May is National Bike Month, and from May 11-15 in particular, cyclists are encouraged to bike to work. If you live close enough to where you work to be able to make your way on two wheels, now's the time to ditch the excuses and get some fresh air. It really is an incredible way to start your morning, even if you do get to work a little sweaty and breathless. Just ask downtown real estate agent, Kristen Walker (pictured). She proves that you can be a biker and glamorous at the same time — no need to ditch the high heels. Just check out these chic cyclers on Sartorialist. Kristin is so eager to see Charleston become a little biker's haven (a la Amsterdam), that she's working on creating a company called Pedal to Properties, which will allow prospective buyers to experience the city via bicycle (truly the best way). She's also talking with Charleston Moves about planning a stylish mass ride to mark Bike to Work Day later this month. Stay posted, and for now, check out her tips on staying chic while cycling. (Picture below from Cynthia Rowley.)
Floaty skirts — Not a good idea but they look fantastic if you can manage to prevent flyaways. Perhaps get some cute old-fashioned bloomers that roll-up and fit in a purse? It would just be a crime if the summer sundress had to go by the wayside while bike riding.
Pencil skirts — They work fine as long as there is a back slit. Watch for the upward creep.
Long (ish) skirts — No problem as long as you have a chain guard and can gather the material (under, around, or between your legs). A circle skirt would probably be a bad idea.
Heels — Definitely work as long as they stay on your feet. The pedal fits nicely in the nook between heel and sole. I highly recommend a rubber sole (Liz Claiborne Flex, for example) to keep from pedal slippage. A T-strap or ankle strap provides extra security.
Flats — Only work if they really, really stay on your feet. Hit the pedal at the wrong angle and you'll end up with a shoe in the street.
Flip-flops and sandals — Delightful.
Earrings — Beware of anything both large and solid. You might arrive at your destination with your cheeks a bit battered.
Scarves — great for keeping you warm while riding. Looks super chic blowing back in the wind.
Great bag — Essential that it fits in your oh-so-cute-and-practical-basket. I have ridden around town with a laptop strapped across my chest and it just doesn't look or feel as free. There are a few places that are starting to make some super cute panniers (bags that fit on the sides of your rack on the back) — perhaps that's the next wave?
How do you stay stylish while riding your bike?