Friday, January 20, 2012

Why do people hate on spandex?!

I was just on the local bicycle commuter message board and, suprise suprise, yet again the conversation has turned towards the problem with those hammerheads wearing spandex. Does wearing jeans on your bike grant  you moral highground? Or some other sort of merit award?

Maybe it does. I sure as heck couldn't bike for any real distance wearing jeans - at least not a pair that fit properly!

1. Totally unrelated to having an ostomy, it is just downright unpleasant! When I bike, even just up the huge hill to work, I sweat. Sweaty jeans are gross. They stick to you, make your crotch feel damp for the next couple of hours, etc. Also, I have big quads and find jeans that fit my waist to have legs that are too tight if I'm doing more than standing or sitting around. Yes, I can bike slowly on flat ground in jeans, or even some fancier clothing. And, I do it on occasion. No, it is not my idea of a good time, and usually I'm going to encounter a hill or want to get to my destination faster than a sweatless pace.

2. I do have an ileostomy! This means that I have an appliance stuck to my abdomen just above the waistline of a pair of modern (fairly low waisted) jeans. When I bend forward on a bike wearing jeans or other pants with a hard waistband it starts to get into the dangerous territory of messing up my ostomy appliance. It's also uncomfortable to wear a waistband that compresses my abdomen in that sort of way. Disrupting my ostomy appliance is generally not a risk I'm willing to take. So I don't do it. Even on my commutes, I wear bike shorts. I am comfortable and get to work on time.

Maybe those people who think that biking wearing spandex reflects poorly on a person's charactor should realize that for some people bicycling clothing is not about fashion. There may actually be a physical reason for wearing bike shorts even when just commuting.

Don't shame me! I make a point of not shaming less serious cyclists for their lower yearly milages or higher resting heart rate. Just imagine how silly that would be! And, how much of a jerk would I be?! A big one. So, let's all respect each other and stop the judgement.

Spandex wearing and proud of it,

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