I feel the way about my bike the way most people feel about their boyfriends, or babies or bonus. I love it. And so The Debrief very kindly commissioned me to write a piece about how bicycles have been an agent of liberation, celebration and emancipation for women across history. And no amount of patronising commuter comments can ever change that. Read it online here or see the unedited version below…
If one more man comments on my cycling shoes, I might just push a stiletto into his derailleur and kick a heel into his crankset.
I wouldn’t, of course – I’m neither stupid nor dangerous. But sweet mother of downtubes it’s tempting sometimes.
The gusset-twisting problem of what women should wear while cycling has wheeled on ever since the 19th Century panic over “Bike Face”. But while that Victorian hysteria all centred around bulging eyes, increased freedom and a “tightened mandible”, today’s unease seems to centre around bulging crotches and a tightened focus on our labia minora. Yes, I’m talking about the Colombian women’s cycling team.