Re: My dad gets himself a bike.
Posted by wetimer on October 08, 2021 at 10:31:32
In Reply to: My dad gets himself a bike. posted by Alfie on September 06, 2021 at 14:59:29:
Thanks for the story. I enjoyed reading it.
However, I feel the need to protest at the slightly disparaging attitude that you and your Mum seem to have towards your Dad's new hobby and clothes.
I am quite similar to your own father. I'm in my mid-40s, I have a couple of children (a bit younger than you) and I'm into cycling too. The difference in my case is that I've been into cycling ever since I was a child. I'm not one of those people who casually laugh off a 100 mile weekender, but I'm quite happy cycling 20-30 miles a few times a week. I have a decent bike (cost about £1,500) and loads of cycling kit, which I've built up bit by bit over the years. I'm in reasonable shape. I'm not overweight, but I'm no kind of elite athlete either.
I remember the first time I tried on a pair of lycra cycling shorts. It was a revelation! I was in my early 20s. Up until that time I had only really cycled a few miles at a time but at that point, I started cycling about 10 miles each way on my daily commute. I started to find that the clothes I was wearing weren't really suitable. In particular, I was starting to suffer from some rubbing and chafing from my underwear. I read that the tightness of cycling clothing helps with that, so I decided to give it a go. Frankly, as soon as I pulled up those first pair of lycra shorts, I had an instant erection!
I remember thinking "how can anyone go out in public like this?" but I was determined to try, anyway. Initially, I would also put on loose shorts over the lycra shorts, in case anyone I knew saw me... I was so self conscious. Then, I would cycle about a mile and take the loose shorts off. It felt so freeing to do that. Almost like cycling naked, I guess! Then I would put the loose shorts back on about a mile before I reached my destination. Once I'd worn lycra shorts for the first few times, I was able to control the instant erection thing. I still find lycra to be a turn on (especially when wet), but I can disambiguate between wearing it for its functional value, and wearing it for sexy fun.
I cycled like this, putting on and removing loose shorts over the top, for years, until I realised that I was surrounded on the roads by plenty cyclists who only wore the gear. Eventually, I built up my self confidence and now, I wouldn't dream of putting shorts on over the top. In fact, I look at people who do that and actually think they look a bit daft.
The thing is, mostly you can't see the shapes of people's dicks beneath the lycra, because they're sort of semi-hidden behind the padded bit, and (unless its pouring) anyway, who gets an erection when they are exercising hard?
Here's the thing though: Cycling gear looks good when you're on a bike. It makes you feel the part too, and functionally, they're the the best thing going. It dries out from rain or sweat quickly. They don't flap about in the wind either. And frankly, someone wearing the right kit for the right job looks good. Not so much if you're hanging about in your kitchen, but it really is the best thing for cycling in, so give your Dad a break.
Lycra, cycling and wetlook are also a great combination of hobbies. I frequently cycle out into the countryside when the weather is warm, take a dip in a river (fully clothed, in lycra, of course) then get back on my bike. Yes, I might get a bit "excited" for a minute or two, but it doesn't last, and by the time I'm back home my kit is always complete dry (apart from the padded bit of the shorts, which acts like a sponge!)
I shoud mention that I have had that experience where I come downstairs in my cycling kit and my family aren't expecting it and it's funny. I get called a tadpole, or a legoman sometimes, by my wife! My children don't even think twice about my gear though. Your Dad shouldn't have to compromise on looking and feeling the part, and getting the best from the kit because you or your mum are embarrased FOR him!
Reading your story again, I really feel bad for your Dad, with your judge-y comment "Dad didn’t use his bike for the next few days but when he did again he appeared in the lycra again, but with a pair of black gym shorts worn on top. A much better and more modest look." It really sounds like you shamed him when you could have supported him. I hope he builds up the confidence to get back out on his bike in the gear which HE paid for and HE chose to wear.
Maybe you could say something to him to help? Or maybe you could try expanding your own horizons? Buy some kit of your own, experience how great it feels, and then the two of you can go cycling together in your own mini-peleton!