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women and bikes: thoughts?

This topic contains 58 replies, has 32 voices, and was last updated by  StuInMcCandless 1 yr, 1 mo.

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pearmask

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Feb 4 2013 at 12:03am #

So, Chatham is hosting a women’s biking event in April called gurlBIKE, and I happened upon some of their blog posts today… As a female cyclist, I have some pretty strong opinions on this stuff, but first I wanted to ask the rest of the board — what do you all think? (There are more where these came from, but here are some of the ones I’ve read on their site so far.)

http://gurlbike.info/creating-a-brand-for-the-womens-bike-culture/

http://gurlbike.info/women-specific-bike-maps-yes-please/

http://gurlbike.info/145/


quizbot

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Feb 4 2013 at 1:07am #

gurlbike can ride gurlbike’s bike wherever gurlbike would like with whoever gurlbike likes as can anyone else on a bike with whomever they like.

Are the nebulous groups gurlbike is hating against somehow preventing gurlbiker from going on or organizing a brunch or tea ride?

I don’t understand why promoting cycling culture is seen as such a bad thing just because it doesn’t involve tea or food.

Please explain.


brybot

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Feb 4 2013 at 2:05am #

The “creating a brand” article seemed slightly (emphasis on slight) hostile towards existing bike culture. I don’t find cycling to be a “bro” like as the author seems to indicate. Also, the comment about rides ending at bars seems to be very much a Pittsburgh trend, not a gender trend. As for having rides that end at a tea shop or with some sort of festival sound plenty appealing to me. I don’t think you need to be a “gurl” to appreciate those things. Ultimately, as a male supporter of womens’ rights/issues, I think it is best to be inclusive instead of alienating men while trying to make changes in society.


Drewbacca

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Feb 4 2013 at 4:08am #

Chicks on bikes… that’s pretty hot bro! Let’s grab a six pack and go hit on them! *head desk*

Since when is enjoying a microbrew part of the “bro” culture, anyways? I always enjoyed how cycling and craft beer seemed to go together for no apparent reason… Most of the women I know who ride are as into beer as I am. Maybe the poster just has a chip on her shoulder…

I’m not speaking just for Pittsburgh either, I’d say that there is a lot of similarity in the bike culture everywhere I’ve lived. It’s not a coincidence that so many breweries have cycling jerseys available. Goose Island is about as involved in Chicago cycling as East End is in Pgh.

I’ve never been much of a fan of people with excessively strong opinions about culture. I tried to read though all three of the links, but that tone was a major turn off.

I’m glad I live in the real world, where they don’t have “Metal music blaring” in a single shop that I’ve ever been to. Not that there is anything wrong with metal… for that matter, I know more “gurls” who listen to metal than guys.

I think she should give up cycling and take up soap-box racing.

Are you asking us to comment on the points buried within, or the article in its entirety?


edmonds59

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Feb 4 2013 at 7:23am #

I was kind of waiting for some actual women on the board to respond before I started tossing my 2c in, but, I think it’s time.
I think it’s incredibly valuable (the site, not my 2c). The tagline “Women on bikes represent the livability of a community” is right on the money, so they’ve got me right there.
As a 53 yr old (god that’s hard to say) man, it is impossible for me to view the world through the eyes of a young woman, so this is fantastic, this is an opportunity to do that, a window. Whether or not the culture is bro’centric is irrelevant, if the perception exists that it is, then we have to do better. If this is criticism of the culture, we should not be threatened, it should be openly evaluated and considered, criticism is necessary for growth and improvement. This person seems to be passionate about this, and we need all the passionate allies we can get.
Is this the same person who was on the board last year? Some of the board participants discussed helping with an event that sounds like this. Is this it? Hoping so.
This is a little fatherly advice for everyone, and it applies everywhere – the best way to help someone is not to tell them how to do something, or worse yet do it for them. Let them do the thing and let them ask you what part they need help with. Also never under any circumstances use the words “you’re doing it wrong”.
I love this pic and this seems like an opportunity;


edmonds59

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Feb 4 2013 at 7:41am #

Also, my beautiful 12 yo dancing/cheering girly girl learning to use socket wrenches. So proud.


Vannevar

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Feb 4 2013 at 8:05am #

Personally, and I am even older that edmonds59, there’s no doubt that cycling-as-we-know-it has a testosterone dimension – which, in a perversely twisted metaphor, is a chicken-egg kind of thing – is bicycling socialized male because of the activity OR is bicycling socialized male because the women have been smart enough to avoid this dangerous behavior and the bike culture has developed this way in their absence? (seriously)

The best way to increase the safety of cycling in Pittsburgh is to increase the number of cyclists. The easiest way to increase the number of cyclists in Pittsburgh is to raise the number of women cyclists; that’s the low-hanging fruit.

That’s not going to happen by telling “them” that they’re wrong and they should man up and figure out how we do it.

I’ve been really surprised that Pittsburgh hasn’t had a women’s cycling group and a weekly women’s-only ride. Not for apartheid, not for second-class status, but for advocacy and to give newb women riders a safe place to go get started.

I support this gurlBIKE initiative because it could be good for Pittsburgh bicycling and it can’t hurt, and it’s a positive thing.

Just my .02 which is worth less these days.


pinky

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Feb 4 2013 at 8:27am #

I would love a women’s weekly ride or something like that, but the hostility is too much for me. For the record, I like craft beer. And I’m a woman. And my bike is pink. In fact, her name is Pinky, which is my handle here.

The bike map post is weird. Doesn’t everyone want these things: “all the places I tend to go and all the places I would like to go to if they were on the map and I could find out how to get there easily.”

I think that bike map is called Google Maps. To expect everyone to kowtow to your interests in tea and yoga, and to call others out as being too “bro” if they don’t, is a bit insufferable.

I also refuse to see myself as a target when biking at night just because I’m a woman. I take reasonable precautions to protect myself, but you can’t crowdsource the locations of every scary shrub that might be hiding a thug. Because as we’ve discussed on this board before, everyone has different thresholds for danger, whether in traffic or intersections, or in areas with higher crime rates.


Marko82

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Feb 4 2013 at 8:29am #

I am not quite as old as edmonds, but I’m catching him quickly. I think the blogger should definitely start a more female friendly bike culture if that is what she wants, and I’d probable be interested in joining her for some rides too – because I enjoy biking. The only thing I find (very slightly) offending is her comments and tone towards already established bike events. A lot of people have worked very hard to establish some pretty amazing events that seem to be enjoyed by quite a few people, if attendance is any indicator of success. Also, I think her issues seem to be more alcohol focused than testosterone focused, and I can appreciate how that can be a big turn-off for some (male or female). So I wish her luck, and if she needs help I hope she posts here because she is very likely to find it, even from some of us Neanderthal males.


StuInMcCandless

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Feb 4 2013 at 9:01am #

Also male, also mid-50s, FWIW, and 2c doesn’t buy much these days.

My guess is that we know who this is, and I am all for helping people we’ve run across. Maybe they have an agenda that’s different from the three dozen or so regulars on this board; that’s fine. Maybe they have a chip on their shoulder about the current majority of rides; that’s fine, too.

Like edmonds59 says, and as I mentioned in the Facebook thread pearmask started, anything that gets more people on bikes is A Good Thing™. This came from a different community of cyclists from us, which is itself healthy, because it means there are entirely new sets of people on two wheels with needs to be met. I don’t care what personal plumbing you have or what you drink at the end of the ride, we’re all on two wheels, and we all face much the same issues in getting around. What differs, apparently, is what you might do while on those two-wheeled missions — and I’m really tempted to list a bunch of things that could be labeled sexist, but won’t.

So, gurlbike, whoever you are, *please* enlist our support, because it’s out there. Not all of us with a Y chromosome are beer-consuming “bro”s. And if we’re somehow stepping on toes, please tell us that, too, so we know what to change.

All right, I’ll shut up now.


pinky

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Feb 4 2013 at 9:03am #

Ok rereading my post, I think I’m a little cranky this morning. Let me temper what I previously wrote with this:

I encourage the author and anyone else who wants to join in to develop a more diverse (by interest, gender, socio-economic background, race, style, etc) cycling culture in Pittsburgh.

