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Tour de Fashion

It felt ridiculous, but when it comes to bike attire, that seems to be de rigueur. I don’t go that fast or for that long where I need to change again, so prefer to make my normal outfit cycle friendly. Combining work clothes with bike clothes is a daily dilemma.

I’m not alone. With recent news that the government is to give 12 English towns* £100 million to increase the number of cyclists, it was reported that most journeys are under 2 miles and many people could commute. Back in the smoke, Transport for London wants to have a Paris-style bike scheme modelled on Velib, with 20,000 hire-by-the-hour bikes in London. With Ruth Kelly at the helm, commuting cycling is set to explode all over the country.

Diesel have unwittingly become one of the first to cash in on the bike boom. Their festival ROSKILDE jean is waterproof, not intended to be but great for cycling.

However I’m more enamoured with a company called Dashing Tweeds, who make their own incredible fabric designed for road use. The weave contains LUMATWILL, a fibre that glows when it hits light. Founder Guy Hill met me for a coffee in his own invention, a 3 piece tweed suit, with built in trouser clips and specially adapted shoulders for mobility. It really was superb and has spurred me on to save up for a glow-in-the-headlights, tweed cape. See for yourself www.dashingtweeds.com

People from the wealthiest A, B and C1 social categories are most likely to own bicycles and to use them for local trips (Mintel 1995) and cycling clothing is reported to generate a whopping 43% margin, so it’s all for the taking! After my pantaloon effort yesterday, I sincerely hope that we see more seasonal styles interpreted for 2 wheels. Non-sporty clothing for non-sporty cyclists - it could and should be the next big thing.

*Bristol,York, Stoke, Blackpool, Cambridge, Chester, Colchester, Leighton Buzzard, Southend, Shrewsbury, Southport and Woking

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