Cycling with Makeup

I’m a complete make up novice.  Some how, when learning about all that stuff in the teenage years, I completely missed the boat.  So, now as an adult, I’m fudging my way through.  I don’t typically wear make up in my day to day life but there are certain occasions when I felt it would be an appropriate thing for me to do.  I’m sure many others have successfully tackled riding with make up but this is my take on it.

I had a friend’s wedding coming up and so, as not to look like a clown or like a child who has gotten in to the parents’ stash, I decided to do a few trial runs putting on make up and wearing it to work.  As many of you know, my trip from home to work is about 8km of fairly flat riding.  Of course, when I decided to do this trial, it had to be one of the most rainy (100+mm) and humid (most days over 80%) weeks my area had in ages.  Temps were around 25°C mark.  So, I felt I gave the make up a good longevity trial!

The findings!

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Happy International Women’s Day!

Yes, I know, this is not really relevant to riding, but hey, it was too important to miss.  Today is International women’s day.   For those of you who don’t know, International women’s day has been observed since the early 1900s (although the day has changed a few times). It’s a global day of recognition and celebration across both developed and developing countries. It’s actually an official holiday in 27 countries (including Cambodia, China and Eritrea).

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Southern States Super Tuesday Bike Count

Yesterday was Super Tuesday Annual Bike Traffic Count for the Southern States.

Preliminary results showed that female riders made up to 45% of traffic in some count locations.  This is wonderful news on the health of cycling in those areas!  It was the first time that data on gender was collected.

It is also being reported that despite the rain in Melbourne, most sites reported a 10-25% increase.

Queensland and NT’s Super Tuesday is usually in September.  So make it on your calendar.


New Year’s Cycling Resolutions

I’m not one for ever doing any New Year’s Resolutions.  So these are both belated and aspirational rather than resolutional.

Ride when ever I am able.

This is deliberately open ended.  Riding is already my primary means of getting to and from work but I could probably move more journeys to the bike for social events, to and from sport, the shops, etc.  Some of these, I currently bum a lift or catch the bus/taxi.

Buy Australian made cycling products.

If possible, I hope to buy Australian made cycling products.  I bit of a long shot for many things but plenty of the things that make cycling fun and add novelty are made in Oz.

If not Oz made, then from the Local Bike Shop.  If not from the LBS, then from an Oz retailer.

It’s unfortunately all too easy to get that thing you want online from overseas much cheaper than here.

Try to normalise cycling.

Both to myself and others.  Even though I ride every day as my primary means of transportation, it still doesn’t feel normal.  This is a terrible admission on my behalf and probably a bit of a reflection on the poor state of cycling in Australia.  Cycling doesn’t feel like something normal people do.  I’m going to try to wear normal clothes, cycle to normal everyday activities, talk down cycling short comings and encourage others to give it a go.

More advocacy.

Write more, tweet more, contact members of government more.  Join the local BUG.  Complain when important public facilities have no/inadequate bike infrastructure.  Take down number plates and report to police poor behaviour.

Don’t forget to ride for recreation.

I do a lot of commuting.  It’s easy to forget that riding for the sake of it is fun.

Cycle to the beach

Something I’ve wanted to do but haven’t gotten around to.  It isn’t even that far!

Retail Therapy – SheSpoke

I’ve been a bit light on the postings of late.  Mainly because of a pretty hectic work programme over the last month.  That and I haven’t been doing anything of great fun on the bike.  I’m sure you don’t want to hear a million posts about my daily commute to work and how I wore my work uniform.

After one particularly stressful day on the job, I shouted myself a pair of earrings from SheSpoke. They arrived about 9 days after I ordered them.  I added an extra jump ring because I wanted a different alignment and a them to hang bit lower.

SheSpoke is a Toowoomba, Qld based company specialising in Women’s cycling gear.  They have both technical and casual gear and accessories.  They also have their own range of knicks, skorts, tees and jerseys.   It’s great to see a local Australian business specialising in women’s cycling.

Australian women’s cycling website

In my browsing on the Bike Vic website, I found a women’s cycling section!

It has interviews with prominent women’s cycling, fashion advice and a women’s riding forum.

I’m not sure I agreed with the tone of all the articles (some of them felt quite artificially ‘girly’ to me and even a touch condescending) with quotes like “I nod knowingly when other women discuss pedicures and laser hair removal even though I’ve never witnessed either procedure. Lasers just make me think of WTB Laser Disc Wheels, and I’d rather adjust my toe clips than paint my toenails.” and “I am not what many people might call a ‘normal’ girl.”

***rant warning*

I really hate quotes like this.  To me, it implies that to ride a bike well, or even to ride a bike at all is not, inherently ‘normal’ for a woman and that you need to be ‘special’ to be a rider.  I think this kind of thing, whilst well meaning, is really discouraging for ladies to ride, as it implies that women who ride bikes are not normal, or somehow more masculine (like that’s a good thing).

It is normal to ride a bike (for both sexes). I don’t need to ‘give up’ my femininity or somehow lose my second x chromosome by riding a bike.  I can wear a dress and ride a bike or ride my bike to a pedicure just as easily as I can hook round singletrack or load my panniers up for a tour.

Rant being over, there are some good articles on the website and some sections are well worth a look

Fernwood All Girls Triathlon–Darwin

So, a couple of weeks ago, I did my first (very mini) triathlon.  It all started when I had to go to the NT for work.  Anna, a friend and colleague said to me, “A few friends and I are doing a mini-triathlon – are you interested”?  In typical style, I said “yes” forgetting that I’d sprained my ankle so hadn’t run in nearly 6 weeks, and probably hadn’t swum a lap of a pool in close to 4 years – and this was 4 weeks out from the event.  Oh, and did I mention that since it was in Darwin, that I wouldn’t have a bike?

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Women in cycling – literature

Another interesting journal article, looking at women in cycling:

Currently, there is an inverse association between being female and participating in cycling in Australia (only 6% of females could recall riding a bike in the past 12 months).   Travel surveys regularly find greater participation in cycling by men, then women.  Yet in many European countires (Denmark, the Netherlands and Germany), there are more females participating in cycling then men.

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Getting women into cycling

I just wanted to share with you a blog I found:

Angela van der Kloof is a mobility consultant in the Netherlands, and her blog examines if there are less women then men cycling (yes) and some of the reasons for this (mainly gender stereotypes and that women prioritise safety higher then men) around the world.

Although there aren’t a huge number of posts on the blog,what’s there is definitely thought provoking.