Writer. Warning: opinions. My lawyer advised a disclaimer, but didn't include any jokes to go with. Damned if I can think of any either.

Girls on Bikes: TBS versus CNS

image: j/k_lols
For some reason, there is a peculiar facet of being a male cyclist which causes one to be particularly — some might say “unduly” — interested in female cyclists. I don’t mean to say that male cyclists are unduly interested in females, just unduly interested in female cyclists, as though having a girl who also rides is vastly preferable to one who does not. My personal policy is not to discriminate on this basis, preferring to judge on the hotness to craziness ratio alone.

It’s definitely preferable to have compatible interests with someone you’re hoping to see romantically, and cycling girls do tend to be educated, fit, and attractive. There’s no doubt about that. The trouble is that there’s an overwhelming majority of males in the bike riding community, especially in the racing community. This exists despite what I consider to be some pretty significant efforts to boost female entry and offer prizes to women to entice them to race. The upshot is that if you’re a bike riding dude hoping to bridge up to a female rider, you may find that there’s a sizeable chase group already.

Many of my Atlanta friends are Georgia Tech graduates, who apparently experienced a similar ratio mismatch when they were in school. They even taught me an acronym for its perceived social results: TBS. TBS stands for “Tech Bitch Syndrome”, which is intended to describe a girl whose bitchiness is supposedly a result of a glut of suitors. Absolute power corrupts absolutely, after all.

I have been at a few parties with some male Tech grads and seen them employ their game, however, and I suspect that there is also room for another acronym: CNS, which would stand for Creepy Nerd Syndrome. I think that a certain percentage of perceived bitchiness in any group of women can be attributed to poor game on the part of the dudes attempting to woo them, but certainly some more formal studies should be undertaken. Get on that, Tech grads!

I say all this to paint a landscape to serve as background for the phenomenon of girl-and-bicycle photography. There’s not that much of it, but it does exist, and it is weird, especially those photographs of a pornular nature.

Yes, I am interested in girls. Yes, I am also interested in bikes, but the two of them need not be combined for me to enjoy them. Still, some people objectify female riders, and even take surreptitious and vaguely creepy photos of them. Maybe I’m wrong to say that it’s vaguely creepy to do this. I’m conflicted about it, but I’d like it better if the photographs on the Cycle Chic site didn’t have such a CNS feel to them.

I think that more people on bikes is a great thing, and I’d love it if a greater proportion of riders were female, but I’m not sure that objectifying what female riders we do have is the best way to achieve this. I’d like to hear some perspectives on this, so please comment if you have one, but, you know, don’t be all CNS/TBS about it.

4 thoughts on “Girls on Bikes: TBS versus CNS”

  1. Bill Brasky

    I agree with everything you’ve said & even learned a few things from your posts. For example, i’m not supposed to park in the bike lanes (who knew?!).

    If i may, the next topic should be entitled “Bike-seats, are they really needed?” B/c, who really uses them any way. Having stated that, they are therefore un-needed lead weights & unnecessary costs added to bikes. I blame the bike seat lobbyists.

  2. Tony Bullard

    I’ve always thought the Copenhagen site was weird. He often talks about how cycling in Copenhagen is no big deal…it’s just cycling. You just have a bike, who cares what brand it is. You don’t need special clothes, just wear whatever…who cares.

    But then he devotes an entire website to all things about that…

  3. April

    Copenhagen Cycle Chic is bike chic – here in Portland we have something closer to ‘bike geek.’ So I find it so refreshing to see a male or female smartly, stylishly attired (and if they choose to wear a helmet and still look great, more power to them) when out riding. Though I am female, I really enjoy seeing great-looking females riding bikes and I think overall in general we are the prettier sex, so if we make the cities look better when we’re out on our bikes, that’s great.