I bought panniers after about 6 months of using backpacks when I first got my bike. All I got was a sweaty back no matter what I did. Panniers are great and I’m never going back. I have 4 now; 2 Deuter round town panniers, and 2 Ortlieb touring panniers.
I am seriously looking into panniers now I've seen so many of you recommend them for round town. I love my Kathmandu backpack, but in midsummer - which here can easily mean 30C+ temps and high humidity - it's no fun.
Because bike-specific clothing is ideal for riding in. That's what it has been designed for! It's comfortable, it doesn't flap around or get caught in the moving parts of your bike (no need for trouser clips), there are zips so you can respond to temperature changes while riding, and pockets to carry your pump/work swipy card/whatever in.
Sure, but it's still a whole extra change of clothing. Other people's mileage may vary, but I'd rather deal with the minor inconveniences of biking in work clothes than have to a) buy a set of special bike clothes, b) launder a special set of bike clothes, and c) change my clothing twice a day. If I biked for exercise, sure, but as my main method of travel to work, it needs to be as low-effort as possible. Otherwise I'll just give up and catch the (free, every 15 min during term-time) bus.
I know it’s as ugly as sin, but I just tuck my pants into my sock, on the right side. I’ve always got them, and it keeps the trouser even cleaner than a clip.
Ah, but they have to be appropriately elasticated socks. Otherwise, to pull a purely random example out of the air, your trouser leg falls out half-way to work and gets covered in grease and you roll it up your leg to stop it getting even greasier and get stains all over your lower thigh which don't wash off for a week and make people think you have horrible bruises when you wear a skirt and pantihose. For example.
In general I'm a big fan of wearing what you're going to wear all day to cycle to work - I definitely practiced this in Christchurch - and my six km, only gently rolling commute allows this most of the year in New England. Helps that the accepted mode of dress where I work is jeans and a t-shirt and variations thereof. Now I've picked up sewing as a hobby I'm looking into making some cycling-friendly skirts, but I'm definitely planning on buying bike shorts to go underneath. I have a Goretex-type rainjacket and waterproof trousers for wet conditions, though all the buses around here carry bikes, so if it's pouring I chicken out and only bike from the bus stop to the house (still the better part of a km.)
The exceptions to street clothes are when the temperature is over 20C when I leave the house in the morning - I usually switch to a tank-top of some description and keep my work shirt dry - or in mid-winter, when you need a careful balance of not freezing to death and not getting sweaty. Gloves are a must below 5C, and not fingerless either. You can actually get away with just a jacket down to about -1C, but below that long johns and a warm hat (below the helmet) start to be a requirement, though you're still better off with just a decently warm jacket and t-shirt up top. Below -8C I just give up biking altogether more than a kilometer or so, and below -15C I don't bother getting out the bike at all, because the bike racks tend to freeze to the bus. But that's rarely more than a couple of weeks a year. There's always some hardy soul biking out and about even in the very cold weather, but they're always in full lycra kit.
I loved Aaron Johnson and Sam Taylor-Wood’s elegant work around when they got married last year. They both changed their surnames to Taylor-Johnson and anyone who’s got a problem with that gets (rightly) treated with studied insolence. :)
That is a nice solution, as long as your names are euphonious. My spouse is in the process of transitioning gender right now, so I’m kind of curious to see what assumptions people make about the name thing - whether we share one or not and whose it is, etc. - once they start meeting us as a married lesbian couple. (We would have switched to a civil union when necessary, but it’s vastly preferable to not be forced to.)
You could give “I’m Chinese/ Cambodian/ Muslim” a shot. Or If all else fails ”..Belgian”.
That would work better if I wasn't more Anglo-Saxon than most popular swearwords.
I’m slightly bemused by all the marrying twentysomethings I know – and especially the occasional woman changing her surname (ye gods!).
Most of my twenty-something acquaintances are very much not married (the exceptions largely being people who were going overseas for long periods, like us) but I have had some very odd conversations with peers who didn't understand why I wouldn't want to change my name upon marriage, if I was going to bother getting married. The only argument that seemed to sway them was "it would stop people following my entire scientific publishing record".
The various speeches in support from those on the right – Banks, Henere, or Burrows are especially moving, given the expectation of a contrary view.
Wasn't Burrows the "I guess the gays are okay, but I can't quite bring myself to give them rights" speech? Because I'm not finding that particularly moving.
And, as pointed out by Ben and others, let’s not forget that it was not so long ago that girls of 13 and above were married off, pregnant and dead from complications at birth.
Western European society has been characterized by a high age of first marriage (mid-twenties) for some centuries now, actually. (C.f. this US Census data for the last 120 years.) The median age of marriage has been rising steadily since WWII, which makes people assume it must have been even lower before then, but in fact it had dropped dramatically during the 40s/50s, and took decades to return to late-19th C levels. This is one social norm which is very responsive to environment (i.e. the cost/benefit of having children in whichever society you're in.)
Which isn't to say girls have never been married off and had children in their early teens, but it wasn't normative in the way you're implying for the majority of people.
"Sexualisation" of girls is a concept that buys into the idea that girls are not naturally sexual. Which is a lie. That paradigm is the same reason this debate always ignores the sexuality of boys: because all boys are total horndogs, all the time. Which is a lie.
OTOH, I think there is an argument to be made about *objectification* of young people - I'm less worried about the affect on children of, to take some entries in this debate, underwear with tacky objectifying sexual messages on it and magazine stories discussing the sexual appeal of eight-year-olds. I'm worried about what it says to people old enough to pay attention - because those things are still part of a culture that positions women as sex and men as always wanting sex. (C.f. the last episode of GoT's Naked Lady Quota scene.)
And we’ve also seen young lives blighted when kids are charged as child pornographers for taking and keeping photographs of each other.
That would be bad enough, but teenagers in the US have been charged for taking photographs of themselves which then got distributed by others.
There are increased requirements for schools to provide psychometric and in some cases intelligence testing (yes, really, next it'll be polygraphs) to back applications.
If I recall correctly, my high-functioning autistic brother-in-law had to take a test showing an IQ below 90 to qualify for a teacher aide. Because all those average-intelligence-or-above autistic spectrum people are soaking up our precious resources, amirite?