Friday, August 22, 2008

Kilts and Bikes Mix Admirably

Okay, a little lighter topic now...

I had to run down to the grocery today and was wearing one of my Utilikilts (for those of you keeping track at home, it was my tan original UK). I didn't feel like climbing into a pair of shorts, and decided that I was going to risk the fly-up factor.

My number one reason for not having done this thus far was that I didn't want to scare small children, have women constantly throwing their phone numbers at me (possibly getting into my brakes or derailleurs and forcing me off the road), or give drivers another reason to react with shock as I "suddenly appeared in front of them." You never know what people's reactions to a kilt are going to be.

But, I figured, the trip was less than a mile, round trip. So what the heck.

I am happy to announce that it worked PERFECTLY. Perhaps because the top bar on my bike frame is slightly lowered, the apron (or "front") of my kilt hung down perfectly and fly-up was never a concern. I was comfortable, ventilated, and stylish the entire trip down to Giant Eagle.

So, kilts and bikes most certainly DO mix.

People, not speed.

17 comments:

  1. I could have told you that. :) Not that I wear kilts, but I bike in skirts more than I bike in pants, and I've never had problems with flyup. Short skirts (like a kilt) are best, in fact. Long skirts, I tie in a knot on the side, usually, so they don't get caught up in my brakes.

    Oh, and I have a men's bike, too. Women's bikes are harder to get these days! In any case, welcome to the legions of pantless cyclists. :)

    ReplyDelete
  2. Why thank you. I figure, I've done enough stuff pantsless, I might as well add cycling to the mix. I was a bit concerned that my kilt would be rubbing against my rear tire but that wasn't an issue either.

    And... fly-up, I think, is more of a problem for kilt wearers. Especially if the kilt is being worn properly, if you get my drift. :)

    ReplyDelete
  3. Um, what about friction? I've got a Brooks saddle; don't know how that'd feel...

    ReplyDelete
  4. Good question. I wasn't going very far so it wasn't an issue. It might be a bit uncomfortable if you were going a long distance. I'll try it later and let you know.

    ReplyDelete
  5. Kilts. On bikes. Jamie, I'm not sure the good people of Columbus need to be (cough) exposed to that.

    --L'il Sis

    ReplyDelete
  6. Carrie (who, for all of you who don't know, is my sister, and therefore deserving of whatever sardonic attitude I take toward her), if you'd READ my post, you'd see that the issue to which you're referring wasn't an issue at all. And why the heck shouldn't I be comfortable?

    ReplyDelete
  7. One stiff breeze in the wrong location and you've got yourself a restraining order against living and/or biking past elementary schools, that's all I'm saying.

    ReplyDelete
  8. I have done about thirty miles in a chopped UK, it was fine. The only problem i have every had biking with a UK on was when i wore some spandex non bike shorts underneath, due to chafing from the shorts.

    ReplyDelete
  9. My first outing in my new Utilikilt was to the grocery store. Two separate young ladies commented "nice kilt", and a little old lady in the parking lot said "I like your skirt, young man!"

    ReplyDelete
  10. I tried it yesterday and it was a great success
    - see flickr pic

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/fotos_by_findlay/3801572008/

    ReplyDelete
  11. Coming to the party a few months late, but I'll add my tuppence-worth: I ride a Raleigh three-speed for short trips (think: Clif Bar Two-mile Challenge), pulling a kid trailer that I use for loads too bulky to haul with the rack-mounted bags. Since I prefer wearing a kilt to p@nt$, I'm often wearing a Utilikilt Workmans' model when I hop on the bike.

    I've gone as far as fourteen miles each way to work wearing a kilt, including crossing the Ohio River from Louisville to southern Indiana, without problems from "wind-generated fly-up."

    I have found, however, that some of my kilts are better than others for cycling. The UK Workmans and my Alphakilt do best for me, while the UK Original and Mocker are not as secure, due to their lighter weight fabrics.

    I won't wear a kilt when riding my recumbents, though. The fabric on the sides interferes with my USS controls.

    ReplyDelete
  12. You must have a standard road bike. I tried my Utilikilt on a recumbent and it did not work. On a "bent" bike my legs are more horizontal and the wind pushed the kilt back. The wind did not flip it up just pushed it back. I was wearing something under it so exposure was not a problem but I suspect I was showing too much. Maybe the Utilikilt Workman model with the modesty strap would solve the problem. So for my recumbent it looks like I will have to stay in shorts.

    ReplyDelete
  13. To bikeolounger and Mike: Yes, I'd think a recumbent wouldn't be so wonderful an idea for a kilted cyclist. I do indeed ride an upright or "safety" bike, as they were called back in the days of pennyfarthings and the like.

    Modesty snaps would certainly help. I rode wearing a Workman when I tried it, and that worked well due to the relative stiffness of the fabric. I didn't use the modesty snaps but that certainly would allay many of the fears of people like my sister. Riding in an original or a lighter-fabric Utilikilt would be problematic.

    ReplyDelete
  14. Thanks for your article, I've been wearing kilts full time for 7 years. I've wanted to get back to bike riding but was unsure about cycling in a kilt.
    Your experience has been encouraging.
    It can't be any harder than Mel Gibson on a horse!

    ReplyDelete
  15. Hey, thanks for the post. I just found this today after wondering if I could/should ride in my new Utilikilt. Sounds like I will!

    ReplyDelete
  16. You're welcome Graham! It's funny how this article keeps getting brought up again...kilts and bikes are both timeless, it seems.

    ReplyDelete
  17. My UK works fine on my bike, even here in ultra-red and scary Texas. Picture a kilted man riding a bike with a Chihuahua in a basket on the front.....

    ReplyDelete