Detour for a second. A sidebar.
From the point of view of a chamois pad in the crotch of a pair of cycling shorts, your perineum is purpose, period. The bike saddle? The bane of existence, the Nemesis of said purpose, 'tis what road salt is, once applied, to black ice. And chamois cream? Aah, beautiful chamois cream and its silky, silky, goodness, uniting as one skin with fabric. What is it but a tool to succeed, a laptop to a blogger, a chain to a cyclist, salt to a french fry.
Joseph Shivers was an American chemist, working for DuPont, who in 1959 perfected the formula for a material that, in this mind anyway, just may play as big a role as history itself in the auto/bicycle conflict...or maybe it's just an interesting historical sidebar...maybe icing on the cake or insult to injury...depending on the disposition of your glass...half-full perhaps? Whatever, weirdo.
In 1959 Spandex was born, but it wasn't until more than a decade later that this miracle cloth was adopted by the nuevo cycling crowd and put to good use holding testes firm and vulvas...well, admittedly, I'm not too sure what it does vulvas but I imagine it can't be too bad a thing...at any rate, surely keeping lesser fabrics from chaffing your tender vittles raw on long, long, rides. So...eh-hem... how does this stretchy material play such a prominent role in this ever present war of transportation styles you ask? Well, let's just say if I had a dollar for every time some dick-for-brains called me a faggot while I rode clothed in Lycra's tight grasp I'd have enough dough for a couple Appletinis at the Blue Oyster down on Howell.
Moreover, aside from prodding homophobic twenty-somethings into hollering hate-speak ignorantly from their car windows, Spandex (or Lycra as it was later branded) has, as we all know, become the undisputed uniform of the recreational cyclist. Though it serves as a very functional garment as I explained above, it also serves, unfortunately, to define those that wear it...to put them firmly in the group we call "cyclist", to separate them, oil from water, from any other users of the road.
As I rambled in an earlier post, Spandex may have a negative effect on not just a driver's perception of those who wear it...but by simply donning the cycling kit, the Spandex hugging tightly the skin, a cyclist may subconsciously alter their perception of the auto/driver system, unknowingly change their demeanor toward something confrontational while riding. Pit them unaware against their fellow road users...