My relationship with bicycles has always been rocky. I mean from years
back; during the formative years when all the kids my age learnt cycling;
when the older siblings and parents would help you ascend and then
hold on to the bike while you practiced coordination and balance, under
the caring eyes of family.
I still did not trust.
This is despite multiple invitations and requests to try make it work,
encouragements that trying never killed anyone. I have resisted and
maintained my distance. Until my boned hardened and my brain
solidified. Until my body grew in generosity.
My thoughts refused to surrender to an object that was never meant to
accommodate my generous body; an object modelled after somebody
many times smaller than a ‘normal’; sized woman. An act of injustice,
intended to alienate me.
Who fits into this thing?
I tried it a few times, but was never able to go the entire lap. It was just
tough to find a comfortable sitting position.
“You sit like this, not like that. Make yourself comfortable”, the gym
instructor would say.
“The saddle should be up to your hips. Let your bikers snuggle
comfortably on the paddles…”
‘Yeah right, if you had my kind of body you’d know there cannot be a
comfortable sitting position on this thing’, I am thinking.
Do bicycle manufacturers think car builders missed the mark when they
catered for all shapes and sizes? Why do they want to marginalise us?
I’d then spin with a drag, never really keeping the pace with the rest of
I can’t be spinning on an instrument of injustice, of marginalisation, of
violence on my body. An instrument that conjures up images of brutality.
Yah I know, I’ve gone extreme. But think about it, clothes have sizes, car seats are much wider to cater for an average weight. Did you just think, I
am probably more than average? But these seats are too small.
The two times I brought the cushion for the seat, it didn’t matter how
much I fastened, it would still slide off, and would be left negotiating
I have read stories of man becoming impotent from years of cycling.
They say the prolonged friction on that particular body part can lead to
numbness and resultant impotence. I’m not a man, but sometimes these
stories run through my mind as I ascend this body of metal.
Why is a bicycles seat, a one size fits all? What about the voluminous
woman. What do we do with the parts of our bodies that cannot find
space on this metal machine? Should they dangle, unsupported, on the
sides? That’s the unfair part. If other humans have bodies that fit inside
this thing. Then surely there has to be sizes for all of us.
Anyway I have given up the struggle. I couldn’t fight for ever. Even in
politics the opposing camp sometimes surrenders their armoury and
warms up to the ruling. So today I’m spinning in vengeance. Like a
wounded buffalo, I’ll ride this thing.