Overcoming my dress and bike dilemma – Action Bicycle Club

Overcoming my dress and bike dilemma

Overcoming my dress and bike dilemma
March 17, 2017 Charlotte Bebbington

You lost me at “I don’t bike”

Commuter cycling for the modern woman
A blog series by Charlotte

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#4 Overcoming my dress and bike dilemma

Summer is coming to a close and as I look through my wardrobe, there were plenty of dresses that went unworn this year. When I lived in Shanghai, my summer wardrobe had many petite cotton dresses to take on the sweltering heat. Christchurch’s climate is cold comparatively and being thin blooded, I find myself wearing more layers than I’m used to. Nonetheless on odd occasions where there is a breeze and the mercury high, I take advantage of those perfect days for a bike ride to wear some of those dresses that line my wardrobe.

Making the most of a balmy Canterbury day


Personally, shorter knee length dresses with less material to tuck under your bum gets my self consciousness roiling. I’ll find myself, on those odd bike occasions wearing gym shorts under the skirt, asking beau if  ‘there is anything to see’ or riding with one hand to ‘keep everything in place’

I look to my fellow female riders for tips and am lucky to find one or two for inspiration. At the store, women too ask me how to ride effortlessly with a dress or skirt. Those from Europe tell me “It’s not an issue, every lady does it so no one bats an eyelash.”


Christchurch, if you haven’t already experienced, is an amazing city for biking with so much potential to rival Copenhagen or Amsterdam. It troubles me that, as an urban cyclist I slip into jeans more often than I should. That fluro vests and gym tights have become a suppression of femininity. I can’t help but feel that the less confident or more fashion conscious would rather stay at home than struggle with how to incorporate a bicycle into their life.

As I trawl Instagram for inspiration of beautiful woman and their bikes I have resigned to carrying a clothes peg in my handbag. As we see the summer out catch me riding around Christchurch with a peg clipping the front and back of my skirt together. And as the winter draws in we can all rejoice with tights and pants. Until next Summer!

What’s your favourite outfit when riding your bike and how do you overcome the dress and bike dilemma?

Happy Cycling!

Feature photo credit: www.threechairs.co.nz


Change doesn’t happen overnight and Christchurch has come a long way. This blog series is an exploration of that change as we gain confidence, why fashion doesn’t need to compromise and our personal dedication to cycle commuting in Christchurch.

Charlotte is a Creative Wheel at Action Bicycle Club – She believes bikes are like handbags. A woman can never have too many. She enjoys bringing the good lookingness out from the cycling community of Christchurch.

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