Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Carless Sunday

We rode the "family bike" 30 miles round trip (the pedometer above misses some of the zigs and zags of our actual route) to bring Iris to a playdate in Venice on Sunday. It took 75 minutes each way, which is competitive with weekday driving time--especially because Iris required a pit stop each way.

We enjoyed ourselves immensely. Judging by the number of smiles, comments and thumbs up we received, others enjoyed watching us ride. We really need to do this more often. We saw the ocean, supertankers, jets taking off, birds, hang gliders, the Goodyear blimp, sailors, kayakers, skaters, runners and other bicyclists. The kids (and adults) had a good time at the playdate and we ate some fantastic Thai takeout.

We look like a rolling billboard for Pearl Izumi. (We have no affiliation with them, but we love their products.) I could ride two hours in cheaper six-panel shorts, but I will never ride longer than that in anything less than the eight-panel UltraSensor shorts. Some things are just not worth skimping on, especially in the groin.

Iris wore this pink jersey and tie-dyed Dharma Trading bike shorts padded with generic maxipads. (It's very important to get the generic house-label ones because the name brand ones are too thin.) She says the padding really works. If she really gets into cycling, I will buy her kids' size Ultrasensor shorts, too.

Have you read Kathleen's classic post debunking the myth of vanity sizing? She is right. A medium should be the median of the target customer. I am a Pearl Izumi large because I am quite wide compared to most serious cyclists. Yet, I am a Lands' End and Eileen Fisher small; I am thinner than their median customer. Samples should be made in medium, and then graded up or down as needed. Different demographics have different medians.

Kathleen, if you are reading this, spread this to your DEs. Once a year (in winter), Pearl Izumi sold shorts at a discount through a contact in a local bike club. We ordered and paid in advance. Bike clothes are sold through stores mainly during the summer. Why not keep your production people busy year-round by selling to loyal repeat customers at a discount? Expenses and risks are kept low because the clothes are made only to order, and pre-paid to boot.

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