Lycra bike shorts are a privilege and not a right, at least according to New Zealand hotelier Mike Sanders.
Saunders is the co-owner of The Plough Hotel in Rangiora who aims to maintain a family-friendly environment by raising dress standards. As lycra shorts reveal “unsightly bumps and bulges” of the male anatomy, he said he decided to ban them in his hotel and café.
The Guardian reports a new sign has been placed in front of the hotel reading: “A bicycle is a beautiful object, but they should never have invented lycra! No lycra shorts allowed please.”
Saunders told the Guardian that muddy football boots, tracksuit pants and thong shoes were not prohibited.
“I am not against Lycra in general, just lycra shorts. A lot of our customers are elderly or children and they don’t need to know that much detail about the shape of somebody,” he said.
While the Plough Hotel is proud to claim that wearing trousers is the new black, Pegasus Cycling Club chairwoman Tracy Clark doesn’t agree.
“I think it’s just some ignorance or lack of understanding,” she says.
“There’s people in New Zealand now who have grown up disconnected from bicycles, have no understanding of what it is to get out there and ride and see the scenery, they are interested in getting in their car and driving place to place.”
Even though cycling community is not satisfied with hotel’s new dress code, Saunders’ decision has been supported by locals.
“When the cyclists come in they do stink, they are sweaty and it is unhygienic sitting on the furniture and everyone, including little children, partaking in their post exercise demeanor,” Siobhan Tolhurst, who once worked for Saunders’ at another café, told The Guardian.