27 April 2010

Girls and Bikes

 dream girl bike gang by ellenbig

Me and Lydia went on an all-girl bike ride on Sunday called Revenge of the 50 Fixed Women. I've been looking forward to going onthis ride for weeks, the idea of a huge bunch of women riding fized wheel bikes through London was like a dream come true.

When I woke up on Sunday morning (at 7am!) it was a lovely sunny day and I cycled off to meet Lydia in a nice summer dress...then halfway there it started to pour with rain! By the time I got there I couldn't feel my feet, but the thought of how awesome this ride was going to be kept me going.

We got there and dried off a bit and went to the meeting point, and there was a little bunch of girls there on bikes so we went and said hi and as we were just getting off our bikes they cycled off! Thinking maybe I'd missed something we followed them and turns out they were in a coffee shop. Fine, we joined them and they even pulled up a chair for us.

Then the ride started and that was when they all got a look at my bike. My lovely bike is a Specialized Langster which I absolutely love and think is a great bike. But for some reason, which I can't still work out, bike snobs seem to hate it. I think it's just irrational big band hatred, I dunno and don't really care. But once the girls had seen my bike their attitude towards me really changed. They stopped talking to me and I was left cycling for long stretches by myself.

Then one girl came and spoke to me, for her only to have a bit of a dig at my bike and tell me how wonderful hers is and how great a cyclist she was. I thought she was just a bit full of herself and shrugged it off and kept riding.

But then this other girl on a too big rickety bike comes and talks to Lydia telling her how much she loves Lydia bike (which is an amazing bike) and then just comes out and says that everyone hates Langsters, that they are weird and crap.

It felt like I was 11 years old again and a gang of girls were laughing at my trainers in the playground. For all the rest of the ride and the social afterwards no one else spoke to me.

I don't get it, this was meant to be a really inclusive and supportive ride for girls who perhaps were too intimidated to go on a boys ride, or just wanted to hang out with other girls obsessed with bikes. But it seems you have to have the right kind of bike or the right clothes. And I just didn't have a cool enough bike. So even though I know pretty much as much as they did about bikes and could ride as fast and well as them they just didn't want to know.

Why does there have to be so much girl hate? Even in a group that existed for the purpose of being supportive to girl cyclists?


  1. Thats Terrible! I really dont understand how so many people can be egotistical is any aspect of life.
    I was at a punk show a little while ago and there were these older punks (like 30 year olds with mohawks)talking about something that has happened at an earlier show and I piped up and said "o, the same thing happened to me at a rave"
    and they all (literally) pointed and laughed at me and mockingly said "o yeah, a rave?!"
    and I said "Yeah! a rave! I like lots of different kinds of music." and went on my merry little way realizing that I am far more punk rock than they will ever be because I straight up dont give a fuck.

    you dont need them, ride off into the sunset on your langster and be free of high cycle standards.

    your way cooler that someone that doesnt know how to ride a bike (aka: me)

  2. I just want to say i love reading up on what your up too and How awsome the cycleing idea is! Michigan needs something like this :D

    and i also wanted to say I understand what you mean about the girl hate :/

    I started getting alot more girls to go to shows and get more involved in there music scene. Most of us permote girl love but there are always those few who just dont want to stop. Its like they dont understand how beautiful girls communicating and coming together is! They dont see how wonderful being together in a postive way can be!

    God its so much better then sitting there making other women feel bad about themselves.
    i never understood why that is fun for people?

    It just results to more Girl hate and isolation from other women.
    and thats the last thing we want.

    All we can do is spread the love! and never stop fighting. We can share what we know and love with other girls and get more and more girls excited about being women

  3. god, that sucks. it's really nothing different than getting laughed at for wearing the wrong clothes, except this is supposed to be a "counterculture" or "underground" or whatever. it's funny how people think they are so different from the "mainstream" when really they are just the same!

  4. it was so shit. and everybody on the forum is 'oh, i had such a great time. everybody was so welcoming.' it was like being back at school.

    maybe it's something to do with feeling like they have more to prove because riding fixed is a 'boy thing'. it's no excuse though.

    i wish it had been a genuinely girl-supportive (supporting) environment. that's what we need, with so many women being killed, and even just intimidated, on the road.

  5. I'm speachless. I don't understand how people who are supposed to/want to be "wiser" and do it "better" (meaning more supportive) can be so incredibly stupid!
    But it seems to be the same everywhere. How many "alternative" people have I met who judge you because you're, for example, not dressed "alternatively" enough and stuff...

    Hope you'll have a really great riding time with really lovely people soon to make up for it! Enjoy your awesome bike!

  6. God, this is bullshit. It makes me SO ANGRY. I'm not surprised you felt so shit. I hate it when you actively seek out "alternative" stuff in a desperate attempt to find a place or some pals and find it's just like school again (you're not "alternative" looking enough or you don't have the right bike. I mean WTF is THAT about?). Balls to 'em. Set up your own bike group!!

  7. hello!

    I just felt so lame, I couldn't work out of I felt lame for letting them get to me, or the I tried to fi in somewhere and couldn't do it. sod 'em.

  8. how awful! My bike is the same i've had since i was 14 and although clunky i'm proud of it!