Riding ‘Like a Man’ in a Dress

I bought this dress a few years ago from J.Crew. It’s my quintessential summer dress. It’s super short and as a result, a challenge to wear on the bicycle. But I love the colours and as I’ve been cycling more, the fit has improved.

Watch out for the money truck!
Watch out for the money truck!

I’ve realised that I like to go fast on my bicycle. It’s a combination of having fun like a kid (still!), needing to get to work quickly after dropping kids at school and childcare and enjoying the feeling of being strong, fit and healthy.

When I’m pedalling fast, I have often thought, “I’m riding like a man.” When I mentioned this to my husband Justin, he corrected me.  He said, “No, you’re riding like a cyclist.”


So, how did this thought come to mind?  I realised that I see mostly men riding around the city. Women ride but not as many as there could be.  I also realised that in my mind’s eye, I can see myself riding.  I usually lean forward and my pedal strokes are deliberate.  I also use my breath to help propel me forward, especially if I stand up on the pedals to ascend a hill.  It’s not particularly feminine but then, does that matter? I feel quite lucky to be able to have a choice to wear heels or flats on a bicycle.  A dress, a skirt and blouse, shorts, silk, cotton, sequins, feathers!  Unfortunately, most men don’t have as much choice.

Spoiled for choice – Style!

And for that reason, I no longer think that “I’m riding like a man.” I am riding as a cycliste!

Interestingly, this is not the first time that cycling has become a craze.  The first time was in the 1890’s and it paved the way for women’s rights.  http://www.theatlantic.com/technology/archive/2014/06/the-technology-craze-of-the-1890s-that-forever-changed-womens-rights/373535/

“Plus ça change, plus c’est la même chose.” translated as “The more things change, the more they stay the same.” by Jean-Baptiste Alphonse Karr (1849) “Les Guépes”

Today’s ensemble: J.Crew dress, Yakkay helmet, Dior sunglasses, Serfas gloves, Cartier Santos, gold cuff purchased second hand at Fashion Avenue (Minneapolis), traditional Indian gold earrings, Geox heels, Linus Eleanor bag, eZee Sprint bicycle. Kryptonite lock.

Happy Cycling!

x Sarah

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