It's Ride to Work day today, and if I were heading anywhere other than to the revisions of my preface and first chapter in my home study today (thanks to the careful responses of my [blog] readers), I would probably be taking in free coffee and muffins at Bike Hub on the way to work.
There has been a bit of argy-bargy on television and in the press lately about the perennial struggle between cyclists and motorists. I am both, and can be equally irritated by both, at different times. But what I don't quite understand is the vitriol directed towards lycra.
It's true that it often comes in unattractive (though road-safe) colours such as lime and orange; and it's also true that for many years I've refused to wear it when riding.
However. Before we headed on our cycling holiday, I took the advice of the bike-tour company and went out to buy some padded shorts. I ended up buying some below-the-knee pants in discreet grey, with seams that sort of curve around the leg. They have minimal padding (enough to feel comfortable; not so much as to be obvious to the observer), and they were wonderful on the road. They were warm when it was cold; weren't hot when it was hot; dried quickly when wet; and even seemed to repel the water when it rained. I felt a bit like a seal when it was wet. Moreover, they turned out to be like a sporty foundation garment. So instead of feeling the weakness of the flesh was exposed, as I had feared, that weakness was, shall we say, contained. Let's be frank about this: these pants are downright flattering. If you ever see me on a red carpet of any description wearing a long sleek dress, you'll know what I'm wearing underneath...