I met Abbie Durkee, the founder of women's bike apparel company My Alibi, at an OIWC event last month. An inspirational woman, she started My Alibi three years ago with a passion to persuade more women out of their cars and onto their bikes, all while looking good doing it. My Alibi's goal is to make women feel beautiful and confident while riding their bike.
My Alibi has created a line of women's bike apparel that looks great both on and off the bike. The skirts, pedal pushers, bloomers, tops and accessories are not only fashionable but function well while riding. Through her clothing, Abbie hopes to inspire women to integrate biking into their lifestyle with the message that you don't have to be a "cyclist" to ride a bike to the store for milk or to meet your friends for a coffee.
Abbie sent me a pair of the now famous My Alibi Bloomers. I was excited to try them out as I often stop at coffee shops on my rides or use my bike to run errands and feel self conscious walking around in my spandex cycling shorts. With the Bloomers, I can now wear somewhat "normal" outdoor clothes when riding around town but still have the comfort of a chamois.
My Alibi's Bloomers are a padded short to be worn under a skirt, shorts or capris to give you the same level of comfort while riding as you would get wearing regular cycling shorts. With no elastic, low-rise waistband and just enough length to cover your backside, they simply disappear under any outfit. The chamois isn't as big and bulky as some cycling shorts so you don't feel as if you are wearing a padded diaper under your clothes.
I have been wearing the Bloomers under my Mountain Hardwear capri pants for rides to my local Peets Coffee, grocery store and even on a 30 mile ride around the Marin Headlands. I can't even tell that I am wearing them underneath my pants as they are so comfortable and do not add a huge amount of bulk. In other words- they won't make your butt look big! They also do not give you the dreaded muffin top like some cycling shorts do as they are low rise without an elastic waistband.
I found that though I absolutely love the Bloomers for commuting or running errands around town, I probably wouldn't wear them again for longer training rides. After 30 miles of hard riding in the Bloomers, my backside was a little sore. You can see in the picture below that the chamois on the Bloomers isn't quite as thick or wide as the one on my Pearl Izumi cycling shorts. Though that being said, you could probably wear the Bloomers under your cycling shorts for some extra cushioning on those long rides. Double chamois power!
I have to say that with my new Bloomers, My Alibi has succeeded in getting me out of my car and onto the bike for local travel. You can buy My Alibi clothing direct from their website and the line will soon be available at various retail outlets as well.