Boys on Bikes

Here’s a love letter to all the gents on two wheels from my July 2015 menswear column in the Globe Style Advisor. Ride or die!

handsome devil

Men of summer, there is no better accessory than a bicycle. It says: I am fun, I am free, I am fit, let’s go. I once had my heart broken by a boy on a bike, but it was totally worth it and I’d do it again in a minute! I can’t help but turn my head when a handsome devil glides by. So dust off that frame and oil the chain, and let’s talk about being stylish in the saddle.

Wear regular clothes on the bike! If you need to stay cool, wear loose, breathable stuff, go short or sleeveless. Bring an extra shirt with you. Riding is rough on clothes, it’s true, but it’s better to look good all the time and take on a bit of wear and tear and occasional repair, than to wear lame gear and never look good. Right? Clothing is meant to be worn, life is meant to be lived, and wheels are meant to roll.

The laws of fashion do apply on the road, a well-dressed rider will get treated with more deference. Personally, I wear skirts and nice shoes, and make eye contact and smile at drivers. I think this attitude wins me more space than I would get as a road warrior in spandex. So dress to impress – me, if not the motorists.

If you’re wearing low-slung pants, make sure your underpants are worth seeing. You know your butt looks good, but don’t give it all away! Think about how you’ll be perceived from the back, don’t leave it to chance. Wear a belt. Or try a bumper sticker, I’ll read it.

Speaking of. Shoulder checks! It’s about awareness. Being checked out, or checked upon, over a shoulder is a treat. Ride a bike with a date – take the front sometimes, and then take the back sometimes. Fun for everyone, everyone looks good on a bike.

A great sounding bell! Ideally your bell should be able to say “watch out I’m riding here” but also “hello there, you look good!”, or “where are you?” Bells are so much more expressive and subtle than horns, aren’t they?

Do wear a helmet on busy streets because it’s crazy out there. Valuing your skull is an admirable quality in any human. Whenever possible take the route less travelled and feel the wind in your hair too. Oh, and! Keep one of those little multitools on you too, so you can be a hero.

Ready to ride into my heart? See you on the street.

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