WHAT do you wear when you are on your bike? Are you in the ‘wear whatever you would anyway’ camp – as modelled by the Dutch and Danes, or the full high-viz, helmeted and gloved rider with Lycra leggings and cleated shoes?

Fashion photos often feature a bicycle, so high fashion and bikes are not incompatible.

People on bikes do have some special requirements, however. They are at the mercy of the weather, and the chain and wheels are determined to get oil and dirt on your nice clothes so baggy trousers or long skirts are risky. Socks work well to tuck the right trouser leg into.

For longer trips, some clothing can chafe or be too restrictive but this is rarely a bother round town. More of a problem is wearing out the seat of trousers, sometimes without noticing until there is an embarrassing hole. Retailers are cottoning onto the need for normal looking clothes that are comfortable to ride in. You can wear jeans that look great but are also comfortable for cycling long distances with stretch fabric, diamond crotches and reflective turn ups.

If you want to clip into your pedals you can, for a price, find normal shoes compatible with clipless pedals.

In cold weather pedalling makes you warm, so generally only the hands and head need warmly wrapping up, the legs and body soon warm up when you get going.

Having said that, one friend wears an extra thick walking jacket and a very fetching furry hat with huge ear warmer flaps. A thin stretchy hat can hide in a pocket and fit under a helmet when needed. Warm waterproof gloves are perhaps the most important part of your kit.

It rains less often than non-cyclists think but even so, for some reason, when it does rain hard you do get wetter on a bike than walking. Any ordinary waterproof coat will do, and if you want extra visibility, a cheap gilet can be put over it. The problem comes with legs and feet.

Waterproof trousers are not something that the ordinary person sees as a natural part of their wardrobe and certainly don’t win prizes in the style department.

Even more out of the ordinary are waterproof overshoes but in my view if you bother with waterproof trousers the overshoes are well worth having for longer rides since otherwise the rain runs down the trousers straight into your socks and shoes. Leather boots do avoid this problem.

Even when it has stopped raining the wet road will cause spray, so for me mudguards are essential on any utility bike. Those spray catchers over the back wheel never seem to be very effective and anyway the front wheel sprays your legs.

The spring will arrive and with it warm days when we can be in shirt sleeves and shorts, at least some of the time, but realistically those waterproofs can never be far away.