Tim Walker’s Double III

A North Canterbury pub has recently implemented a ‘No Lycra’ policy on its premises.

Understandably this has left some rural cyclists outraged, prompting all the expected cries of ‘that’s unfair’, ‘that’s just unjust’, ‘that’s discriminatory behaviour’, and such; in fact being an avid cyclist myself one might have expected my own bandwagon boarding to be imminent…

In an alcohol-assisted discussion the other night on the above topic I heard not one opinion in support of those cyclists and their refusal to don casual garb on licensed premises.

…I assure you, boarding this particular bandwagon, I will be not. I fully support that Rangiora publican. It makes sense that all hospitality establishments would wish to uphold some level of dress code; after all, think back a few years to the argument on Sunday morning pyjamas in supermarkets….

In the opinion of one mildly chauvinistic bystander that night, “I don’t mind seeing girls getting about in Lycra pants and that – shit I encourage it – just not guys with all their bumps and that, that’s just crude.”

…This is an identical situation to the banning of dressing gowns in supermarkets and yes, like that story, surely, the decision on exactly how to uphold a dress code is the owner’s prerogative…

‘Yes’, I remember thinking with a smirk, ‘”said the ocean to the riverbed, I appreciate the sediment”, and you sir, have just outlined a double standard that has been at me for some time and which, days from now, once the story’s nice and old and almost forgotten, I simply must document.’

…A pub’s décor and indeed its dress code, humble as it may be, is intended to pervade a sense of calm; bring in a bunch of pumped up and perspiring cyclists wearing their sexually ambiguous clothing and suddenly, that atmosphere is no longer relaxing…

Earlier that same night, speaking with another remarkably profound being, I was reminded of a similar injustice: he used the example of beach volleyball – why do the women wear bikinis while the men wear knee-length shorts? I concurred and threw back my own example – female tri-athletes often wear a one-piece swimming costume throughout the entire race where males choose to wear the decidedly more humble, again, knee-length uniform.

…I would know: having cycled my standard Saturday distance then stopped in on the way back at my grandmother’s house, thus dressed accordingly, she insisted on taking me out to the local pub for a late lunch…

When did national representation of sports become sexually motivated? Honestly, that’s the only reason I can see for such a massive double standard in sporting attire: certainly the girls don’t need to wear bikinis to play volleyball, but obviously that draws the bigger crowds; similarly, surely, male tennis players would be infinitely more manoeuvrable if they wore shorts that came only a short way down their thighs rather than full knee-length, but then, while we all love watching girls in short skirts play tennis, who really wants to see a man’s hairy white thighs?

…At first putting up some resistance I eventually conceded, hungry as I was for a good steak, and remember as I walked sheepishly through the dank of the main bar, the alcohol-glazed looks of initial surprise then suspicious curiosity mingled finally with outright disdain as if to say, ‘Ah piss off ya taught-bodied fairy, this is our place where we go to get away from hard work … Don’t go flaunting your bloody discipline and dedication around here.’



Article by Tim Walker

Edited by Shaver Nis Tuck

Photography by Sissy Psych-List




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