Rant: Cycling and the City

When we think of road rage, these are the things that come to mind: drivers flipping the bird, blaring horns, or our personal fave, flailing hands in the rear view (the WTF of driver sign language).

If you’re a biker in this city, you know that road rage goes beyond people who drive cars, and well into bike lanes and beyond.

As much as we adore cycling (well, some of us – half of the office raves and the other half reels in fear), biking in a city is cause for grey hairs. Cyclists have road rage against each other (there’s nothing more frustrating than biking behind a slow cyclist) and cars (move. over. Your car is way too close for comfort). Here are some more thoughts and experiences, brought to you by the fourth floor.

From a new cyclist:

Dear pedestrians, 
Look for bike traffic when you’re stepping out into the street. You wouldn’t just run out and hope for the best when a car was coming, would you? 
Why would you do the same when a cyclist is riding down the street? I’ve seen some people get seriously slammed by a biker, then yell at the biker for not stopping. Pedestrians hold some of the responsibility too!
Love, Toronto bikers 

Dear (other) cyclists, 
Act like cars! You can’t have the best of both worlds, following road rules when it’s convenient, then following pedestrian rules when that’s the better option. 
Stop jumping up to bike on the sidewalk because traffic is stopped. Stop blowing past cars on the right when they’re turning. If you were driving a car you wouldn’t do either of those things, so why do them when you’re on a bike?
(responsible) Toronto bikers

From a seasoned cyclist:

My beef is with other bikers. Wearing your iPod is just ridiculous. Scooting between lanes: also ridiculous. Cyclists have blind spots too. Check them. That’s all. This is raising my blood pressure. Wear a helmet. It’s the law (well, at least if you’re under 18) and it can save your life.

Don’t get us wrong: there’s no better feeling than the sun on your back and the wind on your face when cycling. We have smiles plastered on our faces the entire time, not even minding the occasional bug plastered on our front tooth as a result. We just needed to let off a little pent-up steam. 

We know you have beefs with cyclists, whether you’re a pedestrian or a driver. Share them, it will be cathartic. Tweet us @rockitpromo or comment below. 

Fashion-able: Bike Style

Biking to work and play not only saves time and money (in most cases) but also the environment. Love it. Once you master travel on two wheels, the next step is to master cycling fashion. Pulling together a bike friendly look that still takes you to the office or drinks with the girls is possible. It just takes a little know-how. Here are some tips to help you nail down your biker chic.

Do: Wear bike shorts beneath a short dress. Ladies, summer dresses are an absolute must. Hot, steamy days while pushing those pedals mean that less is more when it comes to what you’re wearing. But don’t flash innocent bystanders while you are riding. Booty shorts, bike shorts, — hell, even boy-cut underwear are better than wearing just a tiny thong beneath your frock. They will save you from showing your bum. It’s a good idea. Plus: bike shorts are making a comeback. Lots of designers have great options, but we especially like the Chanel ones Alexa Chung is sporting in this photo:

Do: Wear a helmet. Helmets are sexy. Bashed-in brains are not. Arriving with helmet head is preferrable to arriving in a body bag. To make helmets a little more palatable, here is a cute option from Bern ($79, available at Mountain Equipment Co-op). Or, take a peek at this colourful one that Vitamin Daily recently featured.

 Don’t: Shy away from wearing heels while riding. While not ideal (or necessarily easy), sporting a pair of hot heels on a bike is a valuable skill shared by few women. It requires a bit more dexterity when stopping and going. But showing up in killer footware makes you look that much cooler. Voilà:

Do: Find a cute and functional cross-shoulder bag. A backpack just brings back memories of Grade 6, which was enough the first time around. For grown-ups, a plethora of great cross-shoulder bags are out there. They’ll let you carry everything you need for a day at the office, and still maintain your look. A high-end, amazing bag from Gucci is classic and always in style. A homegrown Canadiana version is as cute as it is functional.
Don’t: Let your thong hang out. It is hard to manage at times (those low-rise jeggings are especially tricky), but not showing your gitch is important. Not even hot mama Gisele can get away with it.

Wear a longer undershirt, higher waisted pants (very of-the-moment) or hide your g-string with your cross-shoulder bag slung behind.

Happy cycling!
Photos Credits:
3. TheDigitel via flickr