Today, the NY Times gave evidence that a growing number of women are indeed gaining the confidence to take the lane, and they're looking good while doing it.
And as long as women are being liberated, there will be men, especially from the south, speaking out against it:
Not everyone is thrilled. Ross Autry, a blogger in Birmingham, Ala., noted in an e-mail that multitasking bicyclists are too self-consciously hip for his taste and, what’s worse, may pose a hazard. “Fixing your makeup or sending a text message could have catastrophic results,” he said.Certainly, Ross. All of us men know that women are the only distracted drivers. And if distracted cyclists would be catastrophic, what does that make our current situation with all of them behind the wheel of a two ton Escalade? And the current infestation of brakeless hipsters marauding through intersections, preening in a storefront window at 23 miles an hour, giving more thought to their color-coordinated chain, aerospoke, and top-tube pad than the poor fuck on foot they're about to run over is far more dangerous than a stylish piece of eye-candy who doesn't want to sweat through her Tory Burch top.
God knows my regularly-commuting girlfriend practically has a restrictor-plate and never goes any faster than most people jog. In fact, I witnessed the greatest multitasking-cyclist of all time on my first-ever bike commute to work, back in 2004. A dude, no less, riding no handed through the Oak Street chicane of the Lake Front Trail - before it was repaved - talking on a mobile with one hand and holding a cigarette and a coffee in the other.
"TEACH ME!" I yelled as I rode by.
I imagine Ross is probably enjoying a table for one at TGI Friday's right now, before heading to home to masturbate on the internet and throw a beer can at his dog.
However, ladies, the hate goes both ways.
Just because I place function over form doesn't make me some jarhead or as George Bliss says, "an infantry solider with a helmet,” who has “alienated every pedestrian.” Yes, a lot of people bike unsafely in crowded places, but most of them aren't wearing helmets or lycra. Many others pass safely and we announce our presence, so don't project your inadequacies and bullshit on me.
Speaking of tight clothes, I wear lycra on most commutes because it doesn't bunch up painfully between my balls and my thigh. Because when I commuted 15 miles each way to my last job no one would make that ride in jeans. Because sometimes I wanna ride fast, or get in an extra 30 miles before work at my current job downtown.
And I've cracked a helmet in each of my three bad crashes that didn't involve a car. A crack that otherwise would've been my skull. I think waiting until you arrive at your destination to finally look your best is a preferable alternative to looking your best and drooling on yourself while your mother argues with the doctor to keep the feeding tube in.
Oh, and I hope Topaz Page-Green (if that is her real name) carries personal liability coverage on her condo policy, because she's gonna need it when she takes out a four year old while riding illegally on the sidewalk.