Friday, May 1, 2009

through the tulips

Dear Sir or Madam, but probably Sir,

I feel like I do a lot to stand up for stereotypes about female cyclists—for them, not to them. I have no sense of direction. My repertoire as a mechanic starts and ends with fixing flats, and before I do even that I will cast about for a big, strong, proximate man to do it for me. When I have a particularly rough race or feel otherwise overfaced, I absolutely will get off my bike, sit down on the side of the road, and sob until fed chocolate. I have, on more than one occasion, attempted to slow my field by distracting the leader with questions about her recent breakup. Once it actually worked.

But even I—conspicuously incompetent in the midst of other girls who ride with engineering degrees, muscles, innate GPS, and a bold disregard for gravity—would not be caught dead wearing this:

Which is why I struggle, truly struggle, to understand why the vast majority of companies manufacturing clothing for cyclists invariably design their women's line around the same three elements: 1) Butterflies, 2) Flowers, 3) Hideous Pastels . It's maddening, especially when the offending feature is added as a completely unnecessary detail. And while it's true that it's possible to buy things that don't make me want to vomit, market forces have conspired to make these items inexplicably more expensive than the ones that do. Observe: MSRP $140, MSRP $50—whereas for men, expensive ($225) looks, at least superficially, pretty much just like cheap ($55).

The point is: Just because I'm not fast, minted, or ridiculously good-looking doesn't mean I should have to call attention to that fact by riding my bike covered in pink daisies. Which is why I defy you, oh manufacturer of quality cycling apparel, to do better—and to prove it by sending me a free sample. Let me know when you're ready and I'll give you my address.


Katie said...

One of the many benefits of having the upper body of a pre-pubescent boy. Men's XS.

You know I think this Sevilla kid just might have a chance. He has my vote!

PS Glad you didn't die of swine flu.

Joanna said...

Can I forward this to Pearl Izumi, the major offenders in my opinion?