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OK Commuter

OK Commuter

by Dylan Muhlenberg / 05.07.2012

Between my motorbike’s brakes failing and my car’s alternator going, I found myself weighing up our various public transport options. There was no clear winner though, with bus, train and taxi all being equally unreliable, overcrowded and gross.

Necessity turned me into a cyclist.

And now, even though I’ve got my beloved boney back and my car’s sorted, I’ve continued to grab life by the Shimano grip-shift handlebars.

I live in the ‘burbs, a place associated with decreased physical activity, lawnmowers and sedentary behavior. Add to this the chronic stress of Mandela Boulevard’s gridlock traffic, and the benefits of bicycling to and from work are there for all to see.

Health is the new wealth, but commuting on your own steam has its fair share of uphill: there’s the danger of other road users who don’t “think bike”, the problem of sweat and, probably the biggest detractor, having to dress like a fucking idiot to counter these first two.

Would dressing up as an over-accessorized road-racer in a car-guard’s neon vest get me to work more safely? Some would argue that it would make me more of a target, if you were to believe an Australian study, which I mentioned here.

What about speed, sweat and style? I asked an ex-pro and Bicycling magazine contributor, Neil Gardener, to comment: “The pro racers you see on TV dressed as mobile billboards with alien heads are paid to look daft. You’ll be relieved to know that if you just want to get to work and back with minimum style point deductions, there are options. Well-cut, sweat wicking garments in muted tones are available from Cape Storm, Indola and First Ascent. For the essential helmet go for a Bell Faction for the non-crustacean look.

Half a million New Yorkers ride bicycles several times a month, and commuting by bike has increased 260% in the last decade there. In fact, bicycles make up a third of rush hour traffic along major routes in Brooklyn and Manhattan. So it makes sense then that Levi’s is the latest brand to slipstream the zeitgeist with their Commuter Range.

I was fortunate enough to test their kit out at the last Moonlight Mass, which I wrote about here and have worn it every day since.

The slim-fit khakis borrow the 511’s skinny silhouette and has cycle-centric features such as a waist-band for u-lock storage, higher rise in the seat – so that you needn’t offend anyone with your plumber’s crack – reflective accents inside the cuffs, and are slightly elasticized. Anyone who rides regularly will want them for the reinforced crotch alone.

The jacket is based on a 1967 design that has a longer cut, a slight drop in the tail and enough extra fabric so as not to restrict your movement and so that you can store all the crap that living a modern lifestyle entails. Like the pants, the jacket is resistant to water and dirt and boasts antimicrobial odour-protection.

So far, so much better than spandex, and with the urban-commuter’s style woes sorted, all we need now is a safe, effective bicycle lane that connects us from A to B.

But first more people need to get on their bikes instead of into their cars. And now that we no longer have to dress up like prawns, we’re closer to getting there.

*Dylan Muhlenberg is the Men’s Health Online Editor. Read more of his steez here.

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  1. Jissis says:

    One big fucken advert.Fail.

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  2. Adriaan says:

    WTF Mahala?

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  3. Hugh says:

    this smells like infomercial…

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  4. Idea says:

    Please can you get Montle to write an advertorial for Ultramel?

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  5. @CptEntrepreneur says:

    minus the advertising in the article the rest is really good stuff…

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  6. Andy says:

    Look, we asked Dylan to review the Midnight Mass, for once in his life, he was stoked with the actual quality of the Commuter range that we hooked him up with and he mentioned that as well. It’s not like we asked him to go out and write a praise poem about the pants. Some of these commentators are way too sensitive…

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  7. radvertising says:

    I feel a bit uneasy reading this when it’s surrounded by flashing Levi’s (TM) Commuter Range banner ads. But then if Bangers&Nash can hook up a Wrangler sponsor then this guy definitely deserves the real deal. And if he’s happy with it, why shouldn’t he tell us? I’m guessing that if Seth at 2Ov has to give his Puma’s back, Dylan is a shoe-in.

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  8. Idea says:

    Please can you get Max to write an advertorial on Sailor Jerry. (Oh, wait…)

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  9. dylan says:

    I apologise for those two paragraphs where I mentioned Levi’s Commuter Range. Obviously working for the man has turned my mind to mush. In keeping with the Mahala formula I would like to appease you with the following substitutes. It’s easy, read the piece again and when you get to the offensive bit replace it with something from one of the Mahala stalwarts:

    The Davis: “The Moonlight Mass didn’t have enough black people. Helen Zille enjoyed it though, so you fill in the blanks.”

    The Max: “Whip thin hipsters on their fixies move through the city like a pack of wild beasts. We are one throbbing, sweaty, beast that belligerently tears down Long Street like MeatLoaf’s demon steed. And Long Street? She applauds us, her cacophonous cry as heady as some sultry siren’s call to a wayward Sailor (Jerry)”

    The Montle: “Cycling’s doper status intrigued us so we started our night by shooting-up anti-retroviral cocktails at a VIP booth at ZAR. Kenny Kunene and Schabir Sheik had attached a basket to the front of their tandem so that I could eat a bucket of KFC and throw the bones at the bergies who were sleeping in Sea Point’s gutters.”

    The Edmonds: “This is the last piece I ever write about Moonlight Mass for Mahala.”

    The Roger: “I had a bicycle once, but I pawned it for crack.”

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  10. Magumbo says:

    Touché Muhlenberg

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  11. Oliver says:

    Even if this is an advert, do you really care? I’m interested in the commuter range by Levi and it’s nice to see it here in a short article. Plus, if Levi can give Mahala some money they can pay writers more money which in turn gets better writers which will give us all better articles. We will then get smarter reading Mahala and we can charge more money for our own thoughts and articles. Everyone wins.

    I don’t know why everyone’s got such an issue with the way the world works best?

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  12. Andy says:

    I can’t believe no one has complimented me on my incredible headline for this story 🙁

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  13. Realist says:

    Judas Priest, grow up! Do you people think they’re running a charity here? Andy’s trust fund will dry up eventually and advertising pays the bills.

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  14. Realist says:

    Andy, your headline is stellar.

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  15. brandon says:

    That was funny Dylan.

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  16. Maxi Me says:

    so do you have any to give away? I sacrificed some time on my kindle for pc to read this ad

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  17. submariner replica says:

    Christian Louboutin Photo Tile Unique Gift!! New

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