Stripes and Bikes

30 Jan 2015


One of the smallest things that brings me unlimited happiness is that often neglected activity of riding a bike. Just the action pedalling along overrides my 'bitchy resting face' and automatically makes me smile. I proudly call myself a cyclist, which is an odd thing to call yourself. It's like everyone that has a licence calling themselves a driver, and more people know how to ride a bike than know how to drive. Why is 'I'm a cyclist' used as a statement of identity, then?



I think it's because stating that you are a cyclist reflects (where I'm from) a particular social identity. To me it says that at some point I didn't let life wear me into the rut of a standard life. It is like a beacon of independent thinking. This might seem like a strange perspective to have, but I am reminded of this perspective every time I go out on my bike. I don't always ride, but it can be as infrequent as twice a month or as frequent as twice a day.


When I go out on my bike, people react. One day that I rode my bike to work this week, I passed some walkers on the track travelling the other way. They went single file so that I could share the track with them, but this attempt at moving single file almost ended in disaster. The lady of the pair was so busy staring agog at me that she nearly tumbled into the grass. To be fair, I ride an amazing bike, I have a union jack helmet, I wear heart shaped sunglasses and I was wearing a pink dress covered in embroidered doughnuts. It could have been any one of these things that sent her noggin into emergency comprehension back up battery protocols, but I'm guessing it was all of them at once. I rode off thinking, 'Darling, if a girl on a bike rocks your socks, imagine the big wide world there is out there.' If seeing me inspired her enough to want to ride a bike (or even order something other than spag bol on the menu for dinner) I'll have done something good. You only live once. Order something new on the menu.


I have often got comments from boring sideline standing commentating types when I'm stationary with my bike (and it is usually said as though I don't have ears) 'She/you can't/don't ride in those heels.' How does one respond to this?


 'Darling, if you think I can't ride in 'em, you should stick around for my dismount.'


Helmet: Nutcase
Top: sold out - Modcloth
Skirt: Portmans
Shoes: sold out - Modcloth
Bike: Lekker
Bike panniers: Basil
Bike horn: Papillionaire
Location: My bike trail
Photos: Stu




Oh yeah. This is my dismount.  Ladies bikes with the low frame make this super easy. I usually cruise along sort of side saddle on one pedal and the jump off and walk.









You only get one life. Ride a bike.

- L

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