Throwing Caution To The Wind And Riding Sporty Chic!
Vintage bikes, for me are so nostalgic, taking me back to an age of innocence and freedom. For my generation, bikes were not about exercise, we would, ride ‘em fast and ride 'em with no hands. For us bicycles were less about the need for transportation and more about the desire for freedom, Independence and exploration.
Although the bicycle in 1817 was invented in Germany, by 1860 the French, like fashion, put their spin on it and designed the more commercially popular version hence the French name bicycle and not draisine. Interesting fact, if it were not for bicycles, we probably would not have paved roads. Paved roads did not become popular for the sake of cars but out of necessity for bicycles. The tires on bikes, unlike the fat tires on cars could not navigate cobblestone roads.
Susan B. Anthony, called the modern invention of the bicycle a freedom machine, saying that the bicycle has done more to emancipate women than anything else. More than 100 years later there is still truth to this statement. Even today, bicycles are empowering women in remote villages and rural areas all over the world by making education, healthcare and economic opportunities possible.
There are many rural parts in the world still today where it is the responsibility of the women and young daughters to tend to the domestic chores of the households for such things as going for water, food or medicine. These chores can literally take all day as poor roads and lack of infrastructure is a serious challenge. This challenge can make something as simple as attending school almost impossible. Bikes have been fundamental in helping many young girls to receive an education, which makes it less likely for these young girls to be casted into child marriages or worst. Bicycles are fulfilling the dreams of young girls and making their road to education faster and safer.
Badass Women in Afghanistan compete on a National cycling team which takes bravery and strength beyond the physical. Their will to make a difference and empower other women and young girls in the face of suppression and degradation is evident. These women on the cycling team by simply riding a bicycle let alone participating in a sport puts their lives in danger. In Afghan society it is prohibitive of women to ride a bike, this is something okay for boys, not okay for girls. Women should only be seen and heard cooking in the kitchen and cleaning, I wonder who came up with that foolish notion?
Men have long held ridiculous and absurd ideas about women. It is because of Men that we have things like women marches and legal battles over our reproductive rights and gender equality. And let’s not forget about the movement to be taken seriously, not sexually, in the the workplace.
On a funnier note, back in the 1890s men actually believed that straddling the seat of the bicycle combined with the thrust of moving forward motion to propel the bicycle would cause arousal in women. This was such a concern that women’s bicycles seats were designed with hardly any padding and very tall handle bars to reduce the risk this arousal. Now how silly is this?
What a new hustle? Well, if you live in San Francisco, home to 75,000 cyclist, and the highest cost of living in the US and your looking for a new business, consider opening a bike shop. The San Francisco Police Department estimates that $4.5 million in bikes are stolen every year, bicycles are an easy form of street currency.
If you are a huge bike enthusiast and think that here in the US we don’t indulge enough in bike love, then maybe you want to move to the Netherlands. In the Netherlands there are 3 times as many bikes than people or cars and the cities are designed to accommodate bikes, not cars.
So the next time you get on a bike, my advice is to ride like a bad ass with the wind against your back and ride like there’s no tomorrow. Just make sure you look fashionably and effortlessly cute. Got a question or a comment, drop it below?
Peace, Love & Happiness! Maria