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Dr. Miczak's X-Training BLOG
Tuesday, 4 May 2010
Bicycle Commuter Special
Mood:  caffeinated
Now Playing: Getting There in Style - Part I

Taking Charge!  In this series, we've compiled all the best gear and tips to make your cycling commute fun, comfortable and stylish!  Jacket, Dryflylite Cover by ExOfficio, Strap Pack by Runnur, Helmet by Lazer, Scooter Cycling Cargo Capris & Road Bicycle by Terry Precision Cycling.

The best time of the day is when I can get out early and get some road work and errands done.  This may be mixing business with pleasure but I am seeing more and more people dragging out their bicycles for fun, fitness and well, to save some money on gas!  When gas shot up to an unheard of $2.00 a gallon a few years ago, I got a wake up call.  I put panniers on my touring bike, (a vintage 1980's Nishiki), along with a Trek Trunk.  That bicycle has been my second car ever since.

What I have learned along the way is that you should invest in clothing that will allow you to be comfortable on the bicycle yet arrive at your destination looking great.  I remember three years ago being invited to a local charity luncheon.  I got out my bike, donned my spandex and arrived in time for the festivities.  Well, everyone there noted my cycling attire and knew that I came by bicycle.  Now, not that I was ashamed of my mode of transportation that day but I really didn't want to stand out...for that!  I began to talk to Georgena Terry about designing clothing that gets you dressed once but has you ready for "whatever" after getting off the bike.

Now I wear stylish floral skorts, cargo capris and cool cycling tank tops as a refreshing alternative to the black spandex. I feel like a woman again!  More than that, I've found that there are a lot more places I can go on my bicylce than I realized, especially if I have the right clothing.  If I have a short a stop at the post office planned, I will take my Terry Symmetry Road Bike and the Runnur Strap Pack as shown in the photo above.  I only have an under the saddle pack on this bike so  everything you see in the photo below was stored in the Runnur including my GPS. Amazing!


 PHOTO:  The Runnur Strap Pack allows me to take along all of these favorite things and a lot more!  It even includes a carabiner clip for my 16 oz water bottle.  This is a smart alternative to installing panniers or trunks on your bicycle.  Better still everything goes with you once you get off the bike!


Once you've got the packing down, you'll need to look at clothes for the commute.  They need to be loose but not to bulky as too much fabric will increase wind resistance.  Not good on a day of heavy headwinds.  I've found that wearing a cycling tank under an Exofficio Dryflylite Cover is the best combination.  The Dryflylite Cover in Lapis is what I am wearing in the lead photo.  It  is hooded and full zippered.

The breatheable fabric allows you to regulate your temperature and moisture levels.  It also offers a SPF 15 sun protection.  I've gotten caught riding in a spring shower in my Dryflylite and it kept me quite comfortable and was completely dry by the time we arrived home.  Add a zippered security pouch for keys or your MP3 player and viola! The Dryflylite has it all.  Looks crisp and cool off the bike too.

Terry's Tourista Tank pictured here in Lime gives a relaxed fit with no tightness or binding.  It has three open rear pockets so it is a bone-fide cycling top but no one will be the wiser!

PHOTO ABOVE:  NEW! Terry's Tourista Cycling Tank in Lime

Pair this gorgeous tank with the avante guard Bohemian Flare Skort skort shown here below and you are ready to go to the market, the mall or lunch via bicycle.  This skort has Terry's world famous sheer mesh chamois underneath so you are covered and comfortable for the ride. Who knew?



PHOTO LEFT: Terry's Bohemian Flare Skort with super light mesh liner and Flex chamois







On the Bike Off the Bike

Cycling Capris that look cool both on and off the bike!  You can even convert some of your exisiting capris into biking pants.  To do that, I would definitely invest in one of Terry's removable superlight Mesh Liners with Flex Chamois.  One came with my Terry Scooter Capris which I am wearing in the lead shot.  As they are removable, they can easily be slipped under these soft washed Vent'r Dig Her pants from Exofficio.  I've done this and found them to be extremely comfortable especially with the Dig Her's Tricot lined waistband. The Vent'r Dig Her capris are very lightweight, high wicking and perfect for cycling due to the two zippered leg pockets and drop in cell phone pouch.

These are no ordinary capris!  The Vent'rs are teched-out with a SPF 30+, are stain and water resistant while being quick drying and lightweight.  What more could you ask for on a bicycle or off?

PHOTO: Women's Vent'r Collection, Dig Her Capris from Exofficio


The next most important piece of clothing will be your shoes.  Soft soled sneakers waste pedaling energy and you need to be really wary of shoestrings.  They can come loose, get caught in your crank and cause a really nasty fall.  My Terry Symmetry Road Bike has SPD clips on one side of the pedal and regular rat traps on the other.  I can choose whether or not to clip in so these are a great option. 

As for cycling shoes, I like the on the bike, off the bike technology of Pearl Izumi's X-Roads.  The SPD plate is recessed so you can easily walk in these shoes.  They look fantastic and even offer the same shock absorption of higher end athletic shoes.  Ventilated, reinforced  toe for protection, lug soles and Velcro straps keep laces under cover and out of the cranks.

PHOTO: Pearl Izumi X-Road Cycling Shoes look and work great both on the bike and off the bike!

 The Pearl Izumi Website Says: Another Pearl Izumi first, the X-Road extends the “on-and-off-the-bike” versatility of our award winning X-Alp technology from off-road to pavement. Now you can pedal with ease but still walk, shop, or grab a coffee.


•X-Road nylon plate delivers great pedaling stability, power and efficiency with off-the-bike comfort and walk-ability
•Blown rubber lugged outsole for superior traction and durability
•SKYDEX® heel crash pad for excellent off the bike shock absorption
•Flexible forefoot and a running shoe beveled heel
•Low cut construction for a light, fast fit and feel
•Quick drying, highly breathable mesh/synthetic upper
•Compatible with all SPD style pedal systems

Available in sizes 36-49 (whole sizes)
Weight: 385g (size 43)


In Part II, I'll show you how all of this pulls together on the bike and how to make this a stylish mode of transportation with practical tips on packing, parking and getting the most out of your ride.  We'll also show you how to fuel up with sumptious goodies and drinks to take along giving you extra energy for that hill!


Posted by Author at 12:01 AM EDT
Updated: Sunday, 2 May 2010 6:46 PM EDT
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