What I don’t think will help is finger pointing at the existing bike events and culture. I feel like the author is saying, “What about me?” I’d rather see her say, “Let’s try this…”


edmonds59

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Feb 4 2013 at 9:10am #

No question that there is a tone of attitude to the writing. But the way to dispel the attitude is not to get all sensitive and defensive and put up walls, I think we are more self-confident than that. Or should be. We have all been newbies and nervous about our abilities, get in touch with that. Dig a little deeper than the tone. Tone doesn’t convey well on the internets anyway. We need to be welcoming and accepting and offer help if asked. If we get all sensitive and hurty-feely, it just reinforces the implication of the writing.
The reality is that any little 3 mile ride to a tea shop, while seemingly insignificant to us “hardasses”, is wonderful. It is a gateway drug. One woman blogger after another has caught the bug, started with a little tea ride with friends, found out they could go farther and faster than they ever thought, needed a better faster bike, rode 10 miles, then 20, then century’s, got another bike, and on. Sow and water those seeds.


Benzo

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Feb 4 2013 at 9:14am #

I drink tea, do yoga, eat brunch, wear sunglasses, drink beers at hambones, go to shows at brillobox, eat vegetarian food at quiet storm, like well well lit bike routes at night. What the hell does any of this have to do with women?


Benzo

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Feb 4 2013 at 10:01am #

Author is angry about rides ending at bars and wondering why brillobox and hambones are not on the bike-pgh map…

No mention about real women specific issues like dealing with excessive catcalling, objectification, perceived lack of role models like themselves, riding during menstration/pregnancy, different physical needs for bike gear.

Attitudes like this only serve to self segregate by infantilizing women, further enforcing the stereotypes that women are somehow less able than men and the perception that the term ‘female cyclist’ equals ‘beginner cyclist’. I take issue with this because the women I know don’t espouse this belief, they defy it.


StuInMcCandless

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Feb 4 2013 at 10:13am #

I bike 3 miles down not-particularly-bike-friendly Perry Hwy to get to a bus in West View. I’ve never seen a female cyclist. I bike down bike-friendly Babcock Blvd into Millvale and see women on wheels not very often but not never, and past discussions on this board back this up.

Whatever it takes to encourage and assist in getting women to try, I’m for it. Whatever it takes to break down barriers, whether infrastructure, interpersonal, bike shop attitudes, equipment availability, racks at schools, school district riding policies, speeding enforcement, four-foot enforcement, … whatever is keeping women (and children) from getting out there.

The Popsicle Index again: You are not likely to allow your 8-year-old kid to bike to the store to get a popsicle, solo, if you’re not comfortable doing that yourself.


sarapgh2

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Feb 4 2013 at 10:15am #

I truly appreciate the perspective brought by edmonds, stu, etc. For myself and friends that have reacted so strongly to these posts, I think we constantly fight perceptions of what “women” are and it strikes close to home when a fellow lady writes opinions that basically says everything we love and the culture we live in/promote is not womanly.

The author certainly has the right to blog whatever she wants and even to try to make her vision a reality. What is hurtful is the attitude Benzo mentions, that “female cyclist=beginner cyclist” and infantilizing women riders.

If she stated that she wanted more infrastructure that made her feel comfortable riding, great! That applies to a lot of riders. What is damning in my eyes is that she writes as if she speaks for all women (needing a “women-friendly map”, etc.). She certainly DOES NOT speak for me.


JaySherman5000

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Feb 4 2013 at 10:42am #

“I think that bike map is called Google Maps. To expect everyone to kowtow to your interests in tea and yoga, and to call others out as being too “bro” if they don’t, is a bit insufferable.”

+1

I was going to try to say something constructive here, but all I can think after reading the bike map post is “this broad seems like a real chore.”

I don’t care what gender the author of that post is, they sound a like grade-A moron writing lines like “The [map] print is usually too small to read comfortably through sunglasses…” If you’re not smart enough to take off your sunglasses to read a map, are you sure you’re smart enough to even be on a bike?

And why are you describing events as “booze infested?” That only serves to immediately alienate anyone that prefers to imbibe an adult beverage from time to time (which is most of the free world, as it turns out).

Getting back to the point of the thread, I disagree wholeheartedly with branding any event as specifically for one gender. I’d rather see events that are as all-inclusive as possible. As an example, the movie night in the park during bikefest was great: a sunset picnic followed by a fun film about bikes. It was an event that anyone could come to, wasn’t “booze infested,” and had a theme we could all get behind: bikes! That said, if anyone wanted to host a ride around the city to tea shops or yoga studios, I’m all for it as long as it includes all genders.


