The Classy Bikini Bicyclist
Richard Irby may be the second-best known character in Tallahassee – second only to the governor. At 55, Irby can be seen almost daily, biking around the city wearing nothing except a headband and a tiny Speedo bathing suit. He’s been dubbed the Bikini Bicyclist and his fame has earned him friends, foes and even a Facebook fan club page.
In high school, Irby suffered a traumatic brain injury when he was hit by a car. Almost four decades later, he still walks and speaks with difficulty and is unable to work, so he lives on government disability checks. Riding his bike is his transportation and his greatest pleasure.
Though some say baring so much skin is indecent, many Tallahassee residents have come to recognize him and wave to him as they pass by in their cars. Facebook’s “Classy Tallahassee Bicyclist Fan Club” page has thousands of members who are raising money to buy him a new bike.
Why not bike shorts? Irby says he’s tried all other combinations of clothing for riding but the bikini is the most comfortable.
This video is part of St. Petersburg Times’ columnist Jeff Klinkenberg’s “Real Florida” series about Florida culture and the people who make the state unique.
CHANNEL: St. Petersburg Times / TampaBay.com
Video by Maurice Rivenbark
Story by Jeff Klinkenberg
Video Editing by Jack Rowland