The Travails of the Environmentally Conscious Menstruating Wyman

Glad Rag

Have you ever tried biking in glad rags? I, being an environmentalist, do this once a month for several days in a row. For those of you who don’t know about them, Glad rags are reusable menstrual pads that we, environmentalist chicks, like to wear to cut down on waste and in general feel better about ourselves during a time when we generally feel the worst about ourselves.

However, the act of biking with glad rags is akin to masochistism. You at both feel proud for how hardcore you are- biking in the rain with cramps with a wad of cotton between your legs- and at once in pain. For every time you hit a bump, the cute little snap that fastens your glad rag to your panties crushes into some of the most sensitive tissue in the female body, leaving you cursing all it means to be a environmentally conscious wyman.

One month I had had it. So I wrote a letter to the Glad Rag staff. Their response, while potentially encouraging, said they’d bring up my Velcro idea the next time they talk about new products and suggested I use their moon cup or sea sponge tampon to ride to work and then change into a pad once I got there. A reasonable suggestion I suppose for those who want to carry around a blood soaked sponge all day.

So my search for a reusable menstrual pad continues though I have yet to find a bike friendly option.

Orders GladRags <>
Thu, Mar 4, 2010 at 2:45 PM

Hi Titanium Maiden,

We know all too well what it feels like to wear GladRags while biking, as we bike to work everyday, too! The snaps or extra bulk can be uncomfortable, especially depending on how you’re positioned on your bike seat.  Velcro is a good idea; I’ll certainly bring that up when we talk about new product ideas!

One thing that works well for us is using a menstrual cup or sea sponges while biking, then switching back to cloth pads once we’ve arrived.  We’ve also learned to lift up off our seats a bit when riding over particularly bumpy spots, which helps.

I’m not sure where you live, but since you mentioned rain I thought you might be in Oregon or Washington… if so, you should check out the Bike Commute Challenge this year!  We wrote about our experiences participating last year on our blog here: Even if you don’t live in the area, you can still use some of the Bike Commute Challenge website’s features, although you can’t officially compete.

Thanks for writing to us — keep on riding (and rockin’ the ‘Rags)!

On Sat, Feb 27, 2010 at 9:32 PM, GladRags Sales <> wrote:

From: Titanium Maiden
Subject: biking w/ Glad Rags
Dear Glad Rags, I, being the environmental enthusiast that I am, often bike and sport your rags at the same time. I don’t know if you’ve tried it, but it’s a wonderful thing. It feels like a triumph, you want to shout out “Look at me- I’ve got cramps and it’s raining out, but I’m still biking to work AND am wearing my glad rags!” But I swear, every time I hit a bump or have to go over train tracks, I can’t help but to curse that cute little snap on your paradigm-changing rags. The snap is positioned just so that if you hit a hard bump the snap makes maximum impact with some of the most sensitive tissue down there! I love your product in every other way except those wretched little snaps. PLEASE help support us bicycle commuters and consider offering a Glad Rag alternative that closes with velcro, hooks and eyelets, ANYthing but snaps or hard buttons. -The Titanium Maiden

- Titanium Maiden (Clara Elias) is grad student at UC Davis and spends her time understanding the intricacies of butterflies.

4 Responses to “The Travails of the Environmentally Conscious Menstruating Wyman”

  • I don’t have the necessary anatomy to hold a first-hand opinion on this subject, but a number of female cyclists I know swear by the moon cup or Diva cup.

    If you’re really tied to the pad idea, why not make your own? There are is at least one how-to on instructables, and although it does feature the dreaded snaps, I am sure you could easily sub in some velcro.

  • Hey Clara!

    I’ve been a user and fan of the Diva Cup for about 4 years. I hadn’t considered the option of a re-usable pad given my volume of flow and issues with cleaning it at work…you seem to be pretty set on using the pad but why not give the cup a try?? Just until you know, Glad Rag shapes up and gets the velcro.

    But I fully support your attempt at trying to get these people to change their design! I can’t believe they didn’t think of this given it’s made in Oregon of all places. Kudos!


  • Thanks for the tips. I actually have a diva cup and before that a moon cup. I like using both cups and pads. I just wish I had a pad option that was bike friendly.

  • Clara, you are so funny! I especially loved your note to GladRags. I never wear pads and like Yumi, the Diva Cup is my weapon of choice. Robert, thanks for posting that instructables. I think us ladies should have a make-your-own reusable pad night…

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