awesome girl bike gang!
Me and Lydia went on an all-girl bike ride a few Sunday’s ago called Revenge of the 50 Fixed Women. I’ve been looking forward to going on this ride for weeks, the idea of a huge bunch of women riding fixed wheel bikes through London was like a dream come true.
When I woke up on Sunday morning (at 7am!) it was a lovely sunny day and I cycled off to meet Lydia in a nice summer dress…then halfway there it started to pour with rain! By the time I got there I couldn’t feel my feet, but the thought of how awesome this ride was going to be kept me going.
We got there and dried off a bit and went to the meeting point, and there was a little bunch of girls there on bikes so we went and said hi and as we were just getting off our bikes they cycled off! Thinking maybe I’d missed something we followed them and turns out they were in a coffee shop. Fine, we joined them and they even pulled up a chair for us.
Then the ride started and that was when they all got a look at my bike. My lovely bike is a Specialized Langster which I absolutely love and think is a great bike. But for some reason, which I can’t still work out, bike snobs seem to hate it. I think it’s just irrational big band hatred, I dunno and don’t really care. But once the girls had seen my bike their attitude towards me really changed. They stopped talking to me and I was left cycling for long stretches by myself.
Then one girl came and spoke to me, for her only to have a bit of a dig at my bike and tell me how wonderful hers is and how great a cyclist she was. I thought she was just a bit full of herself and shrugged it off and kept riding.
But then another girl on a too big rickety bike comes and talks to Lydia telling her how much she loves Lydia’s bike (which is an amazing bike) and then just comes out and says that everyone hates Langsters, that they are weird and crap.
It felt like I was 11 years old again and a gang of girls were laughing at my trainers in the playground. For all the rest of the ride and the social afterwards no one else spoke to me.
I don’t get it, this was meant to be a really inclusive and supportive ride for girls who perhaps were too intimidated to go on a boys ride, or just wanted to hang out with other girls obsessed with bikes. But it seems you have to have the right kind of bike or the right clothes. And I just didn’t have a cool enough bike. So even though I know pretty much as much as they did about bikes and could ride as fast and well as them they just didn’t want to know.
Why does there have to be so much girl hate? Even in a group that existed for the purpose of being supportive to girl cyclists?
I’m not going to let it put me off cycling though. I’m more determined now to love my bike and to fight against bike snobbery and girl hate. I want to start my own bicycle girl gang that is supportive and fun, that can dress up and go for rides, and then get dirty taking our bikes apart!