It's a shortcoming of our blog that none of the writers are women. I don't think this is so much because we've actively tried to exclude anyone, but more because our blog isn't very good so no women have any interest. Maybe I'm wrong. Who knows? If you're a bike riding woman and want to write about it, sent us an email. It would definitely make things better.
Anyway, that's not what is actively vexing me. It's women trying to buy bikes. I'm going to relate some anecdotes and keep things strictly anonymous.
Some women I know have tried to buy bikes in bike shops. Instead of wandering around the the bike shop in peace and staring at bikes, the bike salesmen walk with them and ask them vague and strange misleading questions about what kind of riding they want to do and talk about the length of their arms and legs and torsos and hair and other unrelated things. This seems to invariably lead the salesmen to think that these women I know need to purchase nerdy hybrids.
When I go into a bike shop, none of these questions are asked and nobody comments about the length of my body parts. I wander around and sometimes take a bike of my choosing out into the parking lot. Nothing about me suggests that I'm a guy that knows anything about bicycles.
These weird disparities and general weirdness lead the women I know to be fearful bicycles and think that there are all these weird restrictions. They're also uncomfortable in bike shops. This doesn't have to be.
I am all for bikes fitting people correctly, but that should be something that happens towards the end of a sale- not first. Let everyone browse and let people gravitate towards whatever they want. Just because some says they might ride on the road and might ride off of it in no way means they want to ride a hybrid. Riding a hybrid is no fun anywhere. That's why the world's garages are filled with hybrids that no one rides. Further, if you posed the question of where I want to ride to me, I'd answer that I want to ride on the road sometimes and not other times. I certainly don't want to buy a hybrid. Why oh why do the world's salespeople think it's a great idea to sell women weird things that they don't want?