Friday, November 6, 2009

Bike Chic, WHY i hate it

High Fashion

Most folks reading my blog post on Bike Chic misunderstood my stance. What I hate is the fact that bike chic for women TENDS to be women in skirts and spiked heels. And this is true of any fashion chic involving women. I do not care what women wear on their bikes, but I do care that "chic" is skin and sex.

And what prompted my blog post in the first place was the TV show Oprah did on the same issue except it did not involve bikes.

She had her show guests pulling average looking women off of the streets and redoing them. Off came the sneakers, pants and backpacks and on came heels, skirts and expensive purses.

This is what got my blood boiling. And now I see this same thing with women and bikes. IF you want to bike naked, go for it, just don't proliferate the Net with pics of ladies on bikes half naked and call it "chic."

That term needs to be redefined to include lots of ladies on bikes. To me any lady biking, be it in heels or bike gear is a chic lady.


Anonymous said...

Lib, I see you have gone from a double standard to a triple standard. First you back pedal from your original statement about women dressed in fashionable clothing. Now you claim you don't want pictures on the net of women half naked and calling it chic. The picture of the half naked woman in Lycra you posted you considered chic.

Then you post a nearly naked picture of your son and claim that is male chic. As a man I don't consider that male biker chic. That cyclist is dressed for a competition, not every day riding.

The women in the Copenhagen blog site you were offended by were wearing the same clothes they would have worn while walking on the sidewalk. They weren't showing skin and sex, nobody pulled them off the street and gave them a makeover. What you saw on Oprah was for ratings.

Come to Philadelphia some time, we'll go for a ride, and you can see how the average cyclist dresses.

Andy B from Jersey said...


You really just don't get it do you. You see, bike chic has very little to do about being a sex object on a bike. It's simply about looking good while on a bike. It's about beauty which can be admired without debasing it down to sex. It's about making cycling DESIRABLE to those who aren't cyclists!

One of the major points of Copenhagen Cycle Chic is to bring to light the inherent beauty of the bicycle and to make riding a bicycle more popular around the world. Mikeal's blog has been incredibly successful at that and now millions of men and women think of riding a bike as a desirable if (for shame!) a fashionable thing to do. All that lags to get these people on bikes is the infrastructure that would make them feel comfortable riding on the road. Mikeal understands this quandary and is using his blogs to create a movement for cycling that includes everyday people who otherwise don't identify themselves as cyclists. Trust me, more women are going to identify with a well dressed woman on an upright bike, then a woman hunched over a tri-bike in spandex and Lycra.

Also, after reviewing much of the recent material on Copenhagen Cycle Chic I can confidently say that every woman I saw pictured was wearing more cloths then the woman you showed on the tri-bike. However, one thing that all the women shared on Copenhagen Cycle Chic is that they were impeccably dressed. As a young, neo-romantic man they aren't sex objects but beautiful women who are obviously in command and comfortable with their femininity. And believe it or not this is how most women dress everyday in Denmark and most other European countries, most of which are becoming FAR more advanced and civilized then our country which clearly no longer leads the charge in human rights as it once did.

Unfortunately too many American's have lost all sense of fashion and style which I also feel could be reflection of our civility. Most of us dress everyday like slobs in frumpy cloths. As a young single man I VERY VERY rarely ever encounter a woman anymore that is well dressed and attracts my eye. Either they ooze low class promiscuity (with is a major turn off) or they obviously don't care about their appearance. And unfortunately for the ladies, most men are even worse!

So while I often find Opra a bit scary (like when she did a special that I happened to randomly see on plastic surgery mega makeovers and had her all female audience screaming in wild approval, SCARY!), I don't think she is all that bad that she makes women (or men) realize their potential beauty. I will agree with you that it shouldn't come from expensive name brands or massive amounts of make-up.

Finally after reading some of your comments on the original post (amongst the 52 others), you're obviously still dealing with some issues inflicted upon you by the blatant sexism that existed when you were younger. I'm sorry those things happened back then (and I know some of it still exists today) but today is a new age.

Still wishing you all the best of luck in making West Chester a better place to ride. Just be aware you might be damning the best tool out there for your cause.

silversurfer said...

Hi Libby,
Mike here from Catching up with the rolling conversation I have to say I am in complete agreement with Andy B from Jersey.
There is an element of fashionability linked to riding and we photographically record that at as well as offering all types of riders a photographic record of themselves 'doing the right thing 'with the aim of celebrating the act of cycling as part of the bigger picture and all its beneficial features.
Good wishes to you and your efforts to support and promote cycling.
Keep pedalling.