Bicycle Togs — Travel Diary

With the availability of bicycle rentals in so many cities, travelers have the option of getting some exercise while seeing the sights from a different vantage point. Here in Chicago, Paris-style Divvy bike racks are popping up all over the city, and not just along the lakefront. I’m not talking about you hard-core folks who go to Provence on bicycling tours, but with soft-core city cycling comes the need for soft-core bicycle clothing and gear, and that’s where we’re traveling today.

Looks like Paris, doesn't it? But it's Chicago!

Looks like Paris, doesn’t it? But it’s Chicago!

As a middle-aged woman, the last thing I want to do is wear skin-tight bike shorts around town while sightseeing or going into a restaurant. I was thrilled when a friend referred me to Terry — the “original women’s bicycling store.” At Terry, I found the perfect solution to my dilemma, the padded bike skort.

Terry's Flare Skort is the perfect solution to bicycling in cities.

Terry’s Flare Skort is the perfect solution to bicycling in cities.

I own this skort in the print and in black. It has a padded bike short underneath with leg bands that are not too tight, and the skirt has two large hip pockets where I put my iPhone and use the Map My Ride app when riding around town. It comes in plus sizes and is comfortable enough to walk around in, even with the padded seat. It hits me just above the knee at my 5′ 2″ height, and is a respectful length. Normally I wash my bike gear in my washing machine, but this week I washed it in the bathtub (as I usually wash clothing while traveling). The padding took two days to dry, so be aware of that, but I probably could have squeezed out more water with towels. It will fold up into a small ball in the corner of your suitcase and come out looking brand new.

All over Europe, we have seen women commuting on bikes, dressed in their work clothes. I don’t know if they are wearing bike shorts underneath their dresses, but they could do that as well. With a simple bike short liner under your dress, you can pedal in comfort and modesty even in your cute sundress!

GotMyReservations -- Shopping by Bicycle

With a basket and my bicycle togs, I can get my exercise and my errands done.

I also picked up an old Vera Bradley small backpack at a garage sale this summer, and was really excited about it. It’s lightweight and breathes, so even if I actually carry it on my back, it’s comfortable. It’s big enough to put my wallet and my camera in it, leaving my removable basket for library books, groceries, or goodies from the farmers’ market. It’s a win-win, both at home and while traveling, but I would choose a more sedate pattern to use in Paris :).

Next time you are packing for a trip, try taking along a bike skort. Worst case scenario is that you will use it as a cute skirt…

I’m linked up today to Wanderlust Wednesday at Time Travel Plans,   The Tablescaper for “Oh, The Places I’ve Been”, Travel Photo Monday” at Travel Photo Discovery, and “Travel Photo Thursday” at Budget Travelers Sandbox, so stop by and get some more inspiration for your travel bucket list!


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8 thoughts on “Bicycle Togs — Travel Diary

  1. It is good to see bike sharing taking hold in the US. I think this is something we should copy from the Europeans. Unfortunately, here in Florida, urban planning is an afterthought and riding bikes on the streets is very risky. We don’t even have sidewalks in many places.

  2. I agree that biking can be very hazardous, everywhere you go. I’ve had rollerbladers grab my bike on the lakefront path to steady themselves, I’ve had dogs get tangled up in my wheels, and I’ve almost been doored many times, Still, biking is eco-conscious for our world and healthy for our bodies, so I hope the trend continues in the U.S.

  3. Hi Jennie, the bike sharing thing is now so big here in New York City as well. I saw that the same is true when I was in Miami recently. But most of all, thanks for giving me an idea about the biking skort. I think it’s totally cute and can be worn outside biking. I think its good addition to my travel outfit.

    • At the risk of TMI, some of us also have an issue with thigh chafing when walking around all day, and the bike skort solves this problem as well. It’s just a Martha “good thing”.

  4. Oh I have never ever heard of a Skort for bike riding before! I so could see myself buying one and having fun touring a new city on a bike.
    I like the idea of being able to wear it and feel comfortable, as well as wear it while walking around, and sounds ideal under business clothes 🙂

  5. What a comfy looking skort! And it’s padded?! You can’t beat that! It’s always hard cycling for hours on end because my butt gets sore, so this looks like the perfect solution. I think that exercise skorts in general are a trend now. Someone in my samba class was recently wearing one. They’re super cute! Thanks for linking up for Wanderlust Wednesdays.

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