Summer Dress Days

Even though it’s been a mild winter I’m excited that spring is here. However it seems that winter decided to skip straight to summer with temperatures in the 80’s last week. Everyone was outside welcoming the good weather. I was no different. And I knew exactly how to celebrate the change of season, A polka dot summer dress! Which made me feel like this:


But going from being all bundled up to a summer dresses I noticed a big contrast. And everyone else on the road did too. As I biked around suddenly everybody was… polite.


While it’s nice to feel that everyone is looking out for me for a change, it makes me realize how little people pay attention the rest of the time. Nobody can wear summer dresses every day.

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  • butch gaudy March 29, 2012   Reply →

    same thing here: everybody likes us in springtime, then things become uptight. in fall we seem to diminish and by the time winter ccomes we have disappeared. it’s like we are part of nature like tulips or leaves on trees.

  • Anna March 29, 2012   Reply →

    Yes: forget the hi-vis jackets, the best clothing for safer urban cycling is a nice skirt and a pair of heels :)

    • Karen March 29, 2012  

      I agree!!!

    • Sharon April 1, 2012  

      I agree – I was off sick from work last week and in an effort to get out and do a bit of cycling to make myself feel better, I opted to ditch my normal hi-viz jacket, cycling shorts and goggles and just donned a coat, a scarf, some colourful jeans and Converse lo-tops. Weird how suddenly everyone on the road is giving me a wide berth and treating me with actual courtesy…. how very odd!!

  • Petter March 29, 2012   Reply →

    A polka dot skirt probably does more for you security than any helmet :)
    Anything that stands out is good thing I think – I definitely get more space when on my recumbent than when I’m on a regular bike.

  • Megan March 29, 2012   Reply →

    I got the same thing in my linen, spring dress, but I have to disagree with Butch regarding Winter. This past Winter, yes, but the Winter before with all the snow was the best cycling culture I’ve experienced thus far. Maybe the cars/peds felt sorry for me, but I’ll take it.

    • Moopheus March 29, 2012  

      It’s a tough trade-off though–some folks are a little more tolerant, but then you’ve got to deal with snow, slush, salt, and uncleared bike lanes, or bike lanes turned into parking lanes because the parking spots aren’t cleared enough. On the whole, I found I liked riding without that hassle more.

  • Ben March 29, 2012   Reply →

    That first picture made me laugh out loud, dangerous in an office. I agree with Anna Petter, it’s hard to be more visible than that. 😉

  • cycler March 29, 2012   Reply →

    I think as a safety device I should employ a 6 piece bike- band to follow me wherever I go. I could be like the ice cream truck- everyone would know when I am coming.

    I miss the warm weather :( It’s been particularly hard to get out the door in the morning this week with the cold and the overcast skies.

    I particularly like the “I’ll right hook the next cyclist” Who presumably is not wearing a summer dress?

  • Ron March 29, 2012   Reply →

    I’m afraid a 6’3″ bearded guy in a polka-dot dress would just be even more of a target…

    Seriously, I have noticed that the less I look like a “cyclist” and the more I look like an “old guy on a bike” the more polite most drivers are to me.

    • Vocus Dwabe March 31, 2012  

      Me too: as a conservatively dressed ugly old man (63) riding an archaic-looking bicycle rather slowly I never get any of the aggression which posters on other cycling blogs claim they receive on a daily basis. I drove my wife to London Stansted Airport yesterday, and in three hours there and back received more jostling and routine ill manners than I’ve had in five years on my bicycle.

      But then I’m not “A Cyclist”; rather an elderly gentleman who goes everywhere by bicycle if he possibly can. If you dress yourself up to look as unlike other people as you can manage, to underline your special status, then it’s hardly to be wondered at if you arouse some resentment: particularly if you behaviour towards other road users is something less than courteous. The following YouTube clip of a cyclist being thumped by an angry car-driver in Bexleyheath, south London, was widely viewed last year and everyone tut-tutted and said how awful. But it appears that a few seconds before, the thumpee had banged on the car roof and shouted some disobliging comments about being passed too close. Myself, I felt a certain sympathy with the motorist, being abused on a Sunday morning by people dressed up like aliens. (He later got fined and bound over to keep the peace, by the way).

      Bikeyface, I’m sure you looked charming in your summer frock, and we’ll forget about that object on your head because it’s the States and you have a thing about them over there. Look behind you at regular intervals though, because you may find yourself being followed by a man on a Danish Velorbis bike with a video camera fixed to the handlebars. Lure him into a quiet bit of Central Park then give him a good going over with your lock: far quicker than reporting him to the police.

      Is the world already so full of beautiful objects that we can afford to go around being unsightly?

  • Jay Nielsen March 29, 2012   Reply →

    You definitely have your finger on the urban pulse (giving BikeSnobNYC a run for his $).

  • Rachel March 29, 2012   Reply →

    I read about a study recently which concluded that drivers are far more likely to be kinder to cyclists with obvious feminine features, like long hair or flowers on their bike or skirts. I’m not really sure what that says about the world, but as a woman, I’ll take not being hit…

  • Shebicycles March 29, 2012   Reply →

    Exactly! And if I can’t wear a polka dot dress, I have also found that attaching a long blond pony tail to my helmet works pretty well too. ;). (Love the BandTandem)

  • Julie March 30, 2012   Reply →

    I’ve got certain jeggings that seem to warrant more sexual harassment than other outfits. I totally believe in the dress effect, which is commonly discussed on the bike blogs as “the mary poppins effect”

  • scott March 30, 2012   Reply →

    Shit man! I don’t know what to think about this…….I adore your contributions to all that is biking and humorous and important but I dread having to put on a polka dot dress….An old, bearded, curmudgeon like me in such attire would no doubt invite less than courteous responses from drivers. That said, keep up this most wonderful, and unique, addition to the blogosphere. You’re insights are spot on.

  • matt March 30, 2012   Reply →

    If you’re selling Bikeyface stock, I’m buying.

  • Martin Pion March 31, 2012   Reply →

    I wonder what my wife would think if I asked her if I could borrow a skirt to ride my bike? She doesn’t wear any of them these days!

  • Jean March 31, 2012   Reply →

    Yea, I’ve heard of this. The closest I ever wear to a dress while cycling, are my black lycra skorts.

    My cotton sundresses are somewhere buried in another city closet somewhere. Wonder if I can fit them still…after 30 yrs.later? 😀

    Nah, I just can’t be bothered to get nice dress clothing dirtied up/stained ..again.

  • No April 2, 2012   Reply →


    (Though I have to say there is no such thing a jay-walking in my county and nor should there be)

  • HillBilly September 6, 2012   Reply →

    How you women get away with the dresses without them getting caught in the brakes or other moving parts I’ll never know. Every time I see one it’s a mix of disbelief and appreciation.

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