Aryn

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Feb 4 2013 at 11:19am #

Yeah, it is a little off putting. But Maria can be that way. I think if we take the women thing out of it, as in trade “I assume that all women want the things that I want and therefore this is what needs to happen” for “Some other people surely feel the way I feel and so it would be good to make it happen so they are interested in doing this thing, too” it sounds a bit better. As a woman, and a human and a bike rider, I love bikes and beer and food. I love eating things, I’m glad she points out how great that is, and I’m pretty sure I know some men who do, too. I’ll take beer over tea(when I’m out at least), and I acknowledge that that is a personal preference. I love bikes. I ride my bike(s) everywhere, almost always. It is awesome! Men and women alike have seemed concerned by my(our) willingness to ride in the cold, snow, heat, rain, traffic, Pittsburgh roads, etc. I don’t have a ton of fear. I try to be careful, and I rarely feel more in danger because I’m a woman. But some people do. I think this is something that needs to be addressed in how we are taught, how we talk and think. We shouldn’t have to avoid every alleyway. Before I biked to Atlanta I can’t count how many people suggested it was possibly a terrible idea to go out by myself, as a female(I am pretty sure I actually got more help, people were nicer to me along the way than if I had been more man typed, or at least as much). That we feel the need to tell women they can’t or shouldn’t, because they are female, is probably not helping. Could the world be safer? yes. Is it as bad as we make it out? no. Bad things happen, they happen on Penn, they happen in alleyways, and they also are often not happening in those places, we forget that.
We can be better, we can be more inclusive. It doesn’t mean we’re doing badly now, but if we can get more people doing this, it is better for everyone. Ride with a buddy if it makes your buddy feel safer. Get some food if feeding her will make her happy.


JustRay

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Feb 4 2013 at 11:29am #

@JS5000 — That was one of my kinda quibbles with the substance of a handful of the entries: there’s just a little bit of a fact gap (missing the point of some events; the existence of others, etc.). But a blog is a thing on the internet, so maybe it’s an homage to the genre.

Adding to the pile of pennies are my two cents:
There are a lot go good points in the blog posts and I applaud the notion of anyone spreading bike advocacy. It just all gets bogged down in tone and rhetoric. And, yeah, generally you give that a pass — especially in a blog which has the aura of being a personal means of communication. But when you’re crushing the tone and rhetoric of one population, you need to be sure what you’re saying is what you intend to say.


stefb

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Feb 4 2013 at 11:35am #

Stu and Bill make some good points. Some women are “girly girls”, some women are “tomboys”. Some are in the middle. I don’t like exclusion of any gender or race when it comes to bicycling (and I don’t like large groups of only women in general), but I can kinda see how some people may not have confidence in their riding abilities and may be intimidated by other riders, and doing a women’s ride or belonging to a women’s group with the purpose of doing things that “girly girls” like, may be a good thing to some people.

Also the point was brought up about periods. Why haven’t we had a period thread (or have we)?


byogman

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Feb 4 2013 at 11:36am #

I know something of the feeling of being a small minority within a small minority. And so, the “you’re on your own” feeling getting started biking in the road while were still in single low digit percentages is something I could see being worse if you’re female.

Joining Bike Pittsburgh is great way to combat that feeling. Rides are an even better way to combat that, and there are beginner friendly ones if that’s her thing. She could even start her own if she wanted to do more than complain.

Bonus is that rides (at least if they’re open invite) help undo preconceptions. Don’t get me started there on her posts. Ugh.

Bottom line, there are much more male cyclists out there than female, we know this… and we hate it! It’s not some sort of stupid boys club we’re trying to keep you out of and we’re not all (or even mostly) what you seem to think we are. Personally, I think the ride described ending in Schenley Park would be just my cup of tea provided it’s co-ed and not carrying the aura of that blog post. And I couldn’t tell you what I would give for my wife to start riding.


joeframbach

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Feb 4 2013 at 11:36am #

Not much to add but another +1 for “To expect everyone to kowtow to your interests in tea and yoga, and to call others out as being too “bro” if they don’t, is a bit insufferable.”


sarah_q

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Feb 4 2013 at 4:07pm #

Stef, you know I am always down for talking about periods!


stefb

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Feb 4 2013 at 4:13pm #

I think this may be getting blown out of proportion. Maybe I missed the discussion, but if you want something to be really mad about, look at the scantily-clad females at Interbike that were used like they do/used to (?) at car shows. Did that not happen this year?


pbeaves

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Feb 4 2013 at 4:31pm #

umm, can we NOT have a thread about periods?

