May 062011
In my quest for women’s bike blogs I’ve already identified a bunch (approaching 500) and the list keeps growing. So why another one?
  • Spokane has a growing community of people who ride bikes. Women are sometimes the invisible minority in that community; I’m out to change that along with a number of other wonderful women (some of whom I hope to profile in future posts). As an article in Scientific American put it, women are the indicator species for how bike-friendly a community feels so the more of us on the road the better for everyone.
  • Women who may be unsure or nervous about riding need safe places to hang out and learn.
  • Women who’ve been riding longer have figured out some tips and tricks that can benefit newer bike commuters.
  • On the style front, the hunt for good-looking clothing that doesn’t interfere with active movement takes effort and time—and we don’t have much time.
  • Bike shops run by Spandex guys, for Spandex guys, don’t give women the kinds of fashion choices we expect in our regular shopping rounds, let alone the experience. We love ’em and need ’em but they’re not always all about the cuteness, if you know what I mean.
  • The wonderful professional salespeople at your finer department stores do great work, but they haven’t evaluated their skirts in terms of how much you’ll flash people when you throw a leg over the saddle, their pants in terms of how a wide leg might get fouled with chain grease, or any of it for its water-shedding and dirt-resisting fabric qualities.
  • Going out on a bit of an evolutionary biology limb here, to mix a metaphor: We’re hardwired to gather ripe red berries together (my personal theory for why red-tag sales really push my hot button). While all humans have a “fight or flight” biochemical response, women in particular also have a “tend and befriend” biochemical response. Being around people with whom we have bonded gives us a nice flood of happy hormones. Social network spaces, blog comments, and similar connections across electronic space trigger some of the same sensations.

Let’s make friends, pick a few berries shopping deals together, and enjoy the happiness.

Your turn

What insights, resources, advice, questions and answers about women biking with style would you like to see here?

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Reader Comments

  1. I think I know the post you are talking about. it was great. what is most irritating about this problem…ok, my bottom is most irritating, but the other irritating thing…I tried several seats when I bought the bike (two whee did great) and it was pretty good for the first 3 years, but now it isn’t. If it is the seat wearing out already, that seems pretty fast…doesn’t even have 2000 miles on it.

  2. Sandra,

    I have to go find a blog post I saw on this …. “delicate” topic. I’ll post the link here when I find it. I tried several saddles and went through some extreme discomfort before finding happiness with a Sella Italia. It’s different for every set of parts!

    All the local bike shops have nice folks and I’d hope they can work with you to try a saddle for a while, then return it. In particular if they keep a stock of used saddles that people left behind when they bought a new one you might find a deal after doing some tryouts; I got mine through North Division Bike Shop that way.


  3. Barb, right now, i could use a referral to someone who can help me figure out why my bike seat has become so abysmally uncomfortable. I don’t require a woman fitter, just someone who understands that girl parts are different than boy parts, and can work with those differences. Know anyone?

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