I have been thinking about the order of things lately, especially when it comes to man and woman doing the same things; like riding a bike. They never do it side by side, do they?
Now there are a lot of women riding a bike of their own but they still “ride bitch” or have you ever seen a couple on their bikes where the women is at the front? No! We always follow.
I guess even I would, if the man in my life had a bike. That not being the case, I am usually out there on my own. I follow my own instincts and need to make my own decisions. But given the chance, I do it, too. Just like those poor Arab women walking a few steps behind their men on the streets. It is not different. It is about feeling inferior, isn’t it?
Is making decisions the problem for most women on a bike? I mean we do it in cars as well, the man is driving (unless he wants to drink) and the woman isn’t. Why? Guess because a lot of men out there feel the need to tell the women how to drive properly. Do we shirk that? We shouldn’t, should we?
We should stop following, start taking the lead occasionally. It takes guts but then that’s what is needed on a bike, isn’t it?
About ten years ago I experienced my first Tour de France as a journalist. This mad cycling event is a very complex thing when it comes to driving and parking, there are a lot of different car accreditations about, different routes you can and can’t take accordingly, different parking areas, in different places every day. You get a huge book that tells you how everything works and as a newcomer it can be pretty overwhelming. So what did I do on my very first day?? I followed a male colleague who had been doing the Tour de France for years. He had a car with the same accreditation as mine.
I ended up in a police convoy (2 bikes front, two bikes at the back, all four sirens and lights flashing) being (embarrassed as hell) taken over the bridge at the Ile de Noirmoutier. Lost and on an illegal route where the only way back was the fact that the French police had pity with the daft and lost German blonde.
That never happened again in the 7 following years because I started following my own instincts.
This is what I wanna shout at all those women I see on the roads riding behind their men:
Stop riding bitch!
Start riding, bitch!