Sarah Goodyear is a Brooklyn-based contributing writer to CityLab. She's written about cities for a variety of publications, including Grist and Streetsblog.
Functional and fabulous.
One of the most welcome trends in bicycling in the United States over the past 10 years is the rise of what you might call the un-Lycra cyclist. This person doesn’t own a carbon-fiber bike that costs several thousand dollars and doesn’t put on special gear to ride. This person hops on the bike to do errands or go to work or head out for a night with friends. This person wears street clothes while pedaling.
All well and good. But as any woman will tell you, if you spend a significant length of time in the saddle while not wearing bike shorts, you can experience some discomfort in your lady parts. This isn’t a dealbreaker for most women, but it can be irritating, especially if you ride more than a few miles, as do many urban commuters.
Enter Christiana Guzman, a product designer in Austin, Texas, and the creator of the Urbanist Cycling Chamois Panties.
Guzman’s got a Kickstarter campaign going to finance the production of two designs that incorporate a protective foam insert – known as a chamois – into a pair of good-looking panties that can be worn under normal clothes of any type.
The underthings come in two styles, a boy short and a lighter-weight bikini. They're attractive and functional, and they address a real need. Kind of like bicycles.