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MCC Daily Tribune

Comfort Is King

What should you wear if you want to commute by bicycle? I have ridden in many fund-raising rides like the Tour de Cure and the MS 150. Riders in spandex and tights show up from all over the area for these rides. However, there is invariably at least one rider that shows up to ride in their jeans or cut offs. Padded spandex shorts are not required, although they are highly favored amongst bicyclists. 

Growing up, as kids we rode all day long in my neighborhood. None of us had spandex. None of us had padding that I am aware of. None of us had any problems, either. The distance you live from campus and the speed at which you would like to travel are big factors in determining what you should wear. Honestly, your comfort is the biggest factor of them all. If you are comfortable, you will certainly enjoy the ride more and be more likely to take another. Comfort is king.

I prefer t-shirts over bicycle jerseys. I like cotton but most people prefer a wicking material. Once again, comfort should determine your choice. The one thing I really like about bicycle jerseys is the pocket on the back. They just make so much sense for a bicyclist. I would also suggest bright colors. Try not to blend in with the surroundings. For safety’s sake, you definitely want to be seen.

Gloves, too, are optional. The padding is nice on long rides. Short rides they don’t matter as much. Fingered or fingerless? Your choice. A lot of riders will tell you, “You need gloves in case you fall”. While it is true that they are nice in the case of a fall, I don’t like to plan my rides around the idea that I will fall. In the last thirty years of riding, I have only crashed twice. I am glad I had gloves on for both crashes but statistically speaking, those crashes would not convince me to wear gloves. Once again, I would go with what ever you are most comfortable with wearing. I said it before and I will say it again, comfort is king.

Kevin Simmons
Communications and Network Services