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Post ride lycra... Is it acceptable?

Cyclists in cafes
Photo: Rohan Thomson

There are certainly a few theoretical angles to consider when debating the appropriateness of the lycra-clad men and women who populate cafés. As the only member of the BikeRoar team who isn’t a mad-keen cyclist (yet), I’m writing this from the perspective of those who have the pleasure, or misfortune as it may seem, to look upon those happy cyclists sipping their lattés. However, I do have an ounce of sympathy, as my father is ‘one of those’ lycra-clad men at whom this article is directed.

The first angle is from the point of view of those sweating within the lycra – the cyclist. Having finished a morning ride ‘with the lads’, as my Dad would say, there’s nothing better than sitting down for a post-ride coffee and debrief.

The first of my concerns at this point is purely health-related, and nothing to do with terrible fashion (that will come later). Is there anything more dangerous than a 50+ year-old man, who has just taken his heart rate to frightening heights for a prolonged period of time, taking in several strong coffees and eggs covered in hollandaise sauce?? I’m sure I’m not the only person to fear that the old man’s heart is about to give up altogether after one of these bizarre sporting-cultural rituals that so many middle-aged men are determined to be a part of.

The point I’m trying to make here is that surely it’s best, after a huge ride, for everyone to go home, and bring the core temperature and heart rate down by doing something sensible, like lying down. I’m no doctor, but surely lingering around cafés taking in caffeine and animal fats is an efficient way to shorten one’s life.


Tony Abbott in lycra

Photo: Kate Geraghty

DID YOU KNOW?  What was the first thing the newly elected Prime Minister of Australia did the morning after winning the Federal election and taking power? He went for a road ride with his mates. And while the news cameras flashed he proudly arrived home fully clad in lycra head to toe.



The second angle to consider is from the point of view of the café owners. I’ve seen mixed expressions on the faces of café owners and staff in my time of being a keen observer and critic of the post-ride lycra. One thing seems to be consistent across the board of cafes though – they tend to keep these groups outside on the footpath. Just saying. While I’m sure the influx of these big groups is a good sign for any small business owner, there is a flurry of disinfectant spray and paper towel after you lot leave.

The third point of view is from the innocent bystander. A chance look in the wrong direction at the wrong time, and you can say goodbye to that big appetite that you had moments earlier. And the smell. It’s not flash.

And finally – from all the girlfriends, wives and daughters of those why cycle – please, please take a look in the mirror before you consider sitting out in public. Unless you look like Rob Lowe, there’s a good chance that your outfit is very emasculating. That’s right – men in tights hasn’t worked since, well, never actually.

In conclusion, I’d like to finish with a quote from a good friend, who muses:

“Is there any more effective way to ruin the wonderful sport of cycling, than dressing up in tights and riding around in a group of men, who are also wearing tights?


Note from the rest of the BikeRoar team:
"Don't worry, we'll get our collegue into lycra and loving it soon enough!"




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