I’ve been riding my bike all over Europe and all over Los Angeles. I love riding dressed up or dressed down, I love riding to auditions and I pride myself that I’m one of the very few actresses who is working in the industry without having to own a car.
When I ride dressed up, drivers slow down, women on the street give me the thumbs up and I motivate others to dress up nice when they get on the saddle. In my opinion, which is also the opinion in countless cities around the US and around the world, one doesn’t have to dress into “biking” gear to go from point A to point B.
Sharon McNary from KPCC is of another opinion. Yesterday, Sharon from KPCC posted a note on our Stop Hit & Run facebook event wall, asking cyclists to fill out a survey about their bike related crashes.
I filled out the survey and hit submit. But I couldn’t submit because I was required to submit a photo. So I submitted a photo of me riding dressed up to the CSA Artios Awards last year where I represented SAG.
Today, I received a letter from Sharon, thanking me for my contribution and that people might be called for an interview. Then she wrote this:
I’m glad you weren’t hurt any worse. Thanks for the photo. I’m looking at your outfit in terms of safety. No helmet, and wearing a dress that could be a distraction to a passing driver. I’m no fashion critic and I’m assuming it’s not your usual biking gear, but seriously, what’s the responsibility of a cyclist to wear protective clothing?
Excuse me??? Since when is dressing up when I go somewhere a safety issue?
If women’s wardrobe is ever a safety issue, then maybe we shouldn’t dress up regardless of how we move about because we might be a distraction to all the single high testosterone men out there! Maybe ladies shouldn’t dress up because a driver might slow down to check them out. Maybe men and women shouldn’t dress up when riding because the streets of Los Angeles are full of un-attentive drivers who can’t handle holding their lattes, while on the phone and being distracted by good looking cyclists. (Btw. I’m distracted by good looking cyclists all the time while I ride and I love the distraction!)
Oh, and the helmet comment is just bizarre as well! Wearing a helmet is not the law! Wearing a helmet is not safer for cyclist. It’s safer when falling to the ground after a driver has hit me, but I’m not safer on my bike with a helmet. What is wrong with people in America, who get so bent out of shape when cyclists don’t wear a helmet?
How about addressing the law for drivers? Why don’t these “bent out of shape people” get upset about drivers breaking them? It’s the law to wear a seat belt! It’s the law to have a hands free cell phone. It’s the law to have your dog restrained in your car.
Do these same people who get upset about a cyclists not wearing a helmet get upset when they see a driver without a seat belt? Or when they see a driver hold the phone in one hand while making a right turn at a red looking only to the left? Do these same people lay on the horn or lecture these drivers by throwing something at them? Do these “cyclists teaching drivers” teach drivers about the law by giving them advice on what is safe for them?
What is wrong with Sharon having the need to lecture me about how I dress when I ride?
Sharon McNary has it all wrong and so do all these “bike lecturers” who think that riding a bike is immature and that cyclists need to be taught a lesson about their safety. Most of the cyclists are safe, but they are not safe from the motorists. Why don’t we teach motorists how to behave, not the victim?
I encourage all my readers to go out and ride dressed up and looking hot. Here are a few websites that promote just that:
- Bike Riding in a Dress 101
- Dress Codes: The Dutch Bicycle
- Riding Pretty in California
- Cycle Chic from Copenhagen
- Bicycling in a Wedding Dress
- Girls I Love to Hate
- Girls and Bicycles
- Los Angeles Cycle Chic
And there are cuontless more on line, proving my point that Sharon has is all wrong and is missing out big time in her metal box!
Evolved countries understand that a bike is a very elegant form of transportation. Evolved cities know that people like to ride in their everyday wardrobe. Evolved people know that riding a bike is good for them and those around them.