I wrote yesterday about the awkwardness of surreptitiously photographing women on bikes, but I realized overnight that I failed to cover what one should do if confronted with any photo involving a female and a bike, awkward or otherwise. This guide aims to set forth a road map for categorizing and judging girls-n-bikes photographs, as well as provide some hints on proper social behavior for a any cyclist encountering same.
First you must categorize the photo. Can you tell from the composition that it was taken by a creepy goon in an upstairs window? Is everyone pictured fully clothed? Can the subject clearly tell that she is being photographed? These sorts of questions help one decide how to process the photo further.
In some cases, the answers to the above will cause one to ignore the photo in question, but if it manages to not seem like something that a horny teenager on the second floor could be prosecuted for, we can move forward and judge the photo on a few criteria. This brings us to a crucial stage in this process.
At this juncture one must be sure to judge the contents on the photo bike first. No exceptions! There are many reasons for this, but the chief one is that there are already more photos of women in various stages of dress on the internet than stars in the visible sky, which is a theory of mine that will be explored more fully in a sciencelicious paper that I am working on titled “Hubba Hubble”.
But back to the photograph. As I say, we must judge it bike first always, our goal being to determine the bike is indeed hers and if she actually rides it or if she’s just been asked to lurk near it. Part of my Hubba Hubble theory is that every object on earth has been photographed at least once with a nude woman in frame by this point, and bikes many, many times.
Here are some ways to tell if you should have disdain for the pictured bike:
- Is it a mixte, and should it therefore be chucked unceremoniously into a river (no exceptions)?
- Does it still have its pie plate?
- Is it comically too big for her?
- Is she riding on the sidewalk, and should she therefore herself be chucked unceremoniously into a river?
Of course, these are just my ideas; you should develop your own. After all, my preferred aesthetic for a bike is not shared by everyone, even though it should be.
These questions answered, one is free to take a step back and judge the photograph as a whole work of art, and perhaps even allow one’s self to discern the pictured woman’s merits. She might be standing with her arms crossed or making a “Grr!” face, or possibly both. Her sparrow tattoos could be any color of the rainbow.
Or, she could just be a normal person who happens to enjoy riding bikes who got photographed non-creepily in the normal course of going about her life. It does happen.
Not often, mind you, but it does happen.