The Chainlink

Reader: "Tips for men who want to make walking, biking, and transit a little less crummy for women "

If you read one non-election article this week, read THIS. Thank you John Greenfield!


Yasmeen Schuller, owner of the local social networking site the Chainlink, noted that "not all women like being considered a damsel in distress" when they have a mechanical issue. She suggested that men who encounter women and nonbinary people with bike problems might ask if they have everything they need to fix them, rather than assuming that they need rescuing.

Bikesplaining even happens to professional bike mechanics like Mary Randall, who's also a serious racer. In addition, she reports that during "literally every solo road ride" she goes on in the region, random men will attempt to "draft" her (ride close behind to cut wind resistance) without asking permission. "So you have this hulking stranger riding two inