Author Topic: Bike Travel and Visiting Dress Up Sites  (Read 1172 times)

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Offline NEIL FROM BROOKLINE

Bike Travel and Visiting Dress Up Sites
« on: March 08, 2014, 09:33:24 pm »
Hi everybody,
I just had a generalized thought about bike travel. Let us say you are traveling by bike and visiting national parks. If you have been camping out and are dressed in outdoorsy clothes, maybe have not showered for a few days, you will fit right in with your fellow travelers. But what if you are camping and grungy and visiting say cathedrals, palaces, and museums in European cities. It seems to me you might at least get dirty looks and perhaps might even not be admitted.  What types of experiences have people had? Are some environments or countries more or less tolerant of grungy bike tourists in potentially dressy locations?
Thanks,
Neil

Offline zonesystempro

Re: Bike Travel and Visiting Dress Up Sites
« Reply #1 on: March 09, 2014, 12:20:13 pm »
Why even take the chance of not getting accepted into the area you wish to see. Clean up first. Good personal hygiene should be an accepted rule of thumb when you are interacting with others in any situation. Have a good day.

Mike

Offline NEIL FROM BROOKLINE

Re: Bike Travel and Visiting Dress Up Sites
« Reply #2 on: March 10, 2014, 07:35:23 am »
Why even take the chance of not getting accepted into the area you wish to see. Clean up first. Good personal hygiene should be an accepted rule of thumb when you are interacting with others in any situation. Have a good day.
Mike
Hi Mike,
My concern is that when traveling I might be say stealth camping or the equivalent for periods of time and thus not have access to a shower. Or let's say I might bike in the morning and arrive at a destination mid-day without having had a chance to clean up. The choice may in the latter situation be one of seeing the site or proceeding to say a camp site with showers far ahead, thereby preventing me from visiting the tours attraction and defeating the purpose of riding to the site. Thanks!

Offline zzzz

Re: Bike Travel and Visiting Dress Up Sites
« Reply #3 on: March 10, 2014, 08:37:41 am »
If your clothes stink, these won't help, but if you stink, they're remarkably effective :

http://actionwipes.com/

I have a 20 mile ride into work with about 1300' of climbing and when I get here I'm less then 100% fresh. During the summer, a lot less. No shower here so the action wipes are all I use to clean up. Primarily, I work in a office enviroment and I'm sure somebody would comment if it was an issue so I'm sure they work.

Pete

Offline indyfabz

Re: Bike Travel and Visiting Dress Up Sites
« Reply #4 on: March 10, 2014, 09:17:33 am »
Every situation is likely going to be different. If you walk into the local museum in Dillion, MT or Montrose, CO in your riding clothes and smelling, I don't think the volunteers wokring there are going to care. Many of our group did just that in Chinook, MT while crossing the country. If you try to visit the cathederal at the Vatican, you probably will be turned away for the sole reason you are wearing shorts. At least that's how it used to be. In Italy last year, a group of us walked around both a monastery and a cathederal in our cycling clothes. No one cared.

Where will you be riding that this is a possible concern?

Offline RussSeaton

Re: Bike Travel and Visiting Dress Up Sites
« Reply #5 on: March 10, 2014, 02:54:11 pm »
As already mentioned, in more official churches, shorts and short skirts are not allowed.  Period.  It doesn't matter how you look or smell.  You are not allowed inside.  But most big visitor places in Europe have all kinds of people coming and going.  Your bike clothes will not stand out at all.  Dress up?  Whatever.  You probably should not be covered in mud, but other than that, who cares.

Offline dombrosk

Re: Bike Travel and Visiting Dress Up Sites
« Reply #6 on: March 12, 2014, 10:16:18 am »
"Are some environments or countries more or less tolerant of grungy bike tourists in potentially dressy locations?"

My experience is that in Germany folks are very accustomed to sport clothing.  Hiking is very embedded in German culture, and biking and nordic walking are also common today.  I'd have no concerns at all entering any 'tourist' destinations in bike gear.  For some restaurants, and events like opera, it would be best to clean up a bit, but you're less likely to run into that during a day's ride.

The Netherlands and the UK would also be places where I've felt little pressure to dress up.

Belgium, especially Brussels, tends towards the dressier side.  Italy is the place I've felt most inclined to want to present my best appearance.

A few things that I've adopted for European touring that might translate to any other place where you want to blend in:

--Keen leather bike shoes... they take SPD clips, are very comfortable for all day riding, and look like dress shoes.

--Monochrome bike shirts, especially the newer non-scratchy wool variety.  I've been astonished at how non-stinky wool is, and the range of temperature it's comfortable in.

--For a quick cover up, dark rain pants over bike short work well.

--Even in the U.S., I always make a point of taking off my bike sunglasses before entering any business.  That seems like simple politeness to me.

Hope this is useful.  Happy touring!




Offline tonythomson

Re: Bike Travel and Visiting Dress Up Sites
« Reply #7 on: March 12, 2014, 01:50:21 pm »
If you are going near any touristy sites you can almost guarantee that public toilet facilities will be available.  I get in there and have a good strip down wash, makes me feel better and as someone has already said you need to keep your own hygiene up as much as possible for your own health.

Over time I have met others who seem to think being really grubby is some kind of badge, but the reality is it often closes doors to you 'cos who wants a dirty scruffy individual as a guest?
Just starting to record my trips  www.tonystravels.com

Offline NEIL FROM BROOKLINE

Re: Bike Travel and Visiting Dress Up Sites
« Reply #8 on: March 12, 2014, 10:23:06 pm »
Hi everyone,
Thanks for your thoughts. I guess I will clean up first if I am going to visit St. Peter's in Rome (LOL).

Offline indyfabz

Re: Bike Travel and Visiting Dress Up Sites
« Reply #9 on: March 14, 2014, 01:10:58 pm »
Italy is the place I've felt most inclined to want to present my best appearance.

--For a quick cover up, dark rain pants over bike short work well.

--Even in the U.S., I always make a point of taking off my bike sunglasses before entering any business.  That seems like simple politeness to me.

We didn't enounter any friction in Italy last year when we would stop for coffee and pastires or lunch while out for day rides. Maybe thats was due to the fact that where we were (northeast), so many people cycle. Cyclists relaxing in cafes was a common site. (One Sunday we saw easily hundreds of other cyclists doing group rides during a 30 mile ride of our own.) But for generally going about town after the riding was done, I definitely avoided the shorts and t-shirt look.

When I toured in Andalucia over a decade ago it was during a time when you did not see native adults wearing shorts. It may still be that way today. If I stopped for a sit down lunch, I put on my black rain pants and a light sweater out of respect for the local custom.

The removing the sublasses thing is another very good point.

Offline tonythomson

Re: Bike Travel and Visiting Dress Up Sites
« Reply #10 on: March 14, 2014, 03:36:42 pm »
I doubt if you are going to have any problem wearing cycling clothes anywhere (different for women in some Muslim countries) the point I made is if you are dirty, smelly and downright disheveled then being on a bike does not not make it ok if you want to go in regular places and meet people. 
I remember crossing China 20 years ago and having a great time meeting locals - at one point I met a guy who just stank and was clearly filthy and he wondered why he wasn't getting to meet local people also.
Just starting to record my trips  www.tonystravels.com

Offline NEIL FROM BROOKLINE

Re: Bike Travel and Visiting Dress Up Sites
« Reply #11 on: March 15, 2014, 11:11:17 pm »
Thanks again for the responses. This is all great information.