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What makes people overdress the way they do? Rant, kinda.(34 posts)

What makes people overdress the way they do? Rant, kinda.boy nigel
Jun 17, 2001 10:37 AM

I've seen some crazy stuff going on out there regarding obscene overdressing when cycling.

First case in point: Yesterday, my wife and I were casually strolling through Central Park in NYC. Now, we were walking slowly (due to the oppressive humidity--86F and VERY humid), and were dressed in loose t-shirts, shorts, and sandals (though not matching!). Along comes this guy on a beautiful top-line, black Colnago carbon fiber bike (C-40?). He looked racer-fit, and had proper cycling attire on--good-quality stuff, too--except for a windbreaker with full sleeves. Why would a guy like that don a ridiculous jacket like that on such a grey, humid day in the city? We were soaked almost to the skin just WALKING slowly (granted, we walked about 7 miles around the park and the city, but were sweating immediately once we started).

Second case in point: Another dude passes us (same park, same day) a few minutes later. Very sharp bike (didn't get the brand, since he flew by us), in-shape rider (clearly, by the speed he was going), but the guy has TIGHTS on. Again, folks, it's 86F with high city humidity (nasty and thick). WHY would someone wear TIGHTS that they'd probably wear in the WINTERTIME when it's in the 20s outside?

Anyone out there do this? If so, I'd really like to know what goes through your mind when dressing that day. It seems completely ridiculous and non-sensical to me. Going out to ride hard on such an oppressive day (no problem with that, of course) in WINTER gear! What gives? Maybe I'm just not understanding something, but I doubt it--seems like horrible dress sense to me.

Now, I'm generally one of the first ones of the season to say good-bye to legwarmers when the temp's just warm enough for shorts--I'm very warm-blooded, and almost never get cold, especially my legs. I've seen the pros in Europe riding in shorts in the cold spring classics--obviously, they're comfortable enough, or they wouldn't do it. I'm the same way, but I can't see how anyone out there could've tolerated tights or a windbreaker when the temp feels like 95F in the humidity. I can easier see someone feeling cold (underdressing) when exercising (heating up) than overheating before they even leave the house. Can people's internal thermostats vary THAT widely?!

What makes people overdress the way do? I've also seen people on fine, spring days (60F) in (literally) FULL winter gear (warm jacket, long-fingered gloves, booties, tights). Makes me laugh, but also takes away a bit of my faith in humanity at times.

Do tell. Thanks, and sorry for the ranting. Just figured I'd see if I was completely alone on this one.

Cheers, and cool, fast rides to all.
takes all kindsDog
Jun 17, 2001 10:58 AM
There are now over 6 billion people on the planet, many of whom might have different experiences, attitudes, beliefs, etc. Good chance that they won't act as we do, don't you think?

Hey, I can be sweating while my wife is cold. I hate cold, wet weather. I see vast variance in dress even in my microcosm of Fresno, Ca. Multiply that by millions and millions, I'd be you can see anything.

Don't even try to figure this out, much less rant about it. It just is.

Okay, okay. :) Just trying to get responses from...boy nigel
Jun 17, 2001 11:10 AM
...the (seemingly) overdressing masses. I know and accept (though sometimes quite begrudgingly) that everyone's different. Some just seem TOO different, if you know what I mean, and I can't help but to wonder what goes on in their heads.
Okay, okay. :) Just trying to get responses from...Jerry Gardner
Jun 18, 2001 10:38 AM
Some just seem TOO different, if you know what I mean, and I can't help but to wonder what goes on in their heads.

Why should that matter? What if you saw someone riding in hot weather in a wool jersey and tights? So what.

As for some people seeming TOO different, that's probably what the Nazis thought of the jews.
Jeez Jerry, Nigel's a Nazi?mike mcmahon
Jun 18, 2001 10:54 AM
I don't think his message said anything about "eliminating" cyclists he believes to be overdressed. I understand your point, but you may be overstating it a bit with the reference to Nazis and Jews. IMHO.

