International Women’s Day

I’ve changed my blog title just for today.

At the weekend I ended up going to the Photographic Gallery and saw some work by women photographers. One of the women photographed little shops in America. She wanted to highlight small shops that haven’t been pushed out the way by chains.

Another thing I did yesterday, was pop into Orbital Comics in Leicester Square and bought a couple of self-published comics created by some women cartoonists.

As for cycling, well what can I say about things for International Women’s Day?

I think cycling magazines should encourage more female readers instead of fawning to the males all the time and they should also encourage women of all cultures to cycle. Too many cycling magazines are designed for white supremascist middle class conservative men. I think they should write more about people with disabilities and bicycles made for them too. Not every cyclist is male and able bodied.

And mainstream media should have more women’s cycling news, right now, sports pages are still dominated by male sports. Actually where do you see female footballers in newspapers?

Then of course we must think of how many male lorry drivers (have there been any females) who have mowed down our women cyclists in London. MEN! STOP THE EXTREME VIOLENCE TO US WOMEN CYCLISTS!

Then what else, why the hell should women be unable to cycle night because of men – their violence, perversions, hatred and drunkeness.

I cycle at night because I have to.. and I enjoy it but why should I live in fear because of male violence, both whilst walking on the pavement or cycling on the road with some aggressive uninsured male drunk behind me? Why do a minority of bad men spoil it for women who just want to go round their business as normal?

Then I could have ago again at Sustrans for making some cycle paths unsafe for women (and other cyclists) from muggers ie unlit cycle paths and absence of CCTV by towpaths and tunnels.

Then what about low pay for women sporting cyclists?

Why such a lack of women’s only cycling clubs?

Zillions of things:Bike shops – why do they still not stock many female friendly bicycle panniers and pretty seat covers and pretty cycling clothes? Not to mention us women cyclists being ripped off by their ridiculous labour charges for punctures as we often don’t have the strength to put the tyre back on to wheel. They have ‘got us’.

Thanks also to the women cyclists who in the 1800s cycled despite the fact that it was unladylike with their bloomers and ignored the male rubbish about it damaging our bodies and making us infertile or attractive to men (not that that’s the end of the world anyway).

Thanks also to the women cyclists who have started to appear in some of the mainstream press – slowly and surely….

ZERO THANKS to the thousands of women drivers who are mownng down cyclists too as they are rushing to their Little Johnny’s school. And those middle class rural women speeding down lanes chatting to their nanny or husband on a mobile phone whilst driving into a junction. Some women don’t deserve any thanks whatsoever. Some are scum! Why should we honour them?

ANOTHER WISH: I look forward to London having a female Mayor of London and even better if she is a cyclist!

ibikelondon put up a video on about why aren’t there more women cyclists. He also went on the International Women’s Day bike ride. I like the fact that he said that cycle lanes are a token rubbish but I wish he went onto to say that the superhighway is rubbish too.

I think one of the main reasons women don’t cycle enough is that they don’t see other women cycle and it is a form of ‘peer pressure’. Some women don’t like to be different and weird. They think cycling is ‘low status’ and they don’t want mud on their hands. Cycling can be dirty and some women are very fussy. They also may not be sporty and don’t like exercise of any kind hence you often see them at bus stops even though the shopping mall is about a mile and half away.

They can talk to their friends at the bus stop, and have a gossip and chat on the bus but cycling can be unfriendly, many cyclists don’t acknowledge you and I find it can be a hostile environment. Even I prefer going by by bus to have a chat with friends! There is more of a fun community atmosphere on a bus which is completely gone when you are on a bicycle commuting to work unless of course, you are on a small charity ride. Even in a car, they can take a few friends along and chat. On larger charity rides, things are so serious, cyclists don’t bother to talk to you even then. We women like a chat and that’s why a lot of us prefer to cycle in women’s cycling groups than be alienated by groups of cliquey men talking about football, flash bikes and gadgets in their cycling group. Many women are on low pay and cannot afford flash bikes and some don’t even want one. Some of us like old slow vintage-y bikes that would make us a laughing stock at male cycling clubs! Women like to be accepted not humililated.

I think cycling should be friendly, more community orientated and Cycle Friday groups are a good idea but there are many of us bike commuters who spend a lonely bike ride to work, even though it is nice to be on our own sometimes but sometimes we want a chat and we don’t want to talk ‘alluminium frames’, we aren’t that shallow.

Think lack of knowledge of bike maintenance is a another thing and none of us really like ‘men helping us out’ as we look like incompetant women even though we often don’t have the strength. Cycle maintenance isn’t part of the national curriculum and I am not sure if even the girl guides do this at all either.

Where I live there is a cycle path but even with a cycle path it is rarely used. I think it could also be that it is a very conservative area and the place is mainly car centric anyway, it isn’t the done thing even though it can be a lot safer. I think they also think that cars are independence, from ‘their man’. Just how many households have 2 cars when they don’t really need 2 cars.

Cycling clothes are still pretty poor in this country and any good stuff is quite expensive.

Being a woman cyclist is sneered at by males too, a ‘flash car’ could give a woman status.

I think there are a lot of issues why but it would be interesting to know why more elderly people aren’t cycling.



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