Known for sitting on patios and drinking an ice-cold beer as soon as the temperature cracks the 5C mark, Calgarians milk the summer months for all they’re worth. And along with those pints in the sun comes another summer staple: bicycles.
Although sometimes reserved for sporadic recreation, bikes can also be tamed to whisk you away to work so you’re not stuck in traffic, boiling in your Buick.
Unfortunately for all the business professionals out there, you can’t always show up wind-swept and donning Lululemon. In response, we at Avenue have a few tricks on how to show up looking fashionable while still avoiding any unwanted disputes with the pavement.
Pick your bike
Photo courtesy of Pure Cycle
The Verve Hybrid bicycle is available at Pure Cycle (3133 150 Millrise Blvd. S.W.)
Tailor-made for commuters, hybrid bicycles are stable, comfortable choices for riding in the city. The flat handlebars are integrated from mountain bikes to offer more control than a cruiser. Usually lighter and featuring larger wheels for ease of speed, the hybrid is a easy ride, even if you haven’t hopped on the bike in a few years.
Hybrid bikes can be found at Pure Cycle and BikeBike.
Find a stylish helmet
Photo courtesy of Aether Apparel
The Sahn Classic helmet is available in shades of white, black, blue, grey and brown.
It may seem like an impossible feat to look remotely stylish in a helmet, but as it turns out, beneath the ones covered in flame decals at the front of the shelf, there are some options out there that will help to keep your brains pleasantly in place and still give you a sophisticated look.
Lines like Sahn have a sleek, classic helmet with an equestrian air as opposed to the aggressive appearance of other racing helmets. The example featured above is offered in a variety of colours and are available online through websites such as Aether Apparel.
Wear the right clothes
Arguably the trickiest part of dressing for your commute is never knowing what to expect. Those mountains to the west keep our skies in a constant state of flux, bringing summer rain, sweltering heat and the occasional snowstorm (that’s right, comrades, May long weekend is almost upon us). You want to be sure not to overdress, so layering is key.
For the ladies, wearing a thicker pair of tights under a skirt can make it easy to adapt to the weather – while also adding an extra precaution for modesty. You’ll also have to keep a close eye on skirt hems to make sure that fabric doesn’t get caught in the wheel and send you over your handlebars.
For men, you may want to look for a skinnier hem on your slacks to keep them from catching in the chain.
Photo courtesy of Iva Jean
Iva Jean’s fashionable and functional designs include this skirt which unzips to provide more legroom for pedaling.
Designer Iva Jean, has released a line of women’s clothes for the bike commuter. The reveal skirt (pictured above) is a water-repellent straight skirt that unzips in the back when you’re ready to hit the road, providing an additional 12 inches of fabric for ease of movement. She also offers an asymmetrical blouse with a pleat at the back for comfort and movability while riding. The altercations are subtle enough to allow you to wear them at the office, yet inspired enough to make for a smooth ride. Her line is available at the newly opened Rogue Clothier & Cyclery Company (735 10 Ave. S.W.) and is also available online at ivajean.com.
Photo courtesy of Cole Haan
Cole Haan Monroe Reflective Penny loafers are available in both men’s and women’s styles.
Busy schedules and long days can often turn into long nights – and biking home in the dark among the crowd on 17th Avenue can make for a perilous journey. Sure, bright orange reflecting jackets are always an option, but luckily, we have stores catering their designs for the urban commuter. Various designers have used reflective material to make saddlebags, belts and even shoes.
Cole Haan released a line of reflective penny loafers for both men and women. You can get them in subtle shades of black or silver, or even get purple, blue, yellow, green and orange if you want to add a splash of colour. Cole Haan designs can be found in Calgary stores such as Harry Rosen in Chinook Centre, or they can be ordered off colehaan.com.
If all else fails, it’s always a good idea to keep a change of clothes and shoes at work. Try to bring cotton and polyester blends, as they’re less prone to wrinkling, and invest in a backpack and rain jacket. Even with Iva Jean’s resourceful designs, the weather is bound to keep you on your toes no matter how long you spent curling your hair that morning.
For more information on how to get to around, visit Bike Calgary’s website.