Real Women

Having worked in advertising a bit, I was intrigued by the ongoing debate about the representation of gender in bicycle advertising. At first, I was inclined to be offended too. But then, as I was watching the cyclists in my neighborhood, I realized something: the media really has us women figured out!

For example, I saw this very cute woman with a bike downtown:

Real Women

Specialized did some solid market research because I actually stumbled on a couple of Bike Nurses offering cycling men a hand!

Real Women

Of course, the lady cyclists out on the town were very stylish.

Real Women

But, of course, it’s not all about the clothes.

Real Women

Which sure makes laundry and getting ready in the morning so much easier.


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50 Comments on "Real Women"

Ian Brett Cooper
September 27, 2012

Sadly, the ‘I contribute visually to a more aesthetically pleasing urban landscape’ meme seems to be taking over cycling advocacy these days. I hope, one day, that it goes back to being about the right to ride bikes instead of being about urban chic and traffic calming. When did cycling advocacy start to be all about cityscapes and automobiles anyway?

September 28, 2012

When we wanted more than just spandex-clad sportsters to ride bikes.

More bikes = healthier communities, people and planet = Making biking safe and normal for everyone, including grandmas and kids

Ian Brett Cooper
October 2, 2012

I’ve never worn spandex, I rarely cycle over 10mph. I’ve been cycling slowly in regular clothes since 1970. I dislike the sport cyclist mentality as much as anyone, but that doesn’t mean I embrace the Hippie ‘cycling can save the world if only we shove unprepared people onto bikes’ mentality.

Cycling can never be safe for everyone when so-called ‘cycling advocates’ scorn research that tells us that riding on the road is safer than riding in pretty colored bike lanes which invite unsafe passes, right hooks, and which result in your ‘grandmas and kids’ (who usually have no idea of the rules of the road or even how to balance on their bikes) making the ultimate sacrifice on the altar of the fantasy ‘cycling event horizon’ that these advocates look forward to.

If cycling advocates were a bit more focused on real (not fantasy) cycling safety, a bit less enamored with bicycle facilities that have been proven to be less safe than the road, and a bit less obsessed with increasing bicycle mode share no matter what the cost in injuries or lives, I might be a bit less cynical about their motives.

More bikes do indeed mean a better world. The ends are good. It’s the means to those ends I have a problem with, because the means have a tendency to supplant the ends. And in this case, the means are questionable to say the least.

October 11, 2012

Oh come on, we tried that Effective stuff for 30 years, and got effectively nobody on bikes. The goal is what the Dutch have — and they have the stats to prove that it works better than anything else. Cycling advocates don’t want some fantasy, they want what those people over there have already — ride shares typically greater than 1/3, sometimes greater than 1/2, and safe cycling for all those people, including kids and grannies riding bikes without helmets (and not just some self-selected tiny fraction of the population).

Even with the half-assed infrastructure we deploy here (and I agree, door lanes are an abomination), the per-cyclist accident rate in NYC is falling as they add more infrastructure and more cyclists.

Steve R.
September 27, 2012

A fun strip as usual, with a lot of truth behind it, but now I feel guilty for just being a guy!

September 27, 2012

LOVE IT!!! As usual.

September 27, 2012

My first thought after reading this was, “I love this f#$%ing post.” And then I thought that I shouldn’t write f#@$ing – it’s just not ladylike. Oh, and after looking at the new Sheila Moon catalogue yesterday, I vomited in my mouth a little – although I am a little tired of black bike shorts, high heels and tennis rackets with psuedo-bike gear? Great post!

Ethan Fleming
September 27, 2012

Really great one. Yet in a disturbing but humorous way it is true.

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