Monday, February 14, 2005

Gin's Letter to Raleigh

I am one of the founders of Cycling Sisters in Chicago, a group that promotes cycling for transportation and recreation to women. I have also been involved with Bike Winter and other bicycle advocacy efforts.

For your reference, here is the email I have sent out to the various email lists I am on. I hope you have a more creative marketing campaign next year. --Gin

I am riled up about the Raleigh catalogue. And I am someone who promotes the sex appeal of bikes and convinces people that you can wear a skirt (or > > suit) on a bike. Biking is sexy. I swoon at cyclists slipping through traffic. Sure, I like biking with friends because it's social and convenient, but it's also a chance to watch people looking mighty fine: flushed cheeks, swaying hips, exquisite balance, hungry eyes. Sometimes we're raggedy, sometimes swanked up. . . sometimes we're bundled into wintry, unrecognizable lumps, sometimes we're naked.

Regardless of how we are or are not clothed, we are sexy because we, brothers and sisters alike are on bicycles. For a car show protest a few years back, we advertised biking as a better way to boost sex appeal than driving (scroll down in the gallery at > > www.chicagocriticalmass.org for Gareth's torso and my legs).

People shouldn't think they need to abandon their wardrobe or style to start biking for transportation. I ride in short skirts, long skirts, ball gowns, suits, slacks, etc. The only thing I don't like wearing on a bike is jeans because of the crotch seams (but maybe that's too much information). I wish Raleigh had truly embraced the sexiness of cycling by showing men and women on and around their steeds, dressed up and down. Instead, they do seem to have taken a less creative approach. "Hey, how should we sell these bikes?" "Show hot chicks fondling them!" Ugh.

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