Tuesday, 16 September 2008

It's not a black thing

On my way along the platform to get my train last night at Charing Cross with the Brompton I was asked a question by a black man. He said, ‘Where are you from?’ My response was a quizzical ‘Excuse me?’ He then said ‘You don’t get many sisters doing what you do’. He was referring to the bike & cycling. I said that I did know a number of sisters who did cycle. But then he said ‘They don’t look like you’. This made me laugh. He added that ‘They all look the same.’ I assumed that he was referring to the standard uniform of the ‘I need to show I am a serious cyclist’ which is black Lycra, reflective vest, back pack and helmet. This was true I wasn’t wearing the uniform. I was wearing, my cream H&M raincoat, with cream coloured wooly beret from Topshop. I was in jeans that I had folded up to my calves and my black suede Hobbs boots. I also had my black leather gloves from M&S and slung across my back was my much loved Timbuk2 bag.

Most women cyclists on my travel route stick to the uniform which is the same as male cyclists. When I am sitting behind a bunch of fellow cyclists at traffic lights London Bridge or close to Liverpool Street I am the only woman in ordinary clothing and everyone else dressed mainly in black Lycra look the same.