Fancy Pants bike Ride

Dress up for Bike Ride to Dawn at the Downs – Thursday, May 5, 2011

Photo Courtesy Marie Claire
Get up early to ride in style. Photo: Marie Claire

If an early morning at the track and even earlier morning on your bike sounds like fun to you then Bike to Dawn at the Downs tomorrow morning, Thursday May 5, is just for you!

Join the early-rising sprocket jockeys in their best Derby attire for a ride from Central Park in Old Louisville to Churchill Downs.

We’re not talking about spandex here. And this is no race. It’s for the Derby dame or dandy who likes the idea of riding in high style.

Meet at 6:45 a.m. at the southeast corner of Central Park (Fourth and Magnolia) and plan to leave the park by 7 sharp to arrive at the Downs by about 7:15 a.m.

Stay up all night or start that caffeine drip early!

Bicycling in your finery certainly is no new idea. Way back in the 1890s, when bikes were the rage and the absolute status symbol, men and women dressed in their finest threads to show on their wheels. National Geographic recently published Wheels of Change: How Women Rode the Bicycle to freedom (With a Few Flat Tires Along the Way), by Sue Macy. It’s loaded with great photos of women in all kinds of dresses. Many of the images are from print advertisements for bikes, cigarettes and other products of the day. Chivalrous gentlemen and winsome young women, all dressed to the nines,  are featured on the covers of bicycle catalogs.

Columbia Bike Ad
Dressing up on bikes is an old idea.

On Sept. 1, 1895, The Omaha Daily Bee published “Don’ts for Women Wheelers,” including, Don’t be a fright, Don’t carry a flask. Don’t wear a man’s cap. Don’t wear tight garters. Don’t stop at road houses. Don’t forget your tool bag. Don’t say, “feel my muscle.” Don’t wear loud-hued leggings. Don’t ask, “What do you think of my bloomers?” And, finally, don’t overdo things. Let cycling be a recreation, not a labor.

All sounds like perfectly good advice to me, but then I’m just a man.

Grace. Peace. Bicycle grease.

PS: Remember, every lane is a bike lane.
Share the road.

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Enjoy the ride home.
© Copyright, Kirk M. Kandle, MMXI
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