Tuesday, January 5, 2010


First of all, I would like to emphasize that I don't consider myself part of the "cycle chic" trend. I've been cycling long before it started and plan to continue cycling until I am old and gray and wrinkled. Plus I will never be considered chic...

However, I do credit the images of everyday female cyclists on Copenhagen Cycle Chic with showing me that I was underestimating myself, and overly buying into the American marketing of bicycling as a specialized sport. So I tried riding my bicycle in high heels. Know what? It was easier than walking in them. I tried wearing a skirt on the bike - no big deal. Sure, there are always some outfits that misbehave, whether you are walking, bicycling, driving, or just sitting.

My favorite pair of boots, by Naturalizer

I've been riding in heels for a couple years now, so it's normal to me. But I realize that lots of other women still have questions. It's not vanity or trendiness - it will make you a better cyclist. And if you typically wear heels off the bicycle, then it will expand your transportation options by eliminating a previous limitation. OK, and maybe it's fun to intimidate, impress, or inspire the men and women who see you.

Ultimately, you just gotta try it. You should make sure that your shoes fit well, as in they don't fall off. Also, make sure they aren't too slippery on the bottom. If they are, you can use non-slip pads.

Cute ankle strap shoes become bicycle-friendly with a $1.79 modification
You can also slip a rubber band or two over your pedal. Another thing is to make sure your bicycle fits you well. You should just be able to get your toes or maybe the ball of your foot to the ground when you are sitting on the saddle. Technically, it is proper to come off your seat and straddle the bicycle when you stop. For a good example of this, see the video posted by the late Sheldon Brown, guru of all things bicycle.

I'm totally happy to answer questions or even help out the Atlanta gals...just ask.


  1. Great tip about the rubber bands. My dress shoes are leather-soled, and while scuffing eventually allows for grip on cement, tile and wood, they still slip off my Suburban's pedals (they hold fast to the Fuji). I am really excited about this.

    Nothing looks so confident as a lady riding a bicycle in heels.

  2. Well said about the heels. It IS easier to cycle in them.

    The Cycle Chic concept inspired me to be more thoughtful about my wardrobe. It just seems fun and liberating. And I enjoy seeing fashionable people so I might as well partake. I imagine this is a part of a larger trend in the US as well: dandyism.

    Would love to see photos featuring classic Atlanta and it's native cyclists! :)

  3. Dandyism! We definitely have that in Atlanta. The men and the ladies...I'd love to see more men out there looking sharp too.

    The Atlanta cyclist can be an elusive creature though. I see them but I can rarely get the camera up to shoot them. I'll have to actually stake myself out in some bicycle-friendly areas one of these days.

  4. Thanks for the nonstick tip. I've learned the hard way not to wear heels that are a tad big on my bike.

    I have a couple pairs of heels that I won't wear if I know I'll be walking much, but I never hesitate to wear them while riding. And people always comment/ask about how hard it must be to bike in heels. "Easier than walking in them," I assure them, echoing your response. They never seem to believe me - their loss!