Does This Bike Make My Arse Look Big?


“The kind of person who routinely prefixes ‘cyclist’ with ‘kamikaze’ is exactly the kind of person who prefixes ‘asylum seeker’ with ‘bogus'”.

Claire T in London writes (I love that; makes me feel like a Radio Two Disc Jockey) with a link to Zoe Williams’s rules of the road. This superb guide to life as a lady bike commuter includes fishnets, sopping bras, the pros and cons of running the lights, and social commentary.

Understand your triggers

When I was younger, a neighbour of my mum’s with colourful views gave me a lift to school. On the way, we passed a flame-headed lady cyclist who nearly went into us, and he said, “This is why women kill themselves on bikes – because they’re always looking in the shops.” This is very sexist, but it is true that she was looking at a shop.

You need to be honest with yourself about what will make you neck-crane something that isn’t the road. Don’t pretend it’s a lovely arse if actually it’s a window of cakes*. For myself, the only two occasions I’ve nearly crashed with no outside agency of poor driving, it was because I saw a puppy.

* If your head is turned by arses and patisseries, maybe you should take public transport.

Read the rest

My own trigger is shiny surfaces, especially reflective shop windows. I’m always curious about what I look like on a bike, for no good reason. I’ve worked out a Shakespearean theory that we each die of our most pronounced flaw. In my case, low-grade narcissism will put me under the wheels of a bus eventually.

3 thoughts on “Does This Bike Make My Arse Look Big?”

  1. Gah. I’m reading this as someone who had her bike nicked by a crackhead/kid/kid on crack overnight. They made pretty short work of the lock… I say lock because I only locked one of the two I have, so it’s probably all my fault.

    Anyway, my “trigger” is nice clothes other people are wearing… I find myself zooming past a smartly-dressed woman in the Vondelpark and thinking “ooh, I wonder where she got that… maybe I’ll have another look” *smack*


  2. Oh Cath, I’m sorry to hear about your bike. Always a bad moment. I’ve lost so many to the War on Drugs.

    And word on the style trigger; great shoes/pants/coat do it for me, too. Come to think of it, so do nice arses and cakes. And puppies.


  3. Dervala,
    I really enjoyed reading your piece on the Vindigo startup – I know Jason quite well from being his old Elec Eng. Practicals partner in eh, dare I say 1989,UCD or yuckyD as “they” used to say. But the speed with which he used to work was frightening so I can understand what those days must have been like.. I now find myself in Manhattan cause of career, enjoying it, but missin home a bit. What about you, what are you up to these days…
    Drop me a line, It would be fun. Later, Sean C


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