Thanks, Mike, for stepping up.boy nigel
Jun 18, 2001 11:07 AM
I did note that response, but figured I'd give him his due. I'm not for exterminating these cyclists at all (Well, maybe SOME of them ;)), but again: NYC humidity, hottest part of the day in the summer, and riding a bike vigorously with the same tights you'd wear in the winter, or a plastic windbreaker zipped up? Some people are just plain stupid to me.

Cheers, mate.
Dohgrz mnky
Jun 18, 2001 11:29 AM
Well, I bet if you stopped and asked those same people why they were so "over dressed" you'd pretty much find that they aren't over dressed, but just comfortable. Unless maybe they're trying to cut weight for wrestling season.....

My wife likes it cool, very cool - when we start an organized century you will see her in just shorts and a sleveless jersey (maybe some arm warmers for just a bit) and then you'll see other people with just about every bit of cold weather cycling gear. They ask her if she isn't just a bit cold - she wonders why they're not over heating. it comes down to conditioning, circulation, exertion, % body fat, etc.

Bottom line: everyone is a bit different.
Jun 18, 2001 11:41 AM
"Some people are just plain stupid to me."

Now there's an understatement.

Problem is, who's to say which ones?

Maybe...grz mnky
Jun 18, 2001 12:05 PM's the ones with myopia. ;-)
Thanks, Mike, for stepping up.Jerry Gardner
Jun 18, 2001 12:29 PM
but again: NYC humidity, hottest part of the day in the summer, and riding a bike vigorously with the same tights you'd wear in the winter, or a plastic windbreaker zipped up? Some people are just plain stupid to me.

From your response, it seems like people who overdress genuinely bother you. It seems to me that no matter how overdressed someone is, that's their choice and I can't see how that could affect you in any way. You should be more tolerant.

Dressing lightly, I think you'll find, is a modern trend. Go back 100 years and you'll find people wore wool full-length bathing suits to the beach, wool suits with vests in the summer, etc. Did you ever see John Wayne in a cowboy movie wearing shorts, a tanktop, and sandles?

Do you find people who live in desert areas, such as the middle-east, overdressed? They typically wear loose-fitting full length cotton garb that covers almost every square inch of skin surface.
Chances are, you won't get any.look271
Jun 18, 2001 4:55 PM
Because, to them, they're not "overdressed". What is comfortable to you /me is not so for many others. Leave it alone. It'll give you headaches. :-)
better to overdress than to underdressHank
Jun 17, 2001 11:33 AM
even on vaguely warm days, I often start out with leg and arm warmers - then take them off after fifteen minutes or so of warm up. It's good to keep on the warm side, helps to prevent injury. Overdressing for racing can be a killer, though - I often err on the cool side - arm warmers and gloves at the most, even on cold days - maybe some vaseline or something on the legs.
re: What makes people overdress the way they do? Rant, kinda.Biff
Jun 17, 2001 11:47 AM
Back in the mid-late 80's, when I was heavily into running, they introduced running tights for the first time. Not only did they introduce running tights, they introduced super-obnoxious multicolored running tights. I remember seeing guys on 90 degree days with such tights on, but NO SHIRT. Does that make any sense?

Oh well, it all serves a purpose: so that we can watch such people and wonder.
Pro's and Spring Classics and ShortsSimpleGreen
Jun 17, 2001 1:37 PM
These guys have all sorts of Oils put on their legs to keep their muscles warm and to protect against wind and rain during races. When they train, however, they are layered like anyone else or even more so due to their low body fat levels.

Do what you need to do!

Its not the over-dressing that's obscene..but the under-dressingKristin
Jun 17, 2001 2:33 PM
I say, its always easier to take stuff off than not have it when you need it. Just be careful how much you take off! Riders were being quite liberal with clothing yesterday. I can't tell you how many bare chests I saw. Not to mention BARE SKULLS!! This bugs me to no end, though there's probably not much in there to protect.

