Saturday, May 15, 2010

Gender Bikes

Long before there were "Women Specific Design" frames and maybe even girls bicycles, there were machines referred to as one or the other gender. Mostly Women.
Not just naming it like "The Queen Mary" but actually referring to an inanimate object as "She"

I remember the first time I heard a bicycle called "She". I wasn't exactly sure who the customer was talking about. I thought there must have been another person involved with the bike that wasn't there at the moment. I thought that this Women customer couldn't possibly referring to this bicycle as, "She".

I know that the Crankset is sometimes referred to as the "Heart" of the bike and I guess the cyclometer could be referred to as the brain, But where does this Idea come from calling your bike a women and dealing with a mechanic, calling it "She"?
Does this extend to the customer having long conversations with the bicycle while riding? Is there discussion about buying new things for "Her" before "Their" money is spent and does the owner, or better yet, partner, surprise "Her" with a little gift every once in a while, like streamers or a bell? What do you suppose it must be like when the conversation of a new bike coming into the family come up? Is there guilt when the old bike sits alone? Are there feelings? And what about their Lawn Mower, Washing Machine and Juicer?

My older brother had a grey Navy surplus CJ-2A Willys Jeep he called "Nellybelle." Named after Roy Roger's car,drove on the show by his side kick, Pat Brady. I remember my brother use to talk to it, mostly begging it to start.

I know lots of Musicians call their Guitars Women's names, but I think it because the hours of ignoring there real women friends and hours spent playing. Jimi use to sleep with his. Guitar that is.

Like George Harrison's song, "My Guitar Gently Weeps". I would have called it, "Listen how I can make this thing sound like its human crying, its cool"
Another reason why I never made it in music.

Answers to such questions I'm sure just are like Bobby Zimmerman sings, "Blowin in the Wind" But I would love someday for someone to explain.

Different strokes for different folks. Its what makes the world go round. Right!

Maybe its just for "Good Luck" or the mystery of how the bike works. Maybe the fear of what may go wrong at any moment or the hope that nothing will.

Please speak kindly and softly around my Bacchetta and for Heavens Sake, please don't swear or mention my love of other bicycles, or Maybe "She" just might not want you to ride with Us again!

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