Sunday, April 4, 2010

Women and Bicycles, Part Two

To be honest, I wasn't aware that the first of these entries was a Part One, but after biking to the market today, I couldn't help touch on the subject of wanted and unwanted attention.

Sunday is my "get everything done" day, from grocery shopping to cleaning to taking out the trash to appearance-maintaining - all the things that need to get done to make the week run smoother. I'd already done the aforementioned with the exception of heading down to Trader Joe's via bicycle. Usually I like to be done with shopping by 2pm, but due to other pressing matters (read: sleep) I headed out a little later than intended. I hopped on the bike at around 4:30 pm, noting it was a bit chillier than usual when I noticed two guys on bicycles heading up behind me. I was naturally a little surprised but kept on riding. All of a sudden I heard a distinct "Wooo! Girl, I like your booty! I LIKE YOUR BOOTY!" I made a right on the next street.

Normally this doesn't bother me, but for some reason it did, as it invaded my space. I remember one time being told by some guy as I was mounting my bicycle that my thighs were 'thick and luscious'. My face was flushed out of anger and embarrassment, to be honest. First, no woman likes for her thighs to be described as thick, especially by a stranger. Second, the resulting responsive feeling was not one of flattery. It was eerily akin to the one time my ear was tongued out of left field in a club on New Year's Eve one year - I mean, really! Who was this guy?! Anyway, I eventually made it to Trader Joe's, but when locking up my bicycle I realized I'd left my wallet at home. So I bicycled back, grabbed it, and headed back. By the time I got there, the store had closed. Damn you, Easter Sunday. I didn't even get off of my bicycle.

Turning around, I headed back up the street and decided to sprint it back, just for fun. Rising body temperature cutting through cold air is always a thrilling sensation. Whoops, hollers, and whistles cutting through my euphoric space, however, aren't so much. Considering that I was wearing jeans, a bulky sweater, very little makeup and a helmet, I just don't know how anyone could find me attrac-- wait, let me re-phrase. How do you want me to react, gentlemen? Do you want me to give you my number? Take off my clothes? Drop it like it's hot? I mean, I know that people look, especially on warmer days and in tighter clothing, but I'll take the double-take over anything else any day. But I guess you can't help people, and you can't help what attention you get.

It's just so as;dl;ksflsk;'lk sometimes.


  1. Sorry about your failed trip on Sunday.

    Sometimes I respond to the hoots and hollers by saying, "I know." And these guys act all surprised and shocked. I mean what, it is news to me that I have a luscious booty? That I'm hot? My husband tells me that stuff many times a day.

  2. It was admittedly a bit of a pain, even though I got six miles of unplanned biking in that day (a great thing). I ended up going on Monday morning, which made for less traffic in the aisles and more of what I wanted on the shelves. :)

    I'm going to try that - saying "I know". That's beyond great right there!

  3. I'm actually surprised I don't get more obnoxious comments given that I ride in a skirt and heels to work most days. Maybe it's because I'm pushing 40, although the helmet does cover most of the grey hair! Maybe it's because I live in puritan Massachusetts.

    I think that unfortunately a lot of guys get stuck in that 7th grade where picking on someone=liking someone.

    Much more often I get the "dee de deh dehde da" Wicked witch of the west theme, and from surprising sources (construction workers, truck drivers). After years of grimacing and riding on- I've come up with a comeback ( for the macho construction guys anyway) Which is "Gay guys are so into that movie!" It's short enough to yell while pedaling, and it doesn't hurt anyone except the homophobic.

    Fortunately you can normally just roll your eyes and ride away.
    I was in rush hour traffic recently though, waiting in stop and go traffic, when the guy next to me rolled down his window and said "put the bike in the trunk and ride me home". I rolled my eyes and rode off- 5 feet to the bumper of the next car. Stop and go the next 3 blocks next to this guy. Awkward! I think that responding, even just with "I know" gives them more attention than they deserve, but that's just me.
    I like your blog a lot- keep up the good work!

  4. How does that work out for you? The riding the bike in a skirt and heels? Does it consist of very strategic maneuvering? My most recent place of work has a locker room with showers, with the commute meaning a bag with work attire on my back and hopping on the bike in shorts and a tee.

    I had a scenario quite similar to the one you mentioned, actually, in the stop-and-go traffic; it was so nerve-wracking. Whether or not you say something, there's that desperate need to find an escape route!

    I'm glad you like; thank you! I really appreciate you taking the time to comment - it's so nice [and very amusing] to know someone else has the same thoughts rolling around in their brain. :)

  5. I so identified with this post! The other day I rode just around my block to try out some new panniers and got "show me yer butt!" like we were up in the club, and a strip club at that. I was also wearing jeans and a sweater. Wha? And I also usually let these things slide off my back, but it was on My Block and in My Neighborhood and I got pissed. Couldn't do much though - these were the neighborhood thugs and I'm trying to stay off their radar, so I just looked at them with what I hoped was utter contempt. Frustrating.

    I always get a burst of adrenaline after incidents like these, which it sounds like you did as well, and after some furious pedaling it always wears off. I used to get road rage when I drove fairly often and it took much longer to recover without the wind on my face and feeling of exertion to work it out of me!

    btw, I often ride in a skirt and heels and usually just get nice comments, nothing that makes me feel invaded. maybe it brings out the chivalry, who knows?!