How to Safely Ride a Bike in a Skirt or Dress
We know you've got places you want to go and people you want to see. Whether you're commuting to work, to the movies, or to meet your friends for coffee, your bike can help you get there, but it doesn't have to limit your wardrobe! Wearing pants may be a simple solution to make sure your outfit doesn’t get stuck in your wheel or chain, but it's certainly not the only one! Hear us out: you definitely can safely ride a bike in a skirt!
Your fun, flowy skirt may look great on your bicycle, but it can be quite challenging to hop on and hop off of your bike without exposing yourself to unexpecting passersby. Even after you're situated on your bike and have begun pedaling away, as you catch speed or a rogue gust of wind, the laws of physics may let you down by lifting your skirt up around you.
We want you to be able to ride safely and stylishly with confidence! We've compiled these tips and tricks to help you safely ride a bike in a skirt or dress.
Leverage Items You Have Lying Around The House!
Did you land on our blog because you have imminent plans involving your bicycle and your favorite skirt? No need to panic! We've got your back with these tricks involving items you probably already have around the house!
Penny In Yo’ Pants
This concept couldn't be more simple! Grab a penny and an elastic band. Push the coin from the back of your skirt to the front. The coin should be covered with two layers of fabric, creating a button-like shape at the front of the skirt. Now wrap your elastic band around the "button," make sure it's secure, and cycle away! Yes, hacking your skirt really is that easy. In addition to holding the layers of fabric together, the penny will weigh down most medium and long skirts and dresses to prevent any accidental underwear flashes.
Photo source: Johanna Holtan - Penny in Yo’ Pants
Scottish cycling enthusiast Johanna Holtan popularized this quick tip, and it's become one of our favorite (and easiest) ways to make your skirt more bike-friendly on the go.
No penny on hand? Fret not! Replace the penny with any other small coin, or a marble, or a small stone (you get the idea) to achieve the same effect!
No elastic bands in sight? Also not a problem! If you have an old bike inner tube (and you should - check out our list of bike bag essentials to see what else you should always have on hand), you can cut that into rings to use instead of an elastic.
Not yet sold on Penny in Yo’ Pants? We have another quick tip you can achieve with an item you probably have in your house - a binder clip. For this tactic, grab your binder clip and get in position. Stand with your feet apart, then bend forward and grab the back hem of your skirt through your legs. Pull the back hem up toward your hips, and clip the hem to the waist of your skirt! You’ve just created a pair of makeshift pants that will prevent any fashion faux pas and won’t get caught on your bike. Like Penny in Yo’ Pants, the binder clip method works best on skirts that are medium to long in length.
Photo source: The Sartorialist
The Knot and Tuck
If you ever find yourself truly in a bind with no supplies available to help you safely ride a bike in a skirt, you can still try the knot and tuck! Before getting on your bike, gather the hem of your skirt and tie it in a knot to one side. Once tied, you can tuck the skirt beneath you on your seat to keep the loose fabric tamped down and out of the way of your wheels and chain! Alternatively, you may try tucking the knotted hem into the waistband of your skirt.
Items to Consider Purchasing
If you know skirts and dresses are a staple in your wardrobe, you may want to consider investing in a few items that will help you safely ride a bike in a skirt at all times.
Bike Shorts & Leggings
Investing in a quality pair of bike shorts, hot pants, or leggings will allow you to ride confidently in skirts of any length! If you’re wearing a pair of these under your dress, you can mount and dismount your bike with ease, and it won’t matter if the wind blows your skirt askew! While bike shorts or leggings can help you commute in style, you don’t have to wear them all day. Once you arrive at your location, you can always hop into the bathroom to remove them, and put them back on before you leave. If you’re wearing leggings with a flowy skirt, though, you may want to consider taking extra precautions to ensure your skirt doesn’t get caught in the bike chain or wheel. Try pairing your leggings with the “Knot and Tuck” technique described above, or consider purchasing the final item on our list!
Skirt Guards & Chain Guards
Skirt guards may be made of metal, plastic, or even fabric, and you fit them over the rear wheel of your bicycle to prevent long, trailing pieces of clothing from catching in the wheel. Skirt guards are often paired with closed chain guards, which rest over your bike chain. This not only helps you safely ride a bike in a skirt by preventing clothing from getting stuck in the chain, but it also will help keep your skirt, dress, or pant legs clean of chain grease!
Cycle In Style
Your personal style reflects who you are. We've compiled these tips to help ensure that biking doesn't stop you from expressing yourself flexibly and freely through fashion! And your self-expression while cycling doesn't stop there. At Po Campo, we've designed versatile bike bags to fit you and your style while you’re on-the-go. Our bestselling waterproof handlebar bag is available in four different colors and patterns to fit your unique style, and it also converts into a fashionable crossbody bag for you to use throughout the day!
Now that you’re equipped to ride in style, check out our tips for the best biking hairstyles and for carrying things on your bike
Great tips! I made a skirt guard with fabric, it works great.
I love my long full skirts. If I have to wear special biking clothing, biking is much less likely to happen; I wanna just hop on and bike to the library or store! Even long skirts creep higher and higher, especially if there’s a breeze, and I’ve been struggling to find the perfect solution. I’ll be giving these ideas a go!
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