Mid-Life Cycling

Mid-Life Cycling

08 March 2018

Freedom Riders

Today is International Women's Day.

In previous posts, I've talked about the role bicycles played in women's rights.  And, although I've posted it before, I'll repeat a remark of Susan B. Anthony:

  Let me tell you what I think of bicycling.  I think it has done more to emanicpate women than anything else in the world.  It gives women a feeling of freedom and self-reliance. I rejoice every time I see a woman ride by on a wheel...the picture of free, untrammeled womanhood.

"Free, untrammeled womanhood." Funny she should say that.  When I started my transition from life as Nick to being Justine, I wondered whether I would continue cycling.  I lost some of my strength when I started taking hormones, though some of that loss may have been due to aging.  (I was in my mid-40's when I started.)  I also wondered whether cycling would fit into the image of femininity and womanhood I was trying to project at the time.

Happily, I didn't have to trade cycling for my identity because, well, cycling is as much a part of my identity as anything is.  Though I am not as strong or daring as I once was, I don't have to be when I'm on the bicycle.  Perhaps this knowledge is also what has allowed me to feel comfortable in riding what I like rather than following this week's trends.

And, here is something else I believe Ms. Anthony would approve:  I see cycling as much a part of my identity, not only as a woman named Justine, but as a feminist.  When you come right down to it, feminism is the freedom to do as we see fit, or as we please. Cycling fits that definition as much as anything--including reading and writing--for me.

So, I am hoping that some of the ice I encountered in the aftermath of yesterday's late-day storm clears out by the time I leave work.  That way, I can celebrate this day with--what else?--a bike ride!

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