Ladies – Looks Like We are Starting a Revolution

A friend of mine forwarded me a link to the most recent New York Times Sunday Book Review, in which author David Byrne discusses Jeff Mapes’ new book “Pedaling Revolution: How Cyclists are Changing American Cities.”  Here’s an excerpt from the article that states EXACTLY what Cycle Chic is about, and why, all you women out there, we are starting a revolution.  Enjoy!

Excerpt….“Pedaling Revolution” is not about mountain biking the Moab sandstone formations in Utah or the network of bucolic paths that link some of the rural Massachusetts colleges; it’s not about racing, Lance Armstrong or what kind of spandex to buy. Nor is it about the various forms of extreme biking that have arisen lately….For decades, Americans have too often seen cycling as a kind of macho extreme sport, which has actually done a lot to damage the cause of winning acceptance for biking as a legitimate form of transportation. If your association with bikes is guys in spandex narrowly missing you on the weekends or YouTube videos of kids flying over ramps on their clown-size bikes, you’re likely to think that bikes are for only the athletic and the risk-prone. Manufacturers in the United States have tended to make bikes that look like the two-wheeled equivalent of Hummers, with fat tires and stocky frames necessitating a hunched-over riding position that is downright unsafe for urban biking and commuting. But that’s been changing for at least a few years now. Whew.

As Mapes points out, when more women begin riding, that will signal a big change in attitude, which will prompt further changes in the direction of safety and elegance. I can ride till my legs are sore and it won’t make riding any cooler, but when attractive women are seen sitting upright going about their city business on bikes day and night, the crowds will surely follow…. “

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5 Comments on “Ladies – Looks Like We are Starting a Revolution”

  1. Anna Mumford says:

    I completely agree with you that “when attractive women are seen sitting upright going about their city business on bikes day and night, the crowds will surely follow…”

    I just wrote a post on gender and cycling that you might find insightful: http://fiftycarpileup.blogspot.com/2009/06/rant-from-second-wave-but-seriously.html

    Did you know that in 2008, in San Francisco, only 23 percent of frequent cyclists were women? Pretty shocking. Let’s change that.

    -Anna

    • Thanks for the great article Anna! I am not sure exactly why fewer men bike than women – but perhaps it is a fashion and comfort issue. Most of the women I know started out with road or mtn bikes, and it wasn’t until they got a cruiser or town bike that they started riding more or using it for transportation rather than exercise. Thanks for the great Marc Jacobs cover pic in your article too!

  2. Karen says:

    I saw that book in Portland recently and flipped through it. Inspiring. Nice blog, too. Have you seen the realty company from Portland that does home tours on bikes? Very forward thinking.

    • I actually just bought the book-I thought if I was referencing it, it might be a good idea to read it! 😉 I have seen the realty company in Portland and have actually brought the same thing to Charleston under Pedal to Properties – a Boulder, CO company. I think it’s the best way to get to know a town! Thanks for your comments!

  3. […] Biking Lifestyle, Events, Inspiration, Slow Bicycle Movement If you recall, way back in May, I wrote a post about Jeff Mapes book “Pedaling Revolution”, because he believes women will lead the […]


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