Monday, January 23, 2012

She is SO Right

If I were in charge of an awards show for the online world, the Top Female Blogger prize would go to Karen Voyer-Caravona. Anyone who thinks bicycling for women is only for the hardcore female athlete should visit Karen's blog, She Rides a Bike, to see how stylishly feminine it can be.

Karen deserves the award for much more than simply creating a well written blog which breaks a female stereotype. In my opinion, her comments and posts on other sites elevate her far above others in the world of responsible, intelligent writers. Her comment in response to a post in my blog, Bikes are NOT Red, White and Blue, is so full of smart, gut-level correctness that it could be used as model for Internet debating. It got me thinking even more about some effective tactics for bike advocacy, and any writing which promotes thinking is the best sort of writing.

My original post had been in response to Tom Bowden's article in Commute by Bike wherein he suggests we promote bicycling as a patriotic, American activity: Bike Advocacy from the NRA Playbook. I said it wouldn't work, because the automobile is "American transportation" and the bicycle is "foreign, Third World transportation." Karen added yet another dimension to that thought when she mentioned that nationalistic arguments frighten her "almost as much as religiosity."

It scares me, too! I shudder whenever I see a news article about some politician or Radical Right organization trying to say "God is on OUR side." It reminds me of the fact that during World War II some soldiers of Nazi Germany revived the GOTT MIT UNS ("God With Us") belt buckle from the previous world war. If we try to paint the bicycle as AMERICAN we may well turn off some folks who are NOT red-necked, flag waving yo-yos.

However, Karen also freely admits that "sex sells," and although my post suggests a tongue-in-cheek advertising campaign using macho movie action heroes to portray bicycling as a tough, manly activity, she says she would follow the two actors I mentioned "anywhere"! Maybe such an eroticism-based PR line isn't so far fetched after all!

Think about it: hot rod magazines sell thousands of copies loaded with pictures of string-bikini-clad girls caressing the custom flames painted on cars their grandfathers drove! Is it so farfetched to believe than having Victoria Secret-class models draped all over Electra-style cruiser bikes would sell a LOT of bikes?


  1. Wow! Thanks, Blues! I just popped over to see what you were thinking and found a great plug for my blog. I see you've been causing trouble again at CoB. Regarding today's post, I believe Departmental Staff work with legal staff on writing definitions. I was an LA. I'll ask my hubbs though. He's an urban planner guy.

  2. You certain deserve the praise I gave you, Karen.

    Hey, yeah, I figured you noticed that a fellow named Jeff Gardner and I are having a pretty heavy discussion about the Put Bike/Ped Projects Back into the Transportation Bill article over on CbB.

    He, of course, is of the opinion that the federal Transportation department can only deal with things commercial. What's your take, and your husband's take, on that?