Ride Like You Want To: Part I

I am not a priss, but I do enjoy dressing like a girl (sometimes). However, I like riding my bike more. So what is one to do?

After years of bike commuting, I’ve discovered key bike commute accessories and written about them here, but it’s time to tackle this subject head-on. This is the first in a series of posts for women (sorry fellas) on how to ride like you want to. It’s simple stuff, but not knowing how to ride like you want to can keep people, particularly women, off bikes and that is a terrible terrible thing.

Tips for Riding Like You Want To

Dresses. Every woman in San Francisco has discovered the miracle of boots and dresses. It’s the only way to rock a dress in the city without wishing you’d worn jeans. Riding in boots is no problem, but dresses can cause quite a show. Some girls are cool with it and/or miraculously prevent any fly-up action. But other girls, like me, need a solution. Bike shorts to the rescue! Compact and comfortable, they provide coverage, are easy to slip on/off and demand minimal space in your bag. No one has to know.

Product Recommendation: I opted for the cheapest pair I could find. They have a terrible logo but they’re black and short (i.e. more covert) and get the job done. Spend as much or as little as you’d like.


Accessories. I learned the hard way that riding with heavy bracelets can cause weirdo bruising. So I stash uncooperative accessories (i.e. bracelets, long necklaces, slippery scarves) in a zippy pouch and accessorize upon arrival.

Product Recommendation: An XS or S Timbuk2 Clear Flex Pack. A shameless plug but it cannot be beat.


Hair. Girls with long flowing locks glide by me all the time in the city. I’d hate them if I didn’t admire them so much. But I wear a helmet and have fine hair, so letting it flow gives me dreads and no one likes a blond rasta (apologies if you are one). The solution? A loose ponytail with a magic rubber band that doesn’t crease your hair combined with the ‘ol brush in the desk drawer trick.

Product Recommendation: Scuni No-Slip Grip the Evolution Hair Ties. They’re clear and silicone and worthy of their ridiculous name.


Shades. A good pair of sunglasses that don’t slip on bumpy roads or hot (aka sweaty) rides are key. They keep dust and bugs out of your eyes and enable you to see in the solar witching hour (i.e. absolutely blinding dusk and dawn).

Product Recommendation: The Lizzie Sunglasses have peripheral shields, green lenses that give the world a friendly tint, a stay-on-fit and in my humble opinion, the perfect name. Choose what works for you.

Lizzie Sunglasses

Ride like you want to.


  1. Erin says:

    I love your boots! — where can we get those accessories:)


  2. Sarai says:

    Great tips Lizzy! Especially the bring the jewelry in the bag thing. If you are prepared, looking good on a bike is sooooooo easy!

  3. Casey says:

    Dude! I feeeeel you. No need to choose between fashion and safety while biking. I wrote a whole piece about this on Instructables. Check it out: http://www.instructables.com/id/How-to-Ride-Your-Bike-in-Style/

  4. Elia says:

    What about the shorts? I’ve wanted a comfortable (and cheap) to wear under my dresses and skirts for a while, but they all seem to be too long!

  5. Lizzy 2 says:

    Hey good tips, I always bring along a small light in my bag so if you stay out after dark riding cars can see you

    • Lizzy says:

      Another Lizzy! Love it. We were just talking about light this morning. It’s light season :( It’s very important to have obnoxious flashing lights after dark.

  6. Heather says:

    …now if only you had some shorts come stashed in a timbuk2 bag… hhuuumm :-)

  7. taska says:

    I bought some bloomers from Dark Garden http://www.darkgarden.com/ over in Hayes Valley. Purple and green and extra lacy!

  8. Lizzy says:

    Tri cycling shorts are shorter than standard cycling shorts. I bought mine for $10 @SportsBasement in San Francisco. They have a big hideous flower on them but I only wear them *under* things so it don’t matta!

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