coach levi in cycling clothes

Every time I take up a new sport, I end up asking myself, “now how do I get dressed for this?”

Some sports are simple. Like swimming. Some sports are more complicated. Ice hockey, for example.

Cycling isn’t too complex, but there’s a lot of gear, and a few cardinal rules you need to know to maximize your enjoyment.

So, I present, how to get dressed for a bike ride, an instructional post for complete beginners.


Step-by-Step Instructions to Get Dressed

Follow these simple steps and you’ll soon be dressed and ready to go for a ride!

1. Get undressed

Putting your cycling kit on on top of your regular clothes wouldn’t work very well, so start by getting undressed. Totally undressed.

2. Apply sunscreen (if applicable)

If you’ll be out in the bright mid-day sun for a long time, I suggest applying sunscreen to your face, neck, ears, arms, and legs. Don’t worry – you’ll sweat most of it off and still end up with telltale cyclist tan lines.

3. Apply chamois cream

The most important item for your long rides. Take a good two-finger scoop of this (I’m quite partial to Enzo’s Buttonhole) and apply it to your nether regions. Wipe the residue onto your chamois.

Don’t lick your fingers, no matter how good that peppermint and menthol scent is.

4. Bib shorts

Slip into your bib shorts, one leg at a time. (Jumping into them both legs at the same time is an advanced maneuver and is not suggested.)

5. Sports bra (if applicable)

If you’re a woman who wears a sports bra, it’s a good time to put that on. (If you’re a man who wears a sports bra, put it on last, it’s much funnier that way.)

6. HRM strap

If you’re one to wear a heart rate monitor, put that chest strap on now so it sits against your bare skin. Don’t forget to lick it first to improve conductivity!

7. Undershirt

If you believe the whole “a technical undershirt will keep you cooler than no undershirt” sales pitch, put that expensive undershirt on now.

8. Bib shorts straps

Finally, you can pull the bib straps over your shoulders and adjust for comfort.

9. Jersey

Put your jersey on and load up the pockets with essential supplies like individual syrup packets and gummy candies (err… energy gels and blocks.)

10. Socks

Find a fresh pair of matching socks and pull those on. (Remember that fellow cyclists will judge you based on sock style and length.)

11. Sweat band

If your body produces a disgustingly high amount of sweat, with 90% of that coming from your forehead region, I highly suggest wearing a sweat band or skull cap to keep that sweat out of your eyes. (You’ll need your vision to check out other cyclists’ sock selection.)

12. Helmet

Always wear your helmet! Safety first! (Or, twelfth.)

13. Sunglasses

The sweat band will only protect your eyes from sweat. Protect your eyes from rocks, bugs, and blinding sunlight with sunglasses. Or, stick them in your helmet vents for safekeeping.

14. Gloves

If your handlebar tape is old and ratty, or you value the skin on your palms, put your gloves on now.

15. Shoes

Finally, get those shoes on and cinched tight.

And you are ready!


Rules to Live By

Always remember…

Sunscreen before chamois cream.

This one is self-explanatory.

Bib straps go under your jersey.

If you choose bib shorts instead of regular shorts, as I recommend, keep the straps under your jersey.

Don’t wear underwear with cycling shorts.

The seams, chafing issues, it’s not a pleasant outcome.

Plus, where exactly would you apply chamois cream?


Watch Me and Follow Along!

Watch me get dressed for a bike ride:

[If there is enough interest, I’ll film a how-to video of how to get dressed for a ride, starring Coach Levi!]


Now for the important part, get out and ride!

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