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Why do some hate Lycra?

An interesting letter written by Geoff Owen of Wembley was published in the Post, February 27, 2010 questioning the apparent hatred of “Lycra wearing” cyclists, or more correctly the use of the word “Lycra” to demean a group of people.  I thought Mr Owen’s letter was constructive so I penned the following reply which I have sent into the The Post.

Dear Editor

I would like to comment in support of the views expressed by Geoff Owen, “Ah, the simple joys of wearing lycra” published in the Post, February 27, 2010.

I also wonder about the “hatred” that seems to be held against a fabric with the brand name of Lycra, a fabric by the way not generally used in cycling clothing (well none of my jerseys contain it) and my research suggests it is not used in cycling clothing at all; rather it is more common in underwear and female swimsuits. Maybe these letter writers are getting flustered by lovely ladies at the beach wearing Lycra (or spandex)?

Humour aside I think we forget that cyclists are legitimate users of the road, that they are people, mums and dads, brothers and sisters, sons and daughters and they are out there commuting, riding for recreation, carrying out errands and so on, all in a healthily and environmentally friendly manner, whilst taking another car off the road and reducing the congestion and environmental impact for all users.

Sure some cyclists break the law and do stupid things, but gee whiz, has any of these Lycra “haters” not done the same? More so, have they not done the same whilst behind the wheel of a car or truck? Which is really worst? The cyclist doing something stupid or the motorist?

I ask those Lycra “haters” a simple question? How many cyclists killed or injured a pedestrian or motorist or vehicle passenger in 2009? How many motorists killed or seriously injured a pedestrian or a motorist or other vehicle occupant in 2009?  What is the worst a cyclist can do you to you? Scratch your car’s paint? What is the worst you can do to them? Kill them; destroy their families, leave children without a mum or dad. Which is worse? Where should your anger and cries for change for the better be really directed?

You know the next set of traffic lights is likely to hold you up more than myself on my bicycle (oh my god, in my cycling clothes too) and if you are getting that frustrated, maybe you need to take up walking or cycling and chill out. All that pent up frustration can’t be good for you. I know that I now drive better since taking up cycling and I drive with a much more relaxed frame of mind … maybe you could try it?

So please lets get along and share the road together and respectfully. Can it be that hard?

Kindest regards

8 Responses to Why do some hate Lycra?

  1. Fairy February 26, 2010 at 5:35 AM #

    Good work Andrew.

  2. Fairy February 26, 2010 at 1:35 PM #

    Good work Andrew.

  3. Aushiker February 26, 2010 at 5:37 AM #

    Thanks.

  4. Aushiker February 26, 2010 at 1:37 PM #

    Thanks.

  5. Hayduke February 26, 2010 at 9:23 PM #

    The post above equates “Lycra haters” with motorists.

    I am not a motorist, I do not drive any motorized vehicle. I have been a daily bicycle commuter for the past 40 years.

    Advertising-emblazened specialized bicycle clothing is absurd. It bows to the cult of personality. It destroys the inherent simplicity and thrift of bicycling. It is unnecessary and silly looking.

    “Beware of all enterprises that require new clothes.” Henry David Thoreau

  6. Hayduke February 27, 2010 at 5:23 AM #

    The post above equates “Lycra haters” with motorists.

    I am not a motorist, I do not drive any motorized vehicle. I have been a daily bicycle commuter for the past 40 years.

    Advertising-emblazened specialized bicycle clothing is absurd. It bows to the cult of personality. It destroys the inherent simplicity and thrift of bicycling. It is unnecessary and silly looking.

    “Beware of all enterprises that require new clothes.” Henry David Thoreau

  7. jet February 28, 2010 at 8:56 AM #

    it’s true it does equate ‘lycra haters’ to motorists but I know there are alot of casual bike commuters out there who don’t think much of people clad in the garb of at least 3 different defunct pro cycling teams overtaking on blind corners, cutting corners through the train station at 30kmh in peak hour… alot of people tell motorists to chill out but I think that call could also be made to fellow cyclists!

  8. jet February 28, 2010 at 4:56 PM #

    it’s true it does equate ‘lycra haters’ to motorists but I know there are alot of casual bike commuters out there who don’t think much of people clad in the garb of at least 3 different defunct pro cycling teams overtaking on blind corners, cutting corners through the train station at 30kmh in peak hour… alot of people tell motorists to chill out but I think that call could also be made to fellow cyclists!

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