Bike-friendly fashion: Is it possible to bike with steez?

Bike-friendly fashion: Is it possible to bike with steez?

While walking to CS 106B office hours last week, I ran into a friend who was biking to the library. Intellectual, engaged Stanford students that we are, we talked about our diametrically opposed modes of transportation and the emergence of a great divide between walkers and bikers on this campus. 

For my friend, the choice was about convenience; but he revealed that he’d been told it was “impossible to bike with steez.

Unfamiliar with the term, I turned to my good friend Urban Dictionary and learned that steez is “a person’s distinctive and attractive or impressive style of dress or way of doing things.” 

Our conversation left me wondering: Is it possible to bike with steez? Have wide-leg jeans pushed biking into complete obsolescence? Over the long weekend, I set out to determine the steeziest mode of transportation. 

Walking, steez rating: 11/10

I’ll admit that I’m biased as a committed campus walker, but I firmly believe that walking is the best and most steez-friendly way of getting around campus. There are very few outfits that aren’t walk-friendly, so I don’t have to style my outfit around how I’m getting to class. 

Walking presents the fewest barriers to a good outfit, solely forcing practicality of footwear if you have a long trek to class. Plus, throwing in headphones and listening to a fire playlist can give you that main character boost you need to get through the day. My go-tos: “Young Folks” by Peter Bjorn and John, “Say It” by Maggie Rogers and “There’s Your Trouble” by The Chicks. 

Critics of walking bemoan its lack of efficiency, but I actually see this as one of walking’s biggest benefits. Walking forces me to take a break from class and p-sets and take a minute to actually enjoy campus. I get to reclaim an extra five minutes of my day every time I leave class or the library, and I look good doing it.

Skateboarding, steez rating: 8.5/10

It is with great disappointment that I tell you I cannot skateboard and am too scared to learn. Despite a lack of experience, I theorized that a skateboard would be an excellent accessory to many outfits and provide transportation that is a bit faster than walking. 

In the name of journalistic integrity, I borrowed a friend’s longboard for steez testing. While I wasn’t able to figure out how to actually skateboard, I felt both extremely cool and incredibly steezy. 

Confidence is key to looking your best, and skateboarding was a major confidence boost. I felt unstoppable until I fell in the parking lot and had to make sure no one saw (people did). I think once I get over my fear of head trauma, you might just catch me riding to class. 

Despite loving the look, I don’t think it’s something that I can pull off all the time! I have also seen way too many people almost eat it for this to be the steeziest possible option. I hate to give it less than a 10 but, because most of us would need knee pads and a helmet for this to be a viable transportation option, I’ve had to bump my score down.

Scooter, steez rating: 4/10

I’ve been a hater of the electric scooter since day one. Far too many people feel far too comfortable riding their scooter down dorm halls or hauling them around in lecture. I fear it limits steez by a ridiculous amount. Obviously, I support your decision to move around campus however you want to — you do you! I just personally think this particular method of transportation is steez-negative. 

Candidly, I find them dorky. I also think they limit my shoe game: The one and only time I’ve ever scootered, one of my Birkenstocks flew off and I had to turn around to go hunt it down in the middle of the road. I was truly humbled. 

I have to admit that the electric scooter is extremely fit-friendly — you can wear almost anything! Unfortunately, your most bold accessory is a massive scooter, which really limits the amount your outfit and personality can shine. 

Bike, steez rating: 6/10

It’s been months since I’ve used the bike I bought at the start of freshman year. Yet, just for you, I unlocked my light blue Liv Alight from the bike racks, wondering why she hadn’t been impounded by now. I finally set out to achieve my original goal: determining if you could in fact bike with steez. 

It is with a heavy heart that I tell you I personally cannot pull it off. My jeans got caught in the bike’s chain and now have a grease stain on them that I don’t think the dorm washers will be able to erase. I’m scared of crashing, and I should definitely wear the helmet my parents bought me two years ago that still has the tags on it. My Samba slipped off the pedal and I realized that biking is not for me. I walked my bike back home, knowing I certainly cannot bike with steez. 

Conclusions

I walked out of this experiment with the knowledge that I definitely cannot bike with steez, and have great respect for all of you on campus who are able to. Your tenacity and ability to rock a great fit on an alternative mode of transport is inspiring to me, and I’m jealous of everyone who’s able to craft an amazing outfit around a bike, scooter or skateboard. One thing I love about Stanford is that everyone shows up as themselves with their style, and if you’re able to do that from a bike, more power to you.

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