I recently bought a bike. A brand new, shiny bike. It is a beautiful thing to behold. I do not own a house but I imagine what I feel is something akin to being house-proud.

I am bike-proud.

I love the freedom it has given me to whip around town. As someone who doesn't have a car, it has cut the time it takes me to carry out errands by at least half. It has also shortened my daily commute (although somehow I still can't manage to arrive on time).

It has left me wondering why I didn't have the nous to buy a bike sooner in life.


The reason I bring this up, aside from the fact that I love any excuse to bring up my new bike, is that a North Canterbury hotel recently banned lycra shorts from their restaurant due to a number of cyclist customers with "unsightly bulges" using the dining area.

Now, cyclists can be smug creatures. I know this. They parade around with a healthy glow and a self-righteous aura.

But they should be smug.

Cycling is environmentally friendly, saves money on petrol and it's good for you. My 3pm packet of crisps is slightly less guilt-ridden because I am a cyclist and will, therefore, be burning off the calories faster than you can say hydrogenated fat. (The second packet is still guilt-ridden as ever.)

So who cares if they choose to dine in their lycra? Those bothered by the "unsightly bulges" shouldn't be looking there in the first place.

This may sound biased, having joined the bike brigade, but it was easy for me, it was either walk or cycle.

The reality is, choosing to get on a bike instead of in a car is tough, requiring that extra bit of motivation, particularly when going to work, in which case you are probably already using all your motivation to leave the house in the first place. So I think that getting on your bike should be rewarded, why not with the freedom to wear your lycra? I only hope that other establishments don't follow suit.

Personally, I have resisted the urge to don a pair of lycra shorts for my cycle to and from work, largely because it is a 10-minute journey along Cameron Road and highly unnecessary.

Still, I'm afraid that, while I haven't gained lycra, I have gained a fondness for talking about my bike.

Well, I have to let the world know I'm a cyclist somehow, don't I?