(i dont mean to be insensitive to the needs of the ladies of the boards, but, umm, ewwww.)


Marko82

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Feb 4 2013 at 4:43pm #

Let me bump up to four cents:

Sometimes we need to look past appearances. I remember the first alley cat I showed up to. I was on a road bike with panniers and dressed in full spandex kit and safety vest. Everyone else looked to be a combo of NYC bike messenger / punk, and there wasn’t a single face that I knew at the time. I must admit that I felt very out of place, but I decided to stay and ride the route. It was a lot of fun and not one person commented on my choice of rides or clothing. It could be that gurlBIKE is just judging a book by its cover rather than delving in and reading the first chapter.


StuInMcCandless

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Feb 4 2013 at 4:46pm #

[Warning: Y chromosome alert]
I think it’s important that the ladies talk about “cycling while cycling” (sorry…). But the topic has been well covered by Elly Blue, among others. I would suggest that anyone who’s interested in the topic, to please consult other female cyclist writers, such as Bikeyface and Dandyhorse (Toronto bike publication), to name two, and I’m sure there are plenty more who take a well-why-not approach. If it’s a problem keeping women off the bike, it’s a problem that’s relevant to this subject. And maybe not so obviously, it’s a problem that’s been resolved by a good many women, be they competitive athletes, 9-to-5ers, stay-at-home-moms, randonneurs … whatever they are.

If a reasonably coherent list of the above does not already exist, it should, and should be called to the attention of the Chatham folks as a resource.


floggingdavy

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Feb 4 2013 at 5:07pm #

if you dont want to read a thread about periods, dont read it?


Willie

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Feb 4 2013 at 5:23pm #

hey marko what was the first alleycat that you attended? Im pretty sure that is about when i started to go to them and first met you.

As far as the blog goes I think the blogger should organize some events of her own then she can run them how she wants. For all i know she may have done this already. The way I see it is if you don’t like the scene, make your own scene.


Marko82

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Feb 4 2013 at 5:36pm #

Willie, it was the Egg Roll one. I remember seeing you there but hadnt met you yet or anyone from the board yet. I was happy to not be DFL, but looking back I had no clue how to arrange a route and ended up climbing Greenfield to pick up the last tag. Note to self: put the climbs at the beginning.


stefb

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Feb 4 2013 at 7:40pm #

i do hate when companies “shrink it and pink it”. i don’t know enough about bicycles to say if women’s specific bike frames do have better geometry for most women’s proportions or not (though the shapes of certain drop bars are smaller and better for small hands [unless i am making that up in my head])… i assume they do, but a lot of those women’s specific frames are more “feminine” colors, of which i am not a fan. I like more color options than white, pink, and powder blue.


joanne

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Feb 4 2013 at 7:43pm #

Now I definitely want a period thread. :)

I’m feeling all jangly and stressed about this whole thing. This idea that the universe of complexity that is an individual human being can be fit into a neat little easily sum-uppable category because of gender/race/orientation/religion/what have you is anathema to me. And it frankly pisses me off when I perceive that someone is thinks they can speak for me.

But, I’ve been guilty in the past of taking my own experience and turning it into a generalization (and probably will be again, unfortunately). I’m trying to set my own ire aside here–I do admire what these folks are doing (e.g., setting up bike mechanic training at Arsenal). I think it’s great to try to expand cycling to more and more and MORE people, using new tactics to appeal to different folks. And it’s pretty cool that the bike community is getting big enough to have schisms, as long as we can figure out how to come together when we need to. AND, I tend to think controversy and conflict in limited measures can yield some great discussion and turn out to be constructive.

