Ladies, roll on in and lounge around! Whether you are looking to connect with other women cyclists for a ride, learn a bit about bike maintenance, build confidence before you walk into that bike shop or share what you know with other ladies, you are invited to enjoy the BikeState38 Ladies Lounge. Cruise by often to see what’s new!
LET’S TALK BIKES!
Clothing: Function & Form
Just with any event or activity cycling has a look it. But now a days there are more options out there. Consider form and function. The function part needs to be there, you are riding a bike not going to the Prom, so consider the following:
- FUNCTION: Connecting with the Bike, Hands, Tush and Toes –
- Hands – contact points are important to address. Gloves are good because they can pad your hands on the handle bars, protect your skin from the sun – and who wants to speed up that aging process?
- As for that tush…more on that next…but your clothing needs to protect your parts. Shop for shorts that offer a good chamois – but from there find something fun! Lycra is good for not snagging on your saddle, but now there are great cycling shorts that aren’t skin tight, and are designed for saddle time. There are even skirts that are fashionable and work on the bike.
- Toes and footwear – There are options here whether you choose to connect to the bike with a clip in shoe and pedal system or are more comfortable with a flat pedal. Look for a stiff shoe that is comfortable pedaling not necessarily walking around town.
- FORM: Now that you’re shopping in the right department find what speaks to you. Clothing that is more form fitting makes sense so it stays away from the moving parts on your bicycle. Clothing that is packable works best for stashing it if you need to lose a layer.
The more comfortable you are in your bike fashion the more your are going to want to get our there and ride!
Clothing: Dressing for the Elements
Don’t let the weather determine if you are able to get out for a spin. It isn’t the conditions but the gear. There isn’t one piece of clothing that you need, it is really a layering system. Depending on the conditions lay out your riding clothing, consider temperature and moisture, and your comfort level with both. Don’t be afraid to phone a friend. Talking about ride gear is great for not only looking good, but being prepared.
Shorts, Chamois, and Saddles – Oh My!
As much as we love to ride bikes a big obstacle to longer rides is how comfortable we are on the saddle. It is crucial to ride enjoyment to address issues “down there”. It isn’t always one fix to make your saddle time happy, so get the right combination in order to be comfortable during that next long ride.
- Shorts – Start with a pair of quality cycling shorts. Cycling specific clothing just makes sense. You don’t want extra fabric making your contact with the saddle cumbersome. Shorts can be form fitting lycra or baggy, yet fitted in the tush.
- Chamois – A quality chamois is also important to comfort. You gotta take care of that soft tissue! And for goodness sakes, don’t wear those undies! That extra layer is just prime for chafing.
- Saddle – Finding the right saddle can be a game changer. How you fit a saddle to your sit bones can affect soft tissue and even pedal stroke. A good bike fit is recommended when finding that next dream ride, or saddling up for the spring season.
- …the final secret weapon to saddle comfort is a chamois cream of your choice. This is a step worth remembering! There are many options today, some women specific. Shop around, talk to other women cyclists and add this to your bike took kit. Your next long ride will thank you.
And as great as you will feel on the bike with your dialed in look and fresh chamois cream, when you are off the bike it’s time to get out of that chamois! Seriously, chamois time is not training time.
Safety, Safety, Safety
We know women like bikes! We also know we tend to ride within our comfort zone and that feeling safe is BIG. How do you feel safe out there on the road? Here are a few pointers to consider before rolling out on your next ride:
Route Selection – Does the area you are riding accommodate cyclists? How’s the shoulder? Speed limit? Is it a regular route for cyclists? Are cars used to seeing cyclists? These questions can help you determine if the area is safe to share the road.
Share the Road – When sharing the road with vehicles, it is important to act like a vehicle. Obey traffic signs and signals. Ride as far right as is safe on the road.. That means stopping at stop signs and traffic lights, and yielding to pedestrians.
Safety can be Social – Riding with a buddy! Women like to be social and what a better place to connect with bike friends than on a ride. Riding with a partner is also a safe way to get out there by making a ride plan together and choosing routes that are bike friendly and match your ability level. Ride familiar routes or discover new ones. Even if you get separated on the ride, make a plan to connect for where to meet up for example: top of the next climb, the turn around point, the on-route coffee shop.
Fashion is Safety – Not only do we want to look good out there on the bike and be comfortable, fashion can help keep us safe. Those bright colors on cycling clothing help motorists see us out there on the road. Choose clothing with reflective fabric, this is helpful if your ride lasts into the dusk or you’re riding in low light.
For more safety tips, visit Bike Safety.
STRAIGHT FROM THE EXPERTS
Visit here frequently for tips from the pros on a variety of topics:
- Nutrition / Recovery / Refuel
- Hormones, menstrual cycle, pregnancy, pre & post-partum
- Traveling with your bike
- Descending skills, technique, cadence
Looking for a group to ride with?
Louisville Velo Club Women’s Bike Group (Louisville)
Naked Women’s Racing – Club Team (Denver)
Outdoor Divas Cycling (Boulder)
Petunia Mafia (Boulder)
Rocky Mountain Cycling Club (Denver/Boulder/Front Range)
Team Ten20 (Boulder)
Vail Valley Vixens (Vail/Avon)
Venus de Miles Women’s Bike Club (Boulder)
Women’s Bear Creek Biking (Denver)
Women Bike Colorado (Denver)
Are you involved with a women’s cycling club not listed above? Let us know about it! We’d love to connect you with riders in your area! Email us at: firstname.lastname@example.org
Ride Packing Lists
You’re going on a ride, longer than around the block, but not a big adventure. Maybe climbing a few hills, maybe an afternoon spin or maybe to the coffee shop and back. Although the miles won’t be long, those two wheels can take you farther away from your garage, that friendly neighbor, or your local bike shop. Who needs unnecessary bike drama? Not you, so you need to be prepared. We recommend keeping a stocked saddle bag on your bike. Check it for these goodies:
- Spare tube
- Patch kit – just in case that second flat happens
- Tire levers
- Pump and/or CO2
- Chain tool
Grab these before rolling out:
- Identification / Insurance card or Road ID…just in case
- Water and emergency snack
Now for the long ride, you’ve been thinking about this one all week, long miles with an agenda or just a “choose your own adventure” ride that you want to be ready for. Lay out what you need for the adventure, definitely all of the above and then a little more:
- Sunscreen & lip balm
- First Aid Kit
- Extra food, hydration mix and water
- Rain jacket
- Arm warmers, knee warmers – depending on the forecast
- A friend