Thanks to the massive power outages across New York City, some of our editors have been using their trusty two-wheelers (and their own two legs) to get around the city, and in some cases, between boroughs. We struggled with wardrobe malfunctions, bike grease, and pedestrian-dodging—not to mention sore rear ends—but overall, the experience was far superior than waiting in traffic for hours on end (or walking).
So we thought: Who does this sort of thing every day, and with a stylish flair to boot? Why, that would be New York designer Lela Rose, who insiders know not only designs serious chic womenswear, but also rides her dazzling trike (that’s right, a trike!) around the city streets pretty much daily. We asked Rose for her best tips on how to cycle in a busy city—any city!—while still looking stylish and work-appropriate. Here are her seven best:
1. Embrace Bungee Cords: “Get a few and keep them in your basket. I can’t tell you how many times these have come in handy when I’m trying to carry extra things on the bike.”
2. On Heels: “Wear wedges when you need to wear a heel. It’s much easier on the bike than heels.”
3. How to Stay Fresh: “Carry extra deodorant with you if you feel icky—at least you have hot water to shower in when you get home!” (Ed note: Laurel currently has hot water, while Lela and many others in the city are still powerless.)
4. Wardrobe Tip: “Skirts or dresses with flow are great to bike in, but if you want to wear a straight dress, just hike it up around your hips and put a flow-y skirt over it. Just pull down the dress when you get to where you’re going, and remove your skirt. People may look at you, but who cares!
5. Bike Bell & Lights: “These are some of the most important things to have. Get both ASAP if you don’t have them already. [For New Yorkers,] the Hub Station on Washington and Charles is open if you need anything.
6. Stay in Your Lane: Kind of self-explanatory, but ride in bike lanes as much as possible. It’s so much safer, and easier to get around.”
7. Avoid Distractions: “Never wear music or talk on the phone while biking. You will be amazed at how much less attention you pay when even slightly distracted.”