(I want to start writing about bicycle issues but I want to keep my ‘exploratory’ voice and not develop a ‘telling’ voice. I do hope this works!)
Wear what you like, but know why you do. I think that’s probably the only fashion mantra I possess! Personally I wear a helmet and a hi vis jacket, usually with jeans or shorts and a t-shirt. This works well for me but I’d appreciate your views.
Helmets are an issue people often bring up. Either they ruin your hair or you’re sure motorists are less careful because they think you’re more protected or a serious ‘cyclist’. Well, yes, they aren’t the best with gel or anything elaborate. And yes, I think it’s probably true motorists do occasionally get lulled into a false sense of security. And they’re not much use if you get side-swiped by a lorry turning left.
But you can pick up a helmet for a tenner or so in Asda, you could gel your hair when you get there and if you do fall off and biff your head or get cracked on the nut by a careless wing mirror (like James Cracknell) you’ll be glad you wore one. Part of the reason I wear mine is because my cycling colleagues would give me earache if I didn’t. So I do.
Likewise the hi vis. It came from the pound shop and it just gives a driver a little extra chance of seeing me. Apart from that I just wear comfy clothes. A cotton t-shirt because if I’m going to sweat (I don’t usually go that fast) I prefer to sweat in natural fibres and not some infernal ‘wicking’ material from Du Pont.
If you’re a (re-)beginner at riding a bike you need to think all this through and decide what’s best for you. I see a number of people riding bikes in the evening while wearing black clothes. That isn’t best for you, even if you think it is. Really it isn’t.