I love biking. LOVE IT. I live in Ottawa, Canadia and ride all year round. Some might call that crazy, but me and Bikey have a bond. I have this fabulous red 50s-era single speed that lived for almost four decades in someone's shed before they brought it to Recycle Bicycle in Montreal to be cycled back into my loving arms about 7 years ago. She couldn't wait to be back on the road, I could tell. This bike and I have been through a hell of a lot together. Lost jobs, lost loves, oooh!! art idea! moments, endless postering for shows, elated post-date rides home, beautiful rainstorms, an accident or two and sun-soaked riot-grrl-singing. I ride her in high heels and mini-skirts and hallowe'en costumes and formal dresses and my long leather trenchcoat that flaps in the breeze.
I suppose I don't treat biking like most people do. I don't think of biking as something that limits me or my wardrobe, which admittedly turns some heads - but when has that ever been a bad thing? Sticking out is a reminder that we have more freedom than we think. Biking tells me all about that *every* single day. That said, I've noticed that people tend to have really constrained imaginations when it comes to what you can wear while biking, and what weather precludes biking as a way of getting around. Winter is *not* a no bike zone! For reals.
Take yesterday, for example. We were in the middle of a crazy snowstorm. Big fluffy volcanic ash-sized snowflakes falling everywhere. It was gorgeous, and it's some of my favourite weather to ride in because the snow falls all around you like rain in slow motion and the light glitters on every flake. Beautiful, right? But when you try to share your appreciation with mere mortals, they freak out about your impending doom and call you brave in a way that is, perhaps, supposed to mean crazy or dumb? I mean, it can be slippery, sure, but I only bike on major streets that have been cleared, and I take my time. I make sure I'm riding at a low speed so I can brake to a full stop pretty quick if I need to. I also take up all the space I need in the main lane where the cars are rather than riding through the gross slush at the edge. This is key. Drivers may honk, but never you mind. Just think of it as an opportunity for them to practice non-attachment. Non-attachment to what? Who knows. But I'm pretty sure that it's a growth opportunity.
A friend of mine at our city's monthly femme gathering called this femme biking, and I'm inclined to agree. Don't you love the ring of that?
I've decided there are a few rules to femme biking:
1. Choose a bike you love and feels like you.
2. No ugly rain gear or sensible shoes.
3. Treat your bike like the vehicle it is. Take up space!
4. Fenders are necessary for the preservation of awesome outfits.
The moral of this story? Don't believe the hype. You can be as femme as you wanna be on your kick-ass bike, no matter the season. Have fun out there, my pretties! And share resources here if you know of any fun bike tips or accessories!
Mz Luna Loo