep you feeling fresh and cool when biking in the summer.
The second trick I use to stay cool in the summer is to only bike part way. In DC, and many other cities, we have bikeshare. So I’ll grab my Po Campo Bike Share Bag and grab some baby wipes, makeup, etc and take the subway. At the other end, I’ll take Bikeshare to my final destination so I still get in a bike ride but I am not nearly as sweaty when I arrive.
My final trick I use to stay cool in the summer is to pack my Po Campo Midway Weekender Gym Bag with my swimsuit, goggles, cap and shoes and bike to the nearby pool. I love the weekender bag for swimming because it has a separate compartment that I use for my wet clothes after a swim. And the bag fits perfectly in my rear bike basket.
Biking in a dress (or skirt) is so much fun. It definitely upgrades your bike style from padded shorts and jerseys. And best of all, you are already dressed for whatever event you are biking to attend.
I’m Renee Moore, founder of Bicycling and the City (AKA the girl on the blue bike)! With a flair for fashion you can often find me, dress billowing in the wind, leading bike expeditions to the city’s most awesome destinations.