When I started riding seriously 10 years ago, I, too, thought spandex shorts were ridiculous, until I experienced chafing. When a piece of cloth rubs against a piece of skin thousands and thousands of times (as each pedal is pressed), the skin becomes bruised.
Chafing anywhere can hurt, but when it’s in the nether regions, it is much more painful. The affected area is too large and too unevenly shaped for Band-Aids to help.
The other purpose of spandex is to allow sweat to evaporate. If sweat is trapped on skin for a long period of time, it can start to itch, and possibly lead to a rash.
Spandex is not a fashion; it is just plain comfortable.
Unfortunately, the story told about the self-righteous cyclist is probably true. But as I wrote in a previous letter to the editor [“Give Cyclists a Break,” Aug. 1, 2013, City Weekly], there are plenty of drivers and pedestrians with the same bad attitude toward traffic laws.
Spandex is not the cause of this attitude!
Salt Lake City