In the fall, I got a group of friends together to pre-ride the FlannelGrinder route. We decided to all wear flannels on this day and had one of the best ride experiences of our lives!
Motorists, that would have normally ridden us off the road, or yelled “get off my roads!”, waved and smiled at us! They didn’t see us as a threat to their way of life but as a fellow human. It felt like we had bridged the gap just by throwing on a flannel over our spandex. I wasn’t the only one who noticed this strange behavior. I made a joke early on when a driver gave us much more room than normal when passing us. After a few hours of this, it wasn’t a joke anymore and everyone was talking about it. Even big trucks going the opposite direction slowed, smiled, and waved at us as if we were people they knew out on these tiny rural roads.
Now this may all sound silly but the scene out on rural roads can often be very different. I have had a fair number of unpleasant encounters with “the locals” in my years racing around the world in spandex. This kind of behavior is NOT the norm.
Often there is a disconnect between motorists and cyclists out on the roads. By encouraging you all to come out in flannels for the FlannelGrinder we hope to seem less alien to people driving by us and maybe, just maybe, they will give us a little more space out on the roads.
Hope to see you all out there wearing your favorite flannels on Arpil 9th!
Founder of Boundless Locomotion