Bicycle Network: Women's Cycling
Drop the dress code
No longer the domain of fixie-riding hipsters with ironic moustaches or big-calved men squeezed into lycra, bike riding is firmly cemented as a stylish mode of transport for women, writes Emma Clark.
The hipsters have spoken – bikes are officially trendy. All of a sudden it seems bikes are donning dark glasses, a black leather jacket and partying with the cool kids.
Despite this, bike shops are not the most female-friendly places. If the smell of testosterone mixed with grease doesn’t put you off, then the staff who reel off words like ‘linear pull cantilever’ and ‘derailleur parallelogram’ will.
Retailers need to find a way to make riding seem accessible for everyone, not just buff male road riders. The truth is, you can wear just about anything you want when you ride – there are no rules and no dress code.
Melbourne blogger and avid bike rider, Joyce Watts, is riding the crest of the bike-trend wave, having recently launched an online store for stylish people who love riding bikes. The store caters to both men and women, with a focus on practical items that are functional both on and off the bike.
“When I first started commuting by bike I wore gym gear because that’s what I thought you had to do – cycling’s a sport, right?” says Joyce.
“But as I cycled around Melbourne, and visited bike-friendly European cities, I realised that it was possible to ride in my everyday clothes and not have to take a change of clothing everywhere I went.
“Most women I know don’t want to dress in fluorescent clothing or to arrive somewhere sweaty and dishevelled. We need to emphasise the fact that it’s possible to ride a bike in normal clothes, that you don’t have to ride at full pace all the time and that you can even ride in heels!”
Visit www.cyclestyle.com.au for more information.
This article appeared in the August-September 2010 edition of Ride On magainze.
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