‘Balaclavachic’


Now, it took me ages to be ‘brave’ enough to wear a cycling helmet and months to wear an anti-pollution mask and now it’s the turn of the balaclava.

I have also been thinking that cyclists that do use them, look cool, well dressed and attractive (let’s be honest – they all look like they’re in the SAS).

I used to just think that balaclavas are for ‘bankrobbers’ but the current horrible cold snap is forcing me to go and get one.

You see, everything else is warm; got the fluorescent gloves, thermals and neckwarmer but my face is frozen particularly in the icy wind. I have no idea whether women ever use them, after all, like I said I’ve only seen blokes wear them. Of course, I have never seem them in bikes shops in the UK (even though it is winter and lot of us are commuting), so it just feels odd buying them here. No doubt in normal places like progressive Canada, they’re everywhere but this is Britain, we do things our way.

Can a woman look chic in one? Will they look like men?

I had look round on Ebay. I was looking for a patterned one or one in different colour so I look feminine and less like a bank robber, prat or terrorist, after all, the Met shoot innocent people if ‘they look like a terrorist’ and if I carry a rucksuck, this will just make me look even more like one.

It was quite an eye opener; you should really look on Ebay to see what I mean.

You get all kinds of balaclava styles or ‘identities as I’ve have discovered:-

1) The famous bank robber variety (2 eyes, tatty cut outs)
2) SAS (as above, but less tatty) (man looking you straight in the eye)
3) Burka woman (straight, one eye)
4) Spiderman (as per one)
5) The Geeky Rambler (man wearing a balaclava and smiling)
6) Afghanistan ‘terrorist’ (triangluar shaped, one hole)
7) Alien (funny shaped eye holes)
8) A muppet (hi visibility – fluorescent and blight pink)
9) Forensic Scientist (white)
10) Just plain scary, I wouldn’t want to face them at a red light
11) Green and Brown camoflague (was the only ‘patterned’ one)
12) A ‘fonejacker one’ (red balaclava with bobble)
13) Muggers
14) Skier

I think women WILL look like a terrorist if they wear the ‘two eyed’ variety so I avoided those ones. I think also it helps if you have a long windy fit spiderman figure. It sort of emphasises the Fit/Catwoman type factor.

There were a few women wearing them. Although the advert said it could be used for ‘cycling’, the woman was looking ‘seductive’ and wearing nothing (you kind of think it was for ‘something else’, especially when it says silk). So you have to be careful when buying these things.

In the end, I bought a couple of black thermal one-eyed-balaclavas. Admittedly I bought it from the seller who had a photo of a naked woman and a balaclava. I mean, it’s better to look ‘attractive’ than a terrorist. It did actually look good and sexy – Like a fantasy figure – a Lara Croft of the cycling world perhaps?

Well, that’s better than looking like a muppet really.

I’m looking forward to getting it and I will get my colleagues to give me their honest opinion later.

In Wikipedia, people are concerned about the image of the balaclava being ‘violent’, even though it has great uses in sports, here are some comments:-

Does anyone have a Balaclava image which doesn’t involve firearms? Perhaps something sports/weather-related? I’m not quite comfortable propagating the Hollywood stereotype that all balaclava-wearers are either muggers or SAS. I’m not pushing any liberal-hippie-gun-control-cabal-agenda, I’m just saying that balaclavas have plenty of non-violent uses. –LuciferBlack 21:30, 19 April 2006 (UTC)

“I’m willing to bet that the average person will associate the primary use of a balaclava being that of concealing one’s identity (ostensibly to commit a violent or criminal act) anyways.

The average person living in a warm climate might. I live where it’s winter much of the year and I certainly don’t associate a ski-mask with violent crimes”

Womens’ magazines virtually never have fashion articles on balaclavas or what to wear with them. I mean, do we wear coats with them or should be just only wear them with sports jackets. I think I will wear them with cycling jackets. I have never seen anyone in Copenhagenchic wearing one.

J said I have to change my bicycle so that it become more ‘urbanised’ if I have to wear a balaclava.

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