Riding a bike in a skirt: A guide.

I’ve seen a lot of traffic to this site as the result of using a search engine for the phrase “riding bike in a skirt.” Searching this phrase will bring you to this post, which really isn’t about riding in a skirt at all. So, friends and fans, let me be of assistance, because I have done my fair share of perfecting this art.

Material and length make a big difference. Obviously, the longer the skirt the easier it is to keep it from flying up. Something that goes past your knees when sitting is ideal. One would think that a heavier material would be key, but it is just the opposite. A heavier material is more likely to catch the wind and make sudden and unexpected flips. A lighter skirt (those with a slip are always helpful) allows for more airflow and the wind passes through.

When riding, try to keep the end of the skirt capped over the knees. It is helpful to angle the knees in toward each other as the skirt then has a smaller area to cover and is more likely to drape down rather than being caught by the air. If this is a problem the length the the skirt can be tucked under one’s buttocks when seated. Not the whole skirt–it doesn’t need to be taught across the lap–just enough to keep it from moving too much.

Finally, when cruising it is best to have one leg as straight as possible and the other bent near 90 degrees. Angle the knee of the bent leg inward, again, allowing the skirt less surface area to cover. The trick here is to take a bit of the skirt and press it against the seat with one’s inner thigh, which keeps it in place without being completely obvious.

Now, lets be modest here, but keep in mind that if you end up without perfection the first (or 100th) time around, shorts often show a lot more skin than a wind-swept skirt. Be smart. Be aware. Be stylish. Stay awkward.

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12 Comments

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12 responses to “Riding a bike in a skirt: A guide.

  1. Pingback: Walking in high heels: a guide « Keeping Awkward in Style

  2. alexandra810

    I ride to work daily – in skirts and heels at least half the time – and I agree a little modesty goes a long way. Here are some of my thoughts on riding in skirts (hope they help someone) …

    Simpliest solution: I find I can quickly adjust my skirt by standing up on the pedals – it’s quick, requires no hands and is a fairly practiced moved from my childhood racing up and down the neighborhood streets. Try it – not only does it work, after awhile you will find you naturally do it to adjust the line of your skirt.

    Pin it down:
    With shorter A-line skirts I have found pinning a piece of the skirt (or tucking it under) to a headband worn around the thigh like a garterbelt to be helpful. (my headbands are actually cut from old tights so they fit perfectly!).

    Protect yourself and your skirt:
    If you are going to wear a long skirt get a skirt guard installed on your bike or make one if your local shop doesn’t carry them. Ride safe.

  3. mary

    skirt guards are super helpful for not getting all tangled up in your bike. they are really common in Europe and often come standard with a ladies’ bike. they can be difficult to find in the U.S., but one site seems to be advertising that they sell them….

    http://www.theurbanbicycle.com

  4. Pingback: The Bike Pittsburgh Blog Archives » Tips for Riding a Bicycle in a Dress

  5. Angela

    They actually make something just for this! It’s similar to what Alexandra says in the first comment (about pinning your skirt to a headband around your leg). It’s called a “skirt garter.” I have one tucked away in my bike bag and have been VERY happy I’ve had it on gusty (or even not-so-gusty) days.
    http://www.etsy.com/listing/73738947/skirt-garterclip-for-biking-your-color

  6. Laura

    I googled the term “how to ride a bike with a skirt” and found this post. I just had a crazy five mile ride to meet a friend. I was in a lightweight floor length tencel REI travel skirt and boy did that baby want to fly. I had to ride one-handed the whole way so I could hold the skirt down. Despite my efforts I was propositioned and had several guys in trucks rubberneck as I made my way as modestly as I could. I figure I’ll add bicycle shorts under my skirts and not worry about flapping in the future.

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  8. Pingback: Bike Pittsburgh | Tips for Riding a Bicycle in a Dress

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  10. Adrienne

    Wow. Just found a skirt guard gold mine on Etsy: the shop is called FrillRide (this is not spam, I promise – I’m a shiny freshly minted bike nerd). Thank you for this post! Long may it live.

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  12. MotorNow

    I find this post after searching skirt with motorcycle riding. It is an awesome post. I would only sit behind my friend and ride in a skirt no matter what. Thanks for the post.
    Once I have my own motorcycle (I don’t plan on it – I plan on a Vespa) then I will still be a skirt person. Not a modest one but with leggings and skirt because I LOVE skirts and I love skirts with leggings.

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