Bike Fashion Backlash and Why I Bike in Heels


A response to Shut up about biking in heels via Bike Musings from the West Coast. I'm not a regular reader of that blog and I have no opinion on Bike Musings in general. But the Shut up... post is chock full of my bike advocacy pet peeves. I found myself typing up the longest comment ever and decided that a post of my own would be a better response.

Why I Bike in Heels Why I Bike in Heels

Biking in heels is not a serious women's issue.

Now that we're all in agreement:

There is a point to demonstrating how easy it is to bike in heels. It's a direct counter to all the ways that cycling is presented as a sporty inconvenience.

If I can bike comfortably--in heels even--I'm sharing the message that riding a bike for transportation is an easy part of a fashion-conscious lifestyle.

Not everybody likes to wear heels. That's cool. The above message isn't for people that don't express themselves by wearing heels.

On the flipside, I resent when anyone tries to tell me that I need to know how to fix a bike in order to ride one. I ride a bike every damn day. I've done it for 10+ years. I almost always wear dresses & heels and I don't change into sneakers just to push the pedals.

But I've changed a flat like, twice in my life. I hate it. I'm happy to pay a mechanic at an LBS the $8 so I don't have to bother. Which I rarely have to do, because I'm empowered enough to roll with a pair of puncture-resistant tires. I refuse to believe that a basic mechanical competency is a pre-requisite for enjoying a dang bike commute.

But even that wouldn't be enough for the OP:

Stop it already and please talk about stuff like becoming self-sufficient, valuable resources for women like ladies nights at co-ops and women’s riding groups and helpful tips like carrying useful and portable layers, things that make rides easier or more enjoyable (saddle adjustments, anyone), developing environmental awareness, carrying things by bike, finding confidence in traffic, handling intimidation from drivers, experiencing sexual harassment on the street, pairing public transportation with biking, nutritional needs for women who ride.

Phew. That's a lot of homework. Think I'll go ride my bike instead.

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