So to sum up: where’s the period thread? :)


Swalfoort

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Feb 4 2013 at 7:55pm #

For purposes of cred here, let me start my saying that a) I am a woman, b) I am of the age that I might have gone to high school with the likes of Stu and Edmonds, and that I had been riding my bike for a decade or more before anyone told me it wasn’t “girly.” (I didn’t know that transportation had genders….)

I have to say I agree with SOME of what is being said on the gurlbike site, although not in the words they use.

There is a somewhat “hard core” vibe to a lot of the cycling that this City has to offer. Bike Pittsburgh and this board contribute to that vibe in some ways. For a novice, the idea of commuting year round, recording “average” rides of 20 miles or more, or going out at midnight is more serious riding than they were thinking about doing. It is not unreasonable for that to be interpreted as “ungurly,” even if the perpetrators may be of either gender. It simply is more than they were thinking about signing on for.

Similarly, we have flock rides and other activities, but the rides that get he most attention are the keg rides, the reverse keg rides, etc. In other words beery. That may not appeal to an underage female looking to check out the scene. Even the Party rides can be intimidating. Start a ride at 10 p.m.? Find your own way home in the wee hours? For some that’s a hoot. For others, not so inviting. Just a matter of preference, equipment and experience, I suspect.

We’ve had lots of discussions about shops. There are good and bad, and they are good and bad for lots of reasons. Not always the same reason on the same day. Frankly, there are days when I go to my tiny LBS because I want help with something ridiculous, or have a question I don’t even know how to ask. When I do, I play idiot suburban housewife. I would never want to go into a serious bike shop and ask for help with something I know I COULD do myself, except that they can do it in an hour, and it would take me way, way longer than that. Sometimes I just feel that I have more money than time to tackle a specific problem, I guess.

Over the years I’ve shared my frustrations on womens cycling clothing styles, colors, sizes and cost. Let’s just leave it at not every female cyclist is a size small, likes bright colors and pastels, and likes her clothes tight and short. Real clothes with real colors (and pockets) would be great.

I think that rides that go to “gurly” destinations would be good. Perhaps during Bike Fest we can implement some of these ideas, and try them out. A week of ride to a yoga session events? Or a tea trial ride? Sounds fun, if the weather is good.

Finally, why should we all support gurly cycling, whether we feel it fits our personal needs or not? Because women are a great indicator species when it comes to cycling. The more women you have riding in a community, the better suited to cycling the city becomes. Right now, virtually every one of our bike counts reveal that men make up 60-70% of all cyclists in most locations, and sometimes way more than that.

If we are going to increase cycling in this region, we need to encourage the young women to get out there. If we need to figure out how to get them on their bikes in order to get to gurly destinations, or to travel more gurly distance to get there, what’s the harm? Some of them might like enough to hang with the rest of you, eventually!


AtLeastMyKidsLoveMe

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Feb 4 2013 at 8:12pm #

My name is ALMKLM, and I’m a man (Hello ALMKLM…)… but some of my best friends are women…?

Here’s huge props to the gurl blogger: I now pronounce your blog a smash success: look at the conversation above, and YOU started it.

Was it edgy: yes. Did it press buttons: yes. Did it get to people: yes.

I read every post in the thread. I found it more fascinating than a tet-a-tet between quizbot and Pierce. Seriously.

Bottom line: more folks want in the game. Bring it on.

Kudos to you, gurl.


byogman

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Feb 4 2013 at 8:37pm #

“Now I definitely want a period thread. ”

Good, start it.

One possible title… Go with the flow(?).
Sorry, I’m a little low on sleep, feeling a little slap happy.

Seriously though, good and important to get that out there, regardless of the 5th grader reaction.


stefb

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Feb 4 2013 at 8:42pm #

Swalfoort- well said. There is a lot of room for improvement in women’s cycling clothing still.

http://m.chromebagsstore.com/apparel/womens-apparel/vanya.html

These are the best shants I have found. My ass isn’t exactly small and these give adequate coverage when I lean forward on my bike. I do have to wear a belt though. The material is stretchy and comfy. I can wear a small, medium, or large. I can’t fit any layers under the small, and it is comfortably tight on its own (well my idea of tight is something that isn’t a size too big for me), and a large will fit several layers of clothing under it, but fall down without a belt. They have these at thick bikes. The measurements on the website didnt fit my measurements, and that is why I have two pair (I didn’t realize they had them at thick before I ordered them online). My thighs and hips are much thicker than anything else but these Shants are comfy, proving you don’t have to be a tall, thin woman to fit into them comfortably.


