Women Wednesday: How to Ride a Bike and Look Good

Step One: Get on a bike.

Step Two: Ride your bike.



Joking.  I mean, sort of.  I do firmly believe that all it takes is to ride the bike.  You are a beautiful person.  A sexy person.  An {insert preferred adjective here} person.  If you believe that when you get on your bike, that is how you will look when you get off the bike because confidence and believing in yourself is half the battle of life.  However, I did also spend about 2 years solidly bike commuting to my corporate job and pretty much everywhere else, and some of those destinations actually required me to look “respectable.”  Here are a few tips, coming directly from my own experience.

  • Pack what will make you feel good in the way that will make you feel good.  My typical go-to-work bag had a change of clothes, a small makeup bag, deodorant, body spray, and bobby pins (in addition to a million other things, usually).  Depending on the season/weather, sometimes I left the change of clothes at home and just stuck a small towel in there to do a little “shower” in the bathroom.  I was lucky that my workplace had a locker room complete with showers and a steamer, but I almost never used them and instead did my business in the bathroom.  I always rode with a messenger bag on my back because I was indoctrinated by lightweight single-speeders, but there were definitely hot summer days when I wistfully dreamed of a rack or a basket or something where I wouldn’t sweat through my bag onto my second set of clothing.Capture1
  • Account for the time that it will take you to feelpresentable.”  I usually cooked in about 15-20 minutes, depending on the weather, to be sure that when I got to work I had enough time to freshen up, change clothes, throw on my makeup (if I did makeup before leaving for work, I arrived with mascara all over the place because of sweat and teary wind-eyes), and fluff my hair.  For other destinations, I generally wouldn’t do this much work.  I’d just freshen up, maybe change my shirt, and swipe on mascara and lipstick.  If even.
  • Start small.  I started small by biking to the lake about 5 blocks away or to my favorite coffee shop 5 blocks in the other direction. I’d bike to see the sights, just for something to do.  As I got more comfortable, I biked to the grocery store just to make a small purchase, something that carried a bit of a burden.  Basically though, I biked somewhere where I didn’t care as much about my appearance.  That got me accustomed to taking a bike as transportation, first of all. I had to evaluate what I would want to take with me and what I could leave at home.  And I got to evaluate how I felt after arriving at my destination, and what I wished I had with me.

  • Love your ride.  There were definitely times where I left my bike at home for days because my last route was so filled with angry screaming/honking/bike-lane-crowding people in cars that it made me anxious to ride again.  But eventually I learned that there were other ways.  That on my bike, a half a mile out of my way isn’t that much if it means I get peaceful trails with people on feet and on bikes. That on rainy days, sometimes for my sanity it’s just better to throw my bike on the bus to get home.  If you’re in Minneapolis, I feel confident that you can find a route that makes you love your ride; say that word and I’ll hook you up with someone who can help you navigate the snaking trails and bike lanes!

  • Love your ride (part 2).  I ride the pace that I am feeling on a given day.  Sometimes people on their bikes in spandex zoom zoom past me, and at first, they made me feel sad and slow. Eventually, though, I realized that when I tried to zip as fast as them, I didn’t love my ride.  Riding at a turtle pace just makes me really happy sometimes. My girl Lindsey waxed beautiful poetic about riding slow.  Riding slow has the benefit that it often means I get to my destination less sweaty than if I rode fast.  However, people that ride with me know that I also love to zoom and be daring sometimes, and I do that when I feel that it will make me love my ride!


These are tips from my own experience. Every human is different. Maybe you will never feel comfortable going to work on bike.  That’s okay!  It’s better that you feel good when you’re riding your bike than that you feel guilty about not riding your bike.  That said, whatever you’re not doing is always doable!  And if you’re not riding your bike and looking good, that’s probably just because you’re not riding your bike!



About the author

Mountain View

A little about me!

Hey! I'm Brianna Hope, a born & bred midwesterner embarking on an adventure as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Colombia. I am clumsy, I spill a lot, and I share most of my interests with 6 year-olds.

Follow me on Snapchat: alabrianna


The content of this website is mine alone and does not necessarily reflect the views of the U.S. Government, the Peace Corps, or the Colombian Government.


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