Thursday 8 December 2016

Paul Galvin: Cycling was once a stylish affair - but no longer

Published 20/06/2014 | 14:19

Kerry football star Paul Galvin
Kerry football star Paul Galvin

Cycling was once such a stylish affair. The men of The Rising swashbuckled about town in woollen 3-piece, tailored suits, neat hair, neater shirt collars, and neater again ties. Hell sometimes they even wore cravats. Yes they did. They rode High Nellys with straight backs and much propriety.

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Today cycling etiquette is a less classy affair. All grunt, no glamour. It’s a little less dangerous too considering those same men of The Rising cycled around dodging bullets and capture. Today we dodge potholes, doggies, pedestrians, road works, cars, buses, other cyclists, and whatever other hazard comes our way. Traffic lights. They would be another major hazard that cyclists mainly try to avoid. Or ignore.

Lycra has replaced the woollen suit and country roads have replaced the city streets as the preferred circuits. You must admit the Lycra makes hopping on a bike much less appealing. When the Lycra comes in neon colours it's a deadly combination. Then you throw in the cycling shoes that any cyclist worth his salt will slip on for a ride and the ankle socks and the shorts and it's a whole new ball game. It’s very hard to pull that unforgiving ensemble off.

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