The League of American Bicyclists Road 1 class teaches students the "ABC Quick check." This mnemonic reminds us of the vital bicycle components to check before each ride. A stands for "Air" (in the tires), B is for "Brakes," C is for "Drivetrain" and Q (in Quick) is for "Make sure your pants are rolled up good if you're riding fixed."
As any fixed-gear rider knows, chainrings like to eat pants. Most of us have trashed the hem after it gets caught in the chain.
I was riding home last week with my right pant rolled up a little, but it wasn't quite enough. The chain caught my pant and it ripped. I was traveling at about 20 mph so it took a couple of pedal revolutions for me to stop. My right pant leg somehow got wrapped around the pedal axle and ripped my right pant leg off of my leg. The rip stopped at the waistband, so essentially I have a rectangular piece of fabric dangling from my waist. After I freed it from the pedal and chain, this fabric was free to flap in the breeze.
I tried securing this strip of fabric inside my socks at the bottom, but there was nothing to hold it in place at the top. My tighty whiteys were completely exposed. This is on a major, 51,000 ADT (both directions) arterial during the evening rush hour.
Your good friend and mine Paul Tay would have kept going, but my personal modesty standards compelled me to cover up. I eventually wrapped the fabric around my hips and hairy thighs, miniskirt style, placing the end on the saddle and sitting on it for the remainder of my ride.
Remember, folks, the ABC Quick check for safe riding!