woman riding a bike while wearing a skirt and carrying a red umbrella

Who says you can't look good while riding a bike? (Photo: Richard Masoner / Cyclelicious/flickr)

I'm a big believer that you can dress chicly and ride a bike too. Women in Europe have been hip to the idea for years, and as more Americans bike commute and give up their cars, more American women are choosing cycling over driving. 

And plenty of those women aren't into the idea of donning spandex and other cycling-specific clothing to go to work (or out to the movies, or to meet friends for coffee) on their bikes. And while wearing pants is a simple solution, who wants to be limited to wearing pants all the time? 

But if you wear a skirt or dress that's above the knee, it is likely that you might end up exposing your undergarments — unless you do something about it. Here are some solutions to that debacle (including the incredibly innovative one first on the list).

Use Penny in Yo' Pants: This creative idea comes from two cycling ladies who crowdsourced a solution to bike riding in a skirt at Cyclehack Glasgow and came up with this: You simply need a penny (or other piece of change) and an elastic band. Simply push the penny through two layers of your skirt, then secure with an elastic band. The team is working on an actual product that will work a bit better than the penny and elastic band (and prevent puckering) that will be available for purchase. 

Penny In Yo Pants from Johanna Holtan on Vimeo

Tuck the skirt under your legs: This only works for full skirts, of course, but I have used it many times. Simply pull all the skirt material forward, climb on your bike seat, then tuck the extra fabric under your butt, securing it over the seat. It forms a pair of pants, essentially.

Wear leggings: It won't really matter what your skirt is doing if you wear a pair of leggings underneath. If it's warm, you can wear shorter, 3/4 length leggings (or even above-the-knee bike shorts). And if you don't want to wear the leggings all day, you can always pop into the bathroom and take them off and put them back on later. 

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