> Bike Talk: Women and the Bicycle as an Accessory | CITY GIRL RIDES

Bike Talk: Women and the Bicycle as an Accessory

28 June, 2011

 A while back I encountered a group of cyclists on my commute who started talking to me and said "nice bike, do you just ride it for fun?" With furrowed eyebrows I said "No... I commute everywhere on bike." Their reply, "In those clothes?" My reply, "Yes, even in the rain. A bike isn't an accessory, it's a bike." 

A bike is a bike is a bike is a bike, so to steal from Gertrude Stein. I know the bicycle has become and is growing into a bigger trend, especially in urban cities, fashion blogs, and in the fashion industry. Where cities are developing more bicycle infrastructure, more people are riding. Whether you consider yourself a bicycle advocate or not, you know that promoting cycling, even through fashion, will get people riding, especially women. With more women coming out on the streets on two wheels, there has been an increase of women that started changing the face of bicycle culture socially, economically, and politically. There are more women opening bike stores around the world (Cycle Chic?), managing them, designing innovative and stylish bikes, cycling clothing, and accessories. Women are even heading up influential advocacy blogs, bike coalitions, non-profits, and other organizations. While they aren't heading up popular blogs, massive companies, websites, or other types of media and getting massive amounts of hits and followers, they are there, fighting in the backgrounds, and I am always searching for them. 

It feels good to hear these voices and even to be a part of them, so while some people may think some of us girly city bike bloggers use our bicycle as an accessory, I just have to say this... we are doing so much more than being pretty on a bicycle. Our presence on the road and voices are redefining safe livable streets and urban culture. So perhaps the next time you run into an a pretty girl and her bike, just remember, she is part of a quiet movement that many of us women are loudly fighting for.

What are you doing to promote safer streets for all?
Dave Feucht said...

I heartily agree with you. I mean, there are some people who do treat their bicycles as a fashion accessory.

But the majority of people I see in Portland are actually using their bicycles to go places they need to go, and that can only be a good thing.

We need people from all categories and groups to simply make the choice to live in a quieter, simpler, less-obtrusive way in our cities, and whatever your sense of style is, seeing someone on a bike who you can relate to makes it feel more accessible.

So, get out and rock the roads on your bikes, ladies (and gents). We all need you there, and we all benefit from you being there.

As the venerable Billy Corgan said, "what I choose is my voice." Sometimes your voice is the loudest when your mouth isn't moving.

cb said...

here here!!! totally and utterly agree with you! so weird how some people aren't just happy with the fact that more people are riding, i know i am, whether they are riding a bso or an aluminum track bike on the road more people on the road means more voices for those making the laws to hear and improve the riders road on two wheels!

Neus said...

completly agree with you!!! A smiling face and a bike are a wonderful vitamin for everybody who sees you riding arround!

SuperKat said...

agreed...hate how every single thing you do is judged...just let us live by bike and dress how we want

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