Lycra is a privilege not a right

Last year a friend sent me a text with a photo of her husband in his newly acquired Rapha  head-to-toe cycling kit, standing proudly in front of a brand new Trek road-bike. She commented to my amusement that ‘lycra is a privilege not a right’.

Cycling is a forgiving activity, in that any shape and size can usually ride a bike. Regrettably the same cannot be said of lycra, it is a most unforgiving fabric, showing every lump and bump. In recent years there has been a huge increase in the popularity of cycling, often credited to the  the Tour successes of the Sky Team and the London Olympics.

If you should find yourself on a Sunday morning, on the former Olympic road-race route in the Surrey Hills,  you will be sure to see many  Mamils, that is middle-aged men in lycra. A term for  ladies in lycra, has also entered the cycling lexicon, they’re known as Lils.

I’m a Lil, a lady in lycra, I can’t escape it, I’ve tried to hide it or disguise it at times. I’ve cycled in clothing that I believed to look more ‘normal’, such as knee length baggy shorts and a t-shirt, however teamed with cycling shoes, I just looked like one of the Crankies. I’ve also purchased Uniqlo jeans in a size too large, so that I could wear them over padded shorts, but then appeared to have an unfeasibly large behind.

The truth is, cycling any significant distance is more comfortable in cycling specific clothing, but doesn’t always make for comfortable viewing. Padded pants are never going to be high on anybody’s list when trying to look good?

10 thoughts on “Lycra is a privilege not a right

  1. I can’t do just the lycra for decency’s sake, Most cycling shorts are akin to baboons backside. Not flattering. I wear running shorts over the top of mine.

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  2. My favorite jersey is the Canyon/Sram Women’s team. I don’t have Rapha shorts ($$$$) but I wanted the jersey because it was so friggin cool. While my body has been larger than it currently is, I have always worn cycling shorts, but since going to bib shorts, my size large ass won’t be in anything else. They won’t fall down or the waistband roll, but also they hold in the love handles. Once you go bib, you never go back. 🙂

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      1. I want try the ones that are halter style so they come off faster for wee breaks. Otherwise, you have to complete disrobe – the only drawback to them. Granted, men don’t have that issue. I accidentally saw some pros do it – it was like a bad car wreck. I was horrified but I couldn’t look away!

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  3. I use a weird combination of runners’ full-length lycra leggings with shorts on underneath. I tried this format ages ago and just got used to it. I don’t do bare legs mainly because I have a remnant knee injury that I need to manage so I prefer to keep it covered up at all times.

    It’s nothing to do with the leg-shaving thing, honest…

    Liked by 1 person

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