Pierce

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Feb 4 2013 at 8:45pm #

“A reasonable choice at noontime but a super scary choice after dark. Which would be more frightening? The busy road (that has already had two biking fatalities on it this year) or the back alley creepshow?”

I’m going to take a leap and say there’s some classicist assumptions here. Not everywhere in Pittsburgh is Squirrel Hill or Walnut St. Just because a place isn’t blinding with lights or has some rundown garages or garbage cans about does not mean it’s a den of criminal activity. Has anybody been attacked on this stretch of road? I’m pretty sure she’s talking about Comrie/Coral.

“I’d want to see all the coffee shops that have good tea, yoga studios, the Big Idea, Quiet Storm, Hambones for the East End Jam, Brillo Box etc.”

Somebody start up the crusty upper-middle class bike map please… Alternatively, people who like these joints could put them on their own generalized bike map from BikePgh.

“If it were up to me [...] we’d be using cargo bikes to haul picnic supplies and musical instruments to Schenley Park so we could spend the evening playing bluegrass and lounging on blankets.”

Hasn’t FoC essentially done this in the past? Not sure how much picnic supplies we need, but…

“A simple post on Bike Pittsburgh’s message board, maybe a few flyers around town, and even starting a Meetup Group for the club and I bet you could count on a core group of 20 showing up for each brunch ride with bigger numbers in the nicer weather.”

So if it only takes a post on the message board, make a post on the message board…

“Seriously, this Portland bike shop does EVERYTHING right. From the first footstep you take into the store you are treated to…..pretty much everything you want to see. A beautiful, spacious, well-lit setting with hardwood floors.”

Have you been to Trek in Shadyside?

I think the whole thing reads more like a classicist /consumerist preference for new, shiny , and my niche interests rather than a valuable critique of a male dominated cycling scene.

I don’t think I’d associate anybody I’ve come across on this board or in real life as from the “bro” culture and I’d even hesitate to say they’re hipsters either. Most of us just seem to be normal people who ride bikes, but carry on normal lives outside of that

P.S. The clothes issue isn’t cycling specific. Pretty much all womens fitness clothing is tight, cut short, and varying shades of pink. The mens cycling clothing is pretty lame too though


Pseudacris

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Feb 4 2013 at 8:52pm #

um, did we not just recently have a thread on these forums devoted to sweaty balls & jock itch? a few women even contributed ideas to it. and another about the wonderful world of pilonidal cysts.

period thread? (there’s a joke in there somewhere), I say bring it! just give it a title that the squeamish can easily avoid. Lots of people could use the info about riding with UTIs, cramps, yeast infections, post-childbirth &tc (enlarged prostate or giant fibroids anyone?)

kudos to the many male and female posters here who (whether they agree with the tone & content of the gurlbike blog or not) see affinity as a worthy pursuit. perhaps proposing a guest post on their blog would be a proactive and potentially positive contribution?

its so easy to get annoyed by internet posts, too. there have been a few people who have annoyed the * out of me a time or two in the forums — and its probably mutual :-) — but then I have had awesome experiences with them in person.

were all fringy wingnuts at the moment in pittsburgh and have a lot more to gain by sticking together and trying to broaden (sorry for the sexist pun) each others’ perspectives, I think.


Pseudacris

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Feb 4 2013 at 8:56pm #

Have you been to Trek in Shadyside?

Yes, and I have also been to Clever Cycles in Portland. It really is a different type of shop and though a lot of it felt out of my price range, I know of quite a few people in Pdx who have had GREAT experiences there with rentals and cargo bikes, especially my friend who is a parent who likes to urban farm and tote his kid around on a bike.

Also, PDX has a transportation system that puts Pittsburgh to shame. And the water and air are a lot cleaner.


Pseudacris

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Feb 4 2013 at 9:01pm #

@stefb — i’ve been getting athletica & title 9 catalogs in the mail & some of the stuff is stretchy and non-pink and looks adaptable to cycling. also, *sometimes women’s golf clothes are useful. they are a bit stretchy & offer sun protection & won’t all make you look like a florida lounge lizard.

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