July 23rd, 2010


Like a fish needs a bicycle

Further to the ongoing conversation about whether the battle for gender equality is all done and dusted, you might want to read this depressing article about being a female cyclist.

For what it's worth, my own experience is that most of the verbal abuse I get on a bike these days seems (insofar as I can decode the grunting and hooting of overexcited primates) to be aimed more at cyclists than women. Though I guess I might not get so much of that if I was/looked male -- but that's impossible for me to tell, I have no plausible way of pretending to be male while cycling.

(To be fair, I should also confess that I do my own fair share of shouting, but only at idiots who are actively endangering my life by flagrantly disregarding the rules of the road -- and idiots come in all shapes/sizes/genders/vehicles.)

On the positive side, there is some evidence to suggest that drivers give female cyclists more room when overtaking them. Though now I wonder whether (as the researcher hints) that's because they think female cyclists are more likely to behave unpredictably, or just because it's so much harder to look up someone's skirt when they're disappearing under the wheels of your white van. :-/