Lycra Spandex, a common set of terms to a cyclist but an appalling fashion statement to the non-cyclist. I am a spandex-wearing cyclist and proud of it. During the spring, summer and fall months, I bet I wear spandex more than any other garment most of the time – simply because I bike the most those months.
If you’re on my Facebook, you will see that I get a lot of grit for wearing spandex bike shorts and apparel as well. My friends and even family members make fun of me all the time for it. Some even do it so much that I think that they think that it offends me when it really just lets me know they are self-conscious about their own body and looks or at least that is what they make themselves out to be during their shenanigans process of making fun of me.
Why wear Spandex in the first place?
For those of you who don’t bike, we spandex-clad cyclists are not trying to bring a 80s style back into the fashion world just so you know. Spandex bike shorts and other apparel actually serve many great purposed for a cyclist as well as other athletes. There are several benefits to bike shorts and other form fitting cycling apparel, including…
- Fitness Playback – I have photos of me when I first started cycling. I was 100 pounds overweight and technically considered obese by health standards against the BMI. I wore spandex then too and the pictures of me back then were pretty bad. In present time, I’ve lost over 100 pounds (thanks to cycling) and I don’t look that bad in spandex comparing to how I looked in them in 2011. So I can see a fitness playback of all the weight I lost by cycling and that makes me feel pretty damn good about myself.
- Injury Prevention – Do you ever see basketball players with compression bands around their knees and elbows? They use those bands to help prevent muscle and joint injuries among other injuries as well. So in turn, spandex helps us cyclists prevent injuries as well. Our shorts also have pads in them often called chamois. These chamois prevent chafing and painful aftermaths around our “danger zones” after long rides. If we didn’t protect those “areas”, the results would likely look like it comes from the movie, The Swamp Thing. Nasty huh? I’ll take my bike shorts over that any day of the week!
- Speed – Cyclists like me and others continuously consider weight when riding. The less weight means the faster one can go. A carbon water bottle holder priced at $150 may seem idiotic to the non-cycling consumer but to a rider, it is one more thing to use to take away some weight. Have you ever weighed a pair of bike shorts? I don’t even think the standard scale would move but I guarantee it would with a heavy pair of cargo shorts sat on it. Also compression means that our clothing isn’t going to be flapping in the wind creating drag and slowing us down. We wear bike shorts for the same reasons that swimmers wear Jammers and Speedo Briefs.
- Confidence – Now this one doesn’t make sense to a lot of you, probably. A lot of newbie riders are not at all confident about wearing skintight clothing in public. The reason I add confidence as a benefit to bike shorts is because when I see another person wearing them, especially on a bike, I see someone who is healthy and keeping their selves fit. When I see that guy wearing cargo shorts riding, I see a weekend warrior. Sure, he is a rider but only on the weekends. I am confident in myself to wear athletic clothing knowing that I am in my own way, an athlete.
Why the blog post, though?
Every cyclist out there who blogs will likely at some point blog about wearing spandex and other biking apparel because it’s a common questions the non-cycling civilians have for us. So why make another blog post about it, right? I mainly want to just share my thoughts on it as a whole to also compare it with the fashion acts of terrorism that we face today…
I don’t give a damn about what fashion you think is in and what fashion you don’t think is in! I just need to get that off my chest from the get go before I type the rest of what I have to say…
Reckless Use of Creativity
Have you seen some of the fashion “experts” and gurus out there who blog each and every day about what you should and should not wear in society? These fashion freaks are almost just as bad as politicians trying to tell you what part of the constitution are okay to keep and what part is not okay to keep. Don’t wear knee socks or you will look like a nerd… Don’t wear denim shorts because it is so out of style… Blah Blah Blah Blah… Why would someone in their right mind who isn’t mentally retarded let another person dictate their own clothing style? Are you a leader or a follower? Fashion terrorism I tell you, fashion terrorism is among us and the attacks are happening by the second.
Now take me… I wear my bike shorts when I ride and I post pictures on my social networking profiles. Many friends of mine joke in a friendly way and that’s fine because it doesn’t bother me and I can add to it and make fun as well. However some of them I feel are truly trying to offend me. It doesn’t though, it only makes me feel sorry for them because they show that they would never wear something like that because they fear what other people will think of them – I’d never stoop to such a low lever in life as that!
I love messing around with people when it comes to fashion. Sometimes I will wear the brightest colors just to screw with those fashion freaks out there that are quick to judge. Many call me gay for it which is something that makes no sense at all but how do I fight back? I jokingly hit on them as in flirt. Call me whatever you want, it’s your word against my reality. Words can be false, reality is real.
So while many of you are desperately searching for what you should wear next, I am wearing whatever I feel comfortable in and not caring about your idolization of the opinions of your peers.