Lederhosen on a Bike


Well, not quite. But there’s part of the Bavarian clothing tradition that I thought might be of use for cycling.

Lederhosen come in two styles – the better known “shorts” and the longer “britches” which extend below the knee and are laced up over long socks. When I lived in Bavaria I often saw men (and occasionally women) wearing the shorts version, with short socks, and with a tube-like “sock”, worn below the knee to keep the leg muscles warm. The official German name for these is “Stutzen” (woollen gaiter) or “Wadenwärmer” (calf warmers), but the Bavarian is “Loferl”.

I have found on occasion when doing a long ride, particularly if the temperature is starting to drop in the afternoon, that my leg muscles can sometimes feel tight and almost ready to cramp up, so I thought a good year ago that I would try to find something along the lines of “Loferl”. The only thing I could find in sports shops here was an elasticated tube to hold shin pads in place and these were rather tight on my calf muscles. Standard cycling leg warmers seemed too long and not really comfortable at the end of a ride, though I use them on a cool start to what promises to be a nice day.

For some strange reason, I couldn’t find many shops in the UK selling Lederhosen! So I have had Loferl on my wish list for some time. But I just had a holiday in Bavaria and took the opportunity to go into a local shop and buy some. I did have them somewhat puzzled when the shop assistant wanted to know what colour my Lederhosen are, and I said I hadn’t got any: they come in various traditional colour mixes and most Lederhosen-wearing Bavarians would want to be colour co-ordinated. A word of warning: they are not cheap if you are in the centre of Munich close to the tourist areas.

loferlIf you use Google Chrome to translate, you can get some at €15 a pair plus postage from Angermaier (currently less than £11). If you buy, you might be the 2nd person in the East of England to wear them. If you see me coming, yodel as we pass each other.


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