Theory of Dressing

A quick note to a friend going on her first cycle tour describing the theory behind minimal-ish kit:

Obviously, your shorts, short sleeve top, socks, (x2) +shoes riding combo are your base outfits during the day. In the AM you probably start out with the arm and leg warmers on, and maybe the rain jacket. If it is or gets colder, you put on the hat, gloves and the insulating layer instead of the rain jacket. If it gets even colder you put the rain jacket back on and the rain pants and rain booties, even if it’s not raining. That’s your warmest setup and, if you’re still cold while pedaling on rolling terrain, then it’s too cold to ride, call it a day!

If you feel like you’re in a situation that calls for a bit of modesty during the day, you pull on your presentable shorts or your presentable trousers.

At the end of the day and off the bike, you wear your underwear, shorts or pants, shoes, and your t-shirt if just lounging around, the presentable stuff if you are out and about. You’ll sleep in your t-shirt. If you need to wear a jacket while out at night, it’ll be your rain jacket. Insulating layer, and hat, too, if it’s cold. Thus, it’s nice if those aren’t overly techy in their look.

While at the hostal, you’ll wash your riding kit from that day while in the shower or in the sink with a bit of soap. The kind of soap doesn’t matter, dish soap is great, and then lay it flat on a towel and roll the towel very tight to pre-dry it. Hang it, and it’ll be dry in the AM. If it’s not, you’ll wear the other kit.

Flip flops for showers and for hanging around if it’s warm.

Make sense?

5 thoughts on “Theory of Dressing

  1. i’ve finally recognized that i feel strongly that there shouldn’t be (x2) anything. if any clothes are playing the same role they can be left behind. the main reason is obviously stuff reduction, but there are a few accompanying reasons that push me over the edge. i’m really picky about my chamois and i used to think it’d be a good idea to bring two so i’d have a choice. but so long as they’re different i inevitably develop strong feelings about which i like more and then end up washing that one at night every chance i get and never reach for the second. hardly anything more aggravating than toting something around that doesn’t get sufficient use. same thing happens with other gear, it’s just even less important that i wash it every chance i get. so what ends up happening is that the only time i really wish i had a kit double is if i’m camping somewhere without water, having utterly soiled my clothes. and that just doesn’t happen enough on most tours to warrant double packing. more often you have sporadic nights at hostels or motels, camping with water sources to wash and places to dry, and when the blue moon wish for an extra kit comes you saddle up dirty and forget your woes by mid-morning. in my mind it’s far and away more important to bring an actual outfit. not lower legs that you can zip onto your dorky travel shorts but an outfit that you’d pick to go out in at home.

  2. Joe, thanks! This makes a lot of sense and will lighten the load considerably. It’s also good to see the pugsley is up and riding again. Keep riding.

  3. Two T’s, one pair shorts, one underwear, three pair socks, one long sleeve, one long underwear, warm jacket/ and or rain jacket, hat, maybe hat and gloves, some stuff seasonally dependent. Three of some things, two of others, one of many, and a pile of stuff at home that didn’t make the cut. Sounds about right. Life is better without laundry.

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