What’s stopping women from cycling? Anxiety? Narcissism? Laziness? Unfitness? Obesity? Poor spatial awareness? Shortage of bicycles? Shortage of saddles? Weather too cold / warm / wet / dry? Fear of potholes, lightning strikes, falling tree branches, laddered tights?

A piece published on the website of Justice for Men & Boys (and the women who love them), the political party of which I’m the chairman, in January 2018:

Women and cycling are, in combination, a rich source of comedy. Who could forget the piece we posted in 2014, Meg Hillier MP: More women would cycle if they could ‘pootle along’ in a ‘slow lane’? Ms Hillier was elected an MP in 2005, having been selected from a Labour all-wimmin shortlist. In 2016 we posted Concealed motor found on female cyclist’s bicycle at cyclo-cross world championships.

Our thanks to James for this important piece on the BBC website. Let me summarise the comments from women: “Wah! Wah!! Wah!!!” Surprisingly, Laura Bates, inaugural member of The Whine Club, makes no appearance in the whine festival.

For sheer entertainment, at the end of the piece is some good advice published in New York World (1895):

Girls cycling 1900

THE CHANGING FACE OF CYCLING – ADVICE FOR THE FEMALE RIDER OF 1895

  • Don’t boast of your long rides
  • Don’t cultivate a “bicycle face”
  • Don’t refuse assistance up a hill
  • Don’t use bicycle slang. Leave that to the boys
  • Don’t go out after dark without a male escort
  • Don’t scratch a match on the seat of your bloomers
  • Don’t appear in public until you have learned to ride well
  • Don’t appear to be up on “records” and “record smashing.” That is sporty

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