Designer Lela Rose’s Tips for Biking in the City

Laurel Pinson

lela rose bicycle Designer Lela Roses Tips for Biking in the City

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.”