More from this year’s Top 10 Things that should have Disappeared this Decade post. The silly, prudish American pops up in the news again.
Guardian UK: Following the viral response one cyclist filmed after being ticketed for not riding in a bike lane in New York, a visiting Dutch cyclist, Jasmijn Rijcken reported she’d been confronted by a police officer, then threatened with a ticket for wearing a skirt. The problem, according to police officer, was that a cyclist in a skirt was distracting, and therefore dangerous to motorists and other road users.
Cycling in a skirt isn’t unusual – I cycle nearly every day and rarely wear trousers, spotting dozens of cyclists in dresses and skirts around London. Regardless of the length of skirts, they tend to offer more coverage than shorts, especially of the lycra variety. Skirts also help avoid the minefield of seams when cycling long distances and are far more comfortable than jeans.
I’m regularly confronted by men’s backsides in skintight lycra, and both myself and the drivers around me manage not to crash. Sarah Ditum cycles in a skirt regularly in Bath, and manages not to cause car crashes: “I tend not to worry about flashing a bit of leg. I used to find it mortifying, but now I figure that if I’ve got leggings or tights on, I’m as covered-up as the Lycra-clad speed demons; and if I’m going bare legged, I wear shorts underneath. A bit of thigh isn’t the end of the world”.
One company has capitalised on the worry of exposing too much, and has invented the cycling “skort” – a pair of cycling shorts with a polyester skirt over the top. It does, however, induce flashbacks of netball kit, so perhaps not one for the fashionable cyclist.