If you were alive back in the '80s and I appreciate many who read this blog weren't you have no attachment to Lycra. Generally made fun of these days and passed off as being so dated..along with the mullet hair cut, Dachstein wool products and Vaurnet sunglasses.
All the jokes are there. Made a few myself.
But if you doing almost any sporting activity, and want to compete, be it bike racing, swimming, running or ski racing Lycra is a part of your life or should be.
Lycra used to good effect throughout in a Triathlon race of any distance
I think with the right design, used in the proper context there is a place for Lycra in the mountains. One that no other fabric I have used to date can replace.
Lycra on a Winter alpine summit
I have a lot of Lycra in my gear room between running, swimming, the bike and of course climbing.
All the wild colored tights of the '80s are gone. But if I were still doing hard rock climbing I might go looking for something similar. Call it "old school".
I've never been very impressed of what others thought of my choices in clothing. I have always worn what I wanted when I wanted. That hasn't changed much since Kindergarten much to my mother's consternation.
So when I heard Lycra comments (none of them flattering) over the last 30 years I've just chuckled and thought..."they have no clue". Lycra, isn't a right or a privilege. It is simply a smart choice much of the time. When it comes to using well designed Lycra or any technical clothing in the outdoors, most don't much of the time. I use Lycra because it is the most effective material for my own use at times. Simple as that.
Yesterday I spent the day out on skimo gear. Part of my gear choices (and there wasn't much gear involved) was a CAMP skimo race suit.
Without a doubt being in the CAMP skimo suit made one of my better efforts in the mtns also one, if not THE most comfortable days in the mountains.
More to come in the next blog and a complete review of this suit and why I think anyone into "speed touring" should at least in part be using some Lycra. Till then, tell the next guy or gal that disses your Lycra to piss off. Or better yet just drop them in the ski track and the down hill!
If you can't drop them now...you might be surprised the difference some Lycra could make in your own performance.