What to wear middle east and there abouts

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What to wear middle east and there abouts

Postby PT1029 » 21 Apr 2018, 7:19am

Some friends (1 male/1female in mid 30's or so) are cycling over land UK to Indonesia (currently in Hungary).
Any advice on the best cycling clothing to wear. He is worried about black lycra shorts feeling too hot in the sun beond Turkey, and was wondering about white ones (I've suggested not, they'll look filthy in no time at all). Also what to wear for her.
30 years ago I did the same journey in reverse (but flew the India - Turkey section). Lycra shorts + T shirt seemed Ok in those days, but cycling through more muslim countries, I think it might be better to show a bit more respect for local custom than lycra shorts.

I was going to suggest (the same black) lycra shorts plus may be some loose football shorts over the top, at least the whole world can identify with football shorts. May be something loose/longer for the female legs/shoulders?

I'm not sure of their exact route after Turkey, I saaw them a few weeks before departure and the exact route seemed undescided, with a reference to "possibly the stans".

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Re: What to wear middle east and there abouts

Postby hufty » 22 Apr 2018, 2:03pm

I'm male so can't help with women-specific specifics, but I tend to wear baggy shorts over lycra shorts for cycle touring anyway. In hot countries I wear a tight-ish wicking vest and a loose long sleeve shirt of some description. It used to be a Damart thermal vest and charity shop cotton shirt, now it's merino and Rohan but the principle is the same! The vest stops the sweat running down your back, the loose shirt keeps you cool as it stops the sweat evaporating too quickly. Plus you don't need to carry gallons of sun cream.

Men can usually do what they want :o) but what you will probably find is that apart from certain countries with a clear dress code for women, nobody will be too bothered as you are clearly (foreign) tourists and clearly involved in a sports activity. But in any case for both sexes it's about sensing how people are around you - if you think everyone is staring at your junk, dig out those baggies. If you're getting loads of unwanted attention, try covering your sexy shoulders or wearing loose 3/4 pants.

You won't have problems in the 'Stans by the way - loads of cyclists, loads of lycra.
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Re: What to wear middle east and there abouts

Postby Jontrev » 22 Apr 2018, 4:30pm

Cover up - say no more !

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Re: What to wear middle east and there abouts

Postby AMC » 3 May 2018, 6:08pm

As a woman who has travelled a bit in the Middle East I would say cover up arms and legs, especially in populated areas (except Abu Dhabi & Dubai where clothing rules for foreigners are much more relaxed), and most importantly make the clothes loose - standard western fitted T shirts, even with long sleeves, attract too many stares for my energy levels! Also carry a very light scarf to cover your head at times, this can just make life easier in some places. But I'm sure your friends will have one of those from their travels so far, they're indispensable when touring imho.

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Re: What to wear middle east and there abouts

Postby pq » 11 May 2018, 5:36pm

I've ridden quite a lot in conservative muslim countries. There's some tolerance of men in lycra on the basis that it's sportswear, but they'd really rather you didn't and when you're not actually pedalling you lose the "sportswear" thing anyway. I tend to wear good quality lycra bib shorts with a light cycling overshort. I'm sorry to say that the only one I've found which is genuinely comfortable is Rapha. I've never been very impressed by the MTB shorts/overshorts combos.

I've never found that combo too hot, despite using it in quite extreme heat (up to 40 degrees), even though my Rapha overshorts are black.

Women need to cover up much more, preferably arms and legs with nothing figure hugging, but it varies somewhat from country to country.

Beware of locals telling you you're fine in lycra. I've heard that quite often but either they don't mean it, or they're speaking only for themselves - in other words everyone else will be offended!
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Re: What to wear middle east and there abouts

Postby PT1029 » 12 May 2018, 7:47am

Thanks all, advice has been forwarded on to my friends, currently having a rest/visa collecting in Istanbul.


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Re: What to wear middle east and there abouts

Postby mercalia » 13 May 2018, 9:09pm

read this
Saudi Arabia hosts its first ever women's cycle race


and look at the pictures what the women are wearing

gives an idea for women

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Re: What to wear middle east and there abouts

Postby PT1029 » 12 Jun 2018, 6:33pm

Well, my friends had a stop over inIstanbul, and did some modesty shopping, more civi looking stuff, nothing overly drastic. Job done.
In the far east of Turkey, they met some Iranian cyclists, in lycra shorts, so there you go!
Being British, my friends were probably do a reasonable job of not wanting to offend muslim locals.
I suppose the Iranians were making the most of cycling in (to them) a neo liberal democracy!

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Re: What to wear middle east and there abouts

Postby durhambiker » 26 Jun 2018, 6:17pm

"baggie shorts over lycra shorts"..........Why? how about just baggies? and Factor 100 Sunblock