Biking isn’t just for men

It is Friday and Fridays are for fun. In a Facebook post a couple of days ago I mentioned that cycling seems to be a male sport. When I look at biking magazines or shop online for gear I mostly see pictures of men and of men’s gear.

I also mentioned I am planning a 100-mile bike ride this spring. I immediately got all kinds of advice. Almost immediately someone told me which bike shop would be the best for me. He kind of decided.

People who saw the post seemed to assume that I have never ridden a bike and that rather than asking me for advice they should be giving me advice. I never asked for advice. I don’t have any questions and if I did I would not crowdsource the answers through social media.

A few people took the time to “mansplain” a little about biking. Some of the women who left comments wanted to introduce me to men and to women who might be able to help me.

There was a woman who explained a few things in a somewhat condescending way but I think it was because I am probably the same age as her mother and old people need help even more than women do.

Another woman reached out to a male friend of hers who seems to be a biking enthusiast and introduced us. I was supposed to ask him for advice and he was willing to give it. I had no idea what to ask. Am I making something that is super complicated too easy?

It seemed as if people assumed I had never ridden a bike before and that I do not know anyone else who rides a bike and that the ride will be my first ever 100-mile ride. Maybe they should all be asking me for advice.

Why would people just assume that I don’t know where to find information if I need it or that I am looking for advice from men who ride racing type bikes with their friends on the weekend?

Now I understand why pictures of people biking are mostly pictures of men and men are the source of most biking advice. Women who bike don’t want to talk about it because if they do they will get a lot of advice. Maybe they don’t want anyone to know that they can ride a bike.

women on bikes
women on bikes – photos are from the Commons on Flickr 


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