One thing that struck me about female cyclists – I’m talking about the everyday variety rather than the pros here – when I first started riding was the number of women who deck themselves out in the colour pink.
I’m not sure if it’s because they want to be seen as feminine, want some special treatment on the road or that they genuinely like the colour. Maybe a bit of all three. Either way everyone is entitled to wear whatever colour they like. I’d just like to voice my opinion to the cycling industry about what I like.
Before I go any further on this topic I better let you know that I dislike the colour pink or at least the pale and bubble gum shades of it. I hate the stereotype of women wearing the colour pink. You could call me a hypocrite because I actually have a couple of hot pink colour items in my wardrobe but I can guarantee you, you won’t find any pink in my cycle clothing draw.
Take a look at the women’s cycle wear website shespoke.com.au which offers a great range of women’s cycle wear but the website is essentially pink. I do concede that they offer a few alternatives like green, orange and blue, but if you don’t like pink like me you’re unlikely to get past the home page.
It also extends beyond the clothing women wear when cycling, to the most sacred areas like the bikes themselves. When I was buying a new bike I took two leading brands off my shortlist because they were pink or at least had enough pink on them to cause offence to me. I’ve also seen a lot of women ‘pinkify’ their bikes by adding pink handlebar tape, pink saddles, pink stripe tyres and other accessories.
I was heartened to read a great article by Nicole Lancaster in the current issue of Bicycling Australia magazine about the new Specialized Amira 2012 bikes and she quotes Specialized saying that the company will always offer an alternative to pink, if pink is a colour they include. They recognise that not all women want pink things. Yeah.
If you disagree with my little rant then that’s fine too. You might enjoy a visit to Pinkbikesite.com which is a catalogue of pink bikes. Very ugly in my view but I’m sure it’s got appeal to some people.
The final word on the subject goes to film-maker Liam Murphy who made this fantastic video for Skyline Cycles in the UK. “It’s called ‘Free’ because it’s all about setting female riders free from the pinks, purples and flowery graphics pushed on them by many bike companies”. Love it.
Let me know what you think. I’d love to hear a counterview on the subject.