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Unexpected benefit of riding a men's bike

Last week (or so, don’t remember exactly) the boys and I were riding along, minding our own business on our way home from school, when we caught up with another mum with her kids walking home from school. We slowed down, carefully passed them, and started to move on.

Then I heard the mum start saying something along the lines of “Well, I didn’t know it wasn’t a man, I wasn’t really looking!” in that defensive, too-loud way that you do when you think your kids have embarrassed you in public. In actual fact, I don’t recall hearing any of what they had said before that, but I imagine that the mum had said something about moving over to get out of the man’s way, and that the kids had informed her that I wasn’t a man. Like I said, I don’t really know, but I recognised the mum’s embarrassment. I don’t know what made her think I was a man. I was riding a men’s bike, but if she hadn’t seen me she may have been judging by my voice, while I was telling my boys to go around the other people carefully.

At first I was slightly amused at being called a man. I acknowledge that it’s not easy to judge gender from a fleeting glimpse of a person on a bike (while trying not to stare). And I’m fat. And I don’t have close-fitting bike clothes to show off my femininity (mostly because of the fat thing). Then I started thinking that this may be a positive thing. If another woman can mistake me for a man, then maybe I could stop being so paranoid about riding on quiet bike paths alone. Maybe those (admittedly rare) attacks were on petite women riding women’s bikes. Maybe a bigger woman in looser clothes on a men’s bike looks male enough to get away with it.

Maybe I should get a helmet that doesn’t have a pretty purplish design on it…

Permalink Tuesday, 31 March, 2009 12:20 pm, by Mamma Email , 331 words, Categories: Babblings, Thoughts, Bike , 1 comment »

1 comment

Comment from: Bek [Member]
Wednesday, 1 April, 2009 @ 22:38

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