Protesting the crime of cycling while skirted

Lynne Kiesling

I’ll give you three guesses what I’m planning on today — bike bike bike bike bike! The forecast looks promising, and I can’t think of a better way to spend a long holiday weekend than outside on my bike, in my kayak, etc. So today’s post is bike themed.

In late May, a Dutch tourist was cycling around New York City while wearing a skirt. A police officer stopped her, asked for her ID, and reprimanded her for cycling while skirted … because she was distracting drivers! As Gothamist put it, biking while sexy. Whether this was a ludicrous overextension of authority or a ludicrous case of projection on his part (or he was just trying to hit on her in a lame sort of way), it was indeed ludicrous since she was allegedly obeying traffic laws in her two-wheeled perambulations. From the Gothamist article:

As we noted yesterday, it is decidedly not illegal to wear a skirt while cycling. You won’t even find that “violation” under the NYPD’s questionable “cheat sheet” for cyclist rules, which is part of their massive cyclist crackdown.

Happily, a grassroots protest to this event emerged, which led to a cycling while skirted protest ride in New York on Thursday evening. Look at those delightful photos! How many strong, stylish, happy women (and one man) cycling in skirts! The first photo is of Jasmijn Rijcken, the Dutch cyclist who returned for the event, and who is also general manager of the VANMOOF bicycle company. As noted in New York Press’s post-ride post:

According to those involved with the Skirts on Bikes ride last night, over a hundred cyclists participated to show support for stylish (and potentially skimpy) riding. Jasmijn Rijcken, who was the Dutch cyclist allegedly stopped by a police officer in early May while riding her bike dressed in a skirt, traveled back to New York City to join the cause. “Usually you feel fragile on a bike, last night we felt powerful,” Rijcken said. “It’s what bicycling should be: positive, friendly and joyful.”

One caveat: even though it’s a hairstyle buzzkill, they should all be wearing helmets, any time they’re riding, no matter how short or slow the ride.

HT: Courtney Knapp (thanks, Court!)

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4 thoughts on “Protesting the crime of cycling while skirted

  1. We live in France, but I ordered a classic ladies bicycle from Sweden for my wife:

    Specifically designed for women wearing skirts. The story behind this bike is that one of the people working at Skeppshult found an old 1930s bicycle in a shed. Why don’t we do bikes of a similar quality? he asked himself. So the bike is a replica, except for the handlebar grips that are plastic instead of wood. They also added 7 gears instead of just one. The one in the picture has 5 gears apparently.

    My own grandmother, born 1888, had a similar one. The 28 inch wheels and the flexing ladies frame gives it a very smooth ride.

  2. I read some rumors about it being a “marketing stunt”, so no, I wasn’t punk’d. Frankly, I don’t care if it was a marketing stunt. I think if they sell bikes by showcasing that you can be strong, lean, healthy, happy, and *feminine* as a cyclist, more power to them.

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