Perhaps the tighted cyclist guy is a super model who can't afford to scrape up those beautiful legs! May be he's just vain? May be the weather man was grotesquely off base that morning?
careful, Kristin, with that 'bare chest' talkDog
Jun 17, 2001 2:38 PM
I suppose you meant men, though, huh? :-)

not if you are on spanish rivieracyclopathic
Jun 17, 2001 8:20 PM
those girls clearly saving some daugh buying bottom piece only
i know...i want to start riding with kristin :)jayz
Jun 18, 2001 5:22 AM
appearently, i have the wrong riding partners !!!!!
Jun 17, 2001 3:28 PM
lycra clothes should not be made in sizes larger than L
Mr. Williams? Is that you??Kristin
Jun 17, 2001 7:17 PM
Nice of you to drop by our humble board. Boo Hoo! I still buy XL sometimes, does that mean I should stop riding?? :-(

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You won't be where you're going till you get there!
Fashion Rule #1PaulCL
Jun 17, 2001 7:26 PM
#1. Dress for your body size. If you weigh 300lbs, DON'T wear lycra.

...sorry..this is a personal pet peeve. A lot of women in my workout club, and to a lesser extent, some men, seem to have the need to make a fashion statement instead of working out. Therefore, I see a lot of VERY heavy people in skin tight lycra, with perfect hair and makeup afraid to break into a sweat. I'm no Adonis (ain't even close) but jeez! Lycra in size XXXL. If you come to a workout club - workout, don't pose! OK, end of rant.UGH!
preparing for heat stress?cyclopathic
Jun 17, 2001 8:17 PM
just guessing
Don't know whether this has anything to do with your sighting,bill
Jun 17, 2001 9:05 PM
but a pro told me that he would overdress deliberately on his recovery days. That way he would know when he was working too hard.
Pro's wear leg warmers or tights training in warm weather.Allen D.
Jun 17, 2001 10:41 PM
Have you ever seen a "rest day" in the Tour de France? Some are wearing more than shorts, even on a warm day. They over-dress for recovery, or training effect.
re: What makes people overdress the way they do? Rant, kinda.giovanni
Jun 17, 2001 11:19 PM
Cold weather bothers me, hot weather doesn't. 60 degrees F is cold for me. People are different and their internal thermostats do vary greatly. There are pro cyclists who have stated that they perform better when the weather is cooler, while other pros state that they ride better in warmer weather. Everyone is different, and everyone has different reasons for riding, for riding what they do, and for wearing what they do. My motto-Whatever works for you and makes you happy. Please place me in the dress warmly for comfort, not the not the most proper cycling attire, not the most top of the line bike, enjoy climbing hills, ride for fun not race, just out to enjoy una bella giornata, cyclist category. Arrivederci.
re: What makes people overdress the way they do? Rant, kinda.Dutchy
Jun 18, 2001 12:49 AM
This topic reminds me of this guy i saw last summer. No matter how hot it was he would always wear a long sleeve top. This is on days when it was 35ºC/(90+F?) and above, and he was riding up a 9º climb for 25 mins, while I'm wearing my jersey wide open to my belly button, drinking huge amounts of water. The guy wasn't an athlete or pro. Just a regular joe on his touring MTB. He road like this all summer. The heat here is VERY dry, virtually no humidity.
Maybe he just like to sweat!
re: What makes people overdress the way they do? Rant, kinda.The Lone Cyclist
Jun 18, 2001 8:58 AM
Here in Arizona approaching 110's F, you will see me in a long sleeve white loose jersey...zipped up to cover the back of my neck. It keeps the sun from directly baking my skin...the air packets in loose jersey gives insulation keeping me comfortable.

Look at the people in the deserts of the Middle East where it is very hot...they wear long, layered clothing to keep themselves comfortable.

