chicks on bikes

I’ve been off the wagon a lil while now. Whether or not you have noticed, is not great matter/mind.

As they say, “absence diminishes mediocre passions and increases great ones, as the wind extinguishes candles and fans fires”.

So, is this a candle or a fire?

I would have to say sometimes it is both. Sometimes I don’t feel like riding a lick, other times I want to do nothing else. This last week or so, I’ve been “horses and tigers”.

I saw some pretty bikes while I was in Byron Bay, evaporating the hours with good friends and giggles. There was a whole bunch of matching ones, with pretty girls atop them, all the bikes in matching lolly colours, as were the girls. There were no helmets, however, as the company had spent their targeted invested in blow-up disposable beach balls emblazoned with their logo, correctly figuring that their attention to safety was unlikely to draw them as much attention as semi naked women with long blond hair flowing behind them. I presume that there were several hundred pink and white beach balls left behind at the beach that day.

I know that this company does not wish to market to me, because this sort of thing is basically offensive to me (i.e. the distribution of useless excessive plastic products and lazy use of semi/naked women and bikes to market stuffs). I appreciate a nice hot lady on a bike as much as the next person, but in this case the whole thing was rather annoying to me. I just feel like there needs to be some vague correlation between the women, the bikes and the scanty cladding, because I’m not an adolescent male and I won’t get a hard on just looking at scanty ladies then think “I must buy that thing that was close to that naked lady”. I’m trying not to think about it.

Because I am not really riding bikes at the moment, I am reading about riding bikes. Sometimes this annoys me almost as much as a flotilla of floozies down the main street of touristy cheese town.

Does this annoy anyone else? Or am I mad?

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By Eleanor Jackson

Eleanor Jackson is a Filipino Australian poet, performer, arts producer, cyclist, writer, gal about town, feminist, freewheeler, and friend.

5 comments

  1. So it would be OK if they were selling scanty cladding itself? Or cruisey beach bikes? I’m sure it still wouldn’t be OK … its not the lack of connection to product, its the use of (implied) sex that annoys.

    Or even more annoying is that the use of sex to sell is still apparently so effective that it continues on, decade after decade.

    I’m ready to go for a ride Sat or Sunday morning, just to help you out. Or another time :-)

    1. No doubt this is opening up a more complex conversation than this comment box really allows but yes, there is something “more” going on.

      (totally appreciate the support thought…)

      Oddly, though, I don’t actually think it is as simple as “I am annoyed by sex/purchase connection”, nor that it wouldn’t be “okay” in some circumstances. (and who am I to be the arbiter of “ok”, really). Perhaps, what I am annoyed by is the simplicity of the sex/buy connection.

      Sex, and selling, are neither of them things that I cannot engage with, nor do I think that I am above it, or don’t pedal in it. Isn’t the “hotness” of the helmet just a cheeky/watered down version of the same thing? I think it’s more a question of agency and taste. I don’t believe that there is any time any time soon when “we” are going to stop selling each other things related to the simple sex/buy connection, or that we are going to stop “buying” things on that very basis.

      What I probably take most umbrage to is that there was a giant flotilla of women who looked like they could not even ride bikes (let alone do so comfortably in bikinis and bare feet), on exactly the kind of overpriced, heavy lolly stupid bikes companies seem to think women want to ride (yet end up deterring women from riding), having to ride on the footpath (which I don’t know if it is legal in NSW anyway) and some silly pace, while not wearing helmets, being accompanied by a couple of token “Kens” on skateboards.

      Just seemed like it was lazy marketing, a silly stunt, not well connected with any “brand identity” (beyond the idea that Cotton On is a company willing to create cheap, cheerful, exploitative, sweat shop stitched up waste products, which we already knew), and then probably reinforced cranky driver perceptions that bike riders are a bunch of dills who can’t manage traffic.

      No riding this weekend for me, sozza.

  2. churning out useless stuff to line someone’s pockets at the expense of our environment is the most offensive part of this exercise.
    most people get that tying sexiness to selling is cynical and react along the spectrum of ‘repulsed – meh – titilation’.

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