Mid-Life Cycling

Mid-Life Cycling

08 July 2010

The Only Girl On A Bike?

The past two days, the temperature rose to 100 degrees F and beyond. Today's 90-degree high seemed autumnal by comparison.

About the only ones I've seen riding are the Mexican delivery guys and  a few older men who were filling the racks and bags attached to their bikes (or, in some cases, held in one hand) with bottles, cans and whatever else they could recycle.  There were also a few young adult males on road or mountain bikes--the latter almost invariably in black, their rear wheels spinning  huge brake discs  like ferris wheels on crystal meth.   

So, as you can imagine, I got an unfair share of attention when I rode to work today in a skirt and blouse.  I didn't wear my heels on the bike; I brought them with me and changed into them from my Keen sandals when I got to work.  I think I got as much attention as  I did, in spite of my un-glamorousness (Is that a word?) because I may well have been the only woman anybody has seen on a bike for the last couple of days.

Back when I was in boy-drag, some people would tell me I was crazy for riding in the hot weather.  But while riding, I was almost never noticed.  The exceptions came when I was in my best physical condition:  Some people, including fellow cyclists, noticed my riding skills; other people--mainly a few women and gay men--noticed my shape.  I can recall times when female and gay male drivers pulled up alongside me and rolled their windows down, ostensibly to ask for directions.  Let's just say that their eyes weren't on the road ahead of them.

Today a man in an Acura Coupe did the same thing when   I pulled up alongside him at a traffic light.  He rolled down his window.  "Babe, could you tell me what time it is?"    Now, he might be from one of those cultures in which it's considered rude to make eye contact.  Still, I thought it a bit strange that his line of vision seemed to begin at one of the curls in the print of my skirt--and that curl rested on my left thigh.

Now, that wasn't the first time a man looked at me that way when I was riding my bike.  Still, it surprised me, or at least caught me off-guard.  As it was such a warm, humid day, plenty of women--many of whom were better-looking, or at least younger and in better shape, than I am--were showing more than I was.  But now I realize I may have been the only one that driver, and some of the other men who were looking at me, had seen riding a bike.  And they certainly weren't expecting to see a woman on a bike on such a hot day.


  1. I have a theory about female bodies on bikes, and why they look better. it would explain why men are more likely to check you out when you are cycling.

    The Keen sandals - do you wear them as normal shoes, or with clipless pedals?

  2. Velouria: I'd be very interested to hear your theory about the attractiveness of female bodies on bikes. As for the Keen sandals: I wear them as normal shoes, as I don't have any clipless pedals.

  3. I was going to buy a Acura Coupe; but no clock? I will stick with my old Volvo