I am The Lone Cyclist.
overdress better than un(der)-dress..vram
Jun 18, 2001 1:08 AM
The folks you saw at central park may have started biking at 7:00am when it is quite cool outside even on a summer day. Four hours into the ride it is 80F--now if you didn't wear a arm/leg warmer you have no choice but to bike in your tights. Windbreakers made specifically for cycling can be easily compressed and stashed in the jersey pocket. So I don't know why this guy would be cycling with a jacket. Those plastic things are damn good at giving you a sauna during winter, so I can't imagine what it must be like in summer.

I have done a couple of centuries during summer--the rides started out at 8:00am at it was chilly. I would rather have an arm/leg warmer on than shiver through the first hour. In winter too, I am invariably overdressed. But I would rather have that than freeze like some of my club-mates. I come from real tropical climes where 86F is the average temp.
It was 5:00 PM when I saw these clowns...boy nigel
Jun 18, 2001 10:50 AM
I'm pretty sure they didn't start out at 7:00 AM. If they DID, they could've simply ridden home to change into something more realistic. Plus, even at 7:00 AM the other day, it wasn't jacket/tights weather. Too warm and SO humid.

Not defending, just stating the facts.

I understand that some people wear warmer stuff to train in when in certain climes. These people couldn't have been going for this. The park was filled with people in shorts/t-shirts (and less), and there were mobs of folks in bikinis, sunning themselves on the lawns (or on rollerblades). Someone mentioned the Middle East folks; I understand that view, but they're also not out exercising vigorously in the hottest part of the day! They also have no choice: if they wore any less clothing, they'd simply bake or die in the desert sun.

End of rant. I guess I just have to realize that people do what they want to do--fair enough. I was looking for answers, and got a few, though. Thanks.

re: What makes people overdress the way they do? Rant, kinda.Jerry Gardner
Jun 18, 2001 10:45 AM
I live in Northen California, where it's often 95-105 during summer afternoons, although with 10% humidity.

I wear light colored long-sleeve jerseys every time I go out on my bike. The long sleeves keep the direct sun off me and the fabric wicks away the sweat and actually keeps me cooler than I would be with bare arms.

Besides, have you ever seen a desert-dwelling Arab in shorts and a tank top?
Probably TexansLazy
Jun 18, 2001 11:01 AM
Sheesh, settle down. I was only kidding! :-D

Seriously though, I don't get it either. I find that in hot weather the wind on my arms/legs will do a better job of wicking sweat and cooling me off than long sleeves or tights.

On another silly topic, have you ever seen a desert dwelling Arab riding along on a road bike at 20 or so MPH? I haven't, but I bet all those robes would get ripped to shreds in the chain rings and cassettes. How fat a tire do you need to ride in the sand effectively? Do they make tires with sand paddles on them?
Jun 18, 2001 12:23 PM
...I have. Seriously! Well, wasn't in the Arab desert, and he was going closer to 14MPH. But on a steamy day in Chicagoland, I passed a grey haired Arab in full garb (turbin, robes, full set of wiskers, etc...) riding on a cruiser with the seat set pathetically too low. He looked like he was enjoying himself though, and wasn't hyperventalating. I couldn't resist the urge and chuckled--forgive me, I'm flawed. Then I reminded myself to update my first aid certification. :-)
Actually...mike mcmahon
Jun 18, 2001 12:30 PM
A few years ago, I did a couple of races with a guy who wore a turban during races and also wore a very thick beard. He put his helmet on top of the turban and, from what I could see, no part of his helmet was actually touching his head. One of the races was taking place on a hot day in the high desert of southern California. I thought for sure the guy would die in the heat with between the turban and the beard, but he smoked me. He was also strong in the other races where I saw him.
Modesty. Some people are ashamed of their physiques.9WorCP
Jun 19, 2001 7:46 PM
And, unfortunately, some are not.