Have you ever noticed how a guy can purchase a bicycle, go for one ride, hang it up in the garage, call it a day and himself a cyclist? Whereas, a woman may go out and ride her bike every single weekend (maybe everyday!) and still not consider herself a cyclist?
I was 2 weeks shy of my 17th birthday when I first started working in a bike shop. I wasn’t really sure how I had ended up there, aside from having applied and showing up to (and killing) my interview. If I am being totally honest, I secretly fancied myself a bit of a badass. There weren’t many girls working in bike shops, so the fact that I was doing just that felt like something special. On that same note of honesty, however, I felt a bit of a fraud.
I owned a Trek 7200 hybrid, and let me tell you, next to the baller bikes my coworkers were rocking, I felt like I wasn’t really a cyclist. I was just a girl who liked to ride my bike. While I rode all the bloody time, I wasn’t racing, I wasn’t training for anything special, I wasn’t in any club or group, and I certainly wasn’t making any headlines with anything cool or unique. I literally just rode my bike. For fun. Because I liked to.
Fast forward 14 years and I want to kick my younger self. Not really, I am not one to turn to violence in most cases, but for the sake of dramatic effect we’ll leave it at that. WHY was I so apprehensive to own that title: cyclist? Why did I think I was any less of a rider because I didn’t race, or attend events? Why couldn’t a girl on a hybrid be a badass cyclist? I loved my bike and I loved riding it. I WAS a cyclist!
So this is for all you ladies out there who say things like, “I’m not a cyclist. I just ride my bike.” “I just commute, I’m not a real cyclist.” “I don’t wear spandex shorts, I just like to cruise around.” “I just..” “I just….” “I just…”
Let me tell you, if you are on a bicycle- ANY BICYCLE- pony up and own the fact that YOU ARE A CYCLIST! You ride a bike! That is what a cyclist is! Be proud, be excited, and let me stress just one more time….. OWN IT! Because, my friend, you’re a badass.
I want to hear (or rather, see!) you own it! Comment below if you are a proud female cyclist!
Brittany Graham. Cyclist, advocate, all around bike junkie.
As always, if you have any questions or comments, feel free to post below or shoot us a message!