Enough is enough. Regard this as the launch of the Anti-Lycra League, a (thus far) one-man campaign against the tyranny of Lycra.

For who needs this devil’s fabric? Not me, that’s for sure – and, I suspect, not the vast majority of recreational cyclists, on whom it looks unseemly and at times downright unpleasant.

I can’t think of any other sport in which the protagonists regard it as appropriate to march into café or pub with rolls of fat bulging hither and yon through strained fabrics for all to see, not to mention hideous assemblies of genitalia being thrust in the faces of the general public like an offering of fruit at a harvest festival.

Yet still we wear it. Why? It’s not particularly comfortable and if you think that having Lycra gripping onto your midriff like a Scotsman grasping a half-pence piece makes you more streamlined you’re living in a fantasy land.

Well, I suppose technically it does make you more streamlined, but so what? Are you ever going to set any records for going up, down or along any piece of Tarmacadam on Earth? I think not, so why the need to dress like Bradley Wiggins or Laura Trott? They break world records on their bikes, you break only wind and the occasional spoke.

What would be so wrong about wearing a casually cut shirt from a high wicking fabric above a pair of stylish but loosely cut padded shorts of similar material? A kind of half-way house between aero suits and tweed plus-fours, that’s what the cycling world is sorely in need of these days.

I’m happy to put myself out there in such attire, lead the way (albeit very slowly) as it were. Join me, fellow cyclists, for you need not look like a blancmange in a condom when you ride your bike. Our mountain biking brethren favour the baggy look and appear more stylish ‘pon their steeds in my opinion, as well as being able to wander around public places without scaring children and horses.

We should follow their lead, for as I totter towards the wrong side of middle age it seems only right and proper I should leave Lycra behind me; it is not a fabric for men or women over the age of 40. Join me in the Anti-Lycra League – you know it makes sense…


3 Responses to Enough is Enough

  1. Kate says:

    Hey Alf, how funny that Lycra is being punished every where it seems. Only the other day there was an article in a cycling mag from a woman pro cyclist not liking pictures of herself in Lycra. Find my cyclist kit really comfortable by the way, what’s your answer to avoiding a sore bum for riding long distances? Must be pretty annoying too having voluminous dress wear flapping around you on a windy day? PS Enough of the ageism, I’m 42 and racing my bike regularly. Luckily I’m not bothered what others think now, but for the body conscious you might well offend. Who cares about looking dorky in the café, no one has to stare at flabby bits just as they don’t have to stare at a woman breastfeeding. Besides we give the café owners plenty of business! Can’t we just stick together as cyclists whatever we wear? Car drivers give us enough abuse! ☺

  2. Vivienne Williams says:

    Alf, if you can show me some great casual shorts with a padded liner that are not black, navy or dark grey and fit women who ride bikes I’ll join your crusade, maybe there is a business opening there?!

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