Since I've never considered myself a proper cyclist I've never owned or worn Lycra (have you seen the price of cycling jerseys?). And over shorter distances it doesn't really matter what you wear. Top hat and tails will do you fine. I really thought though I'd need some cycling shorts for some comfort and padding over the longer distances, and these were top of my wish/want list. But owing to having to spend money on other, unexpected things like a new wheel and handlebars, it's now been over two months wearing normal t-shirts and shorts and no ill effects. So this is just to say that yes, you can spend a whopping amount of cash if you want to get into (or perhaps more 'fit' into cycling; be taken 'seriously'), but you don't have to - the end result is you still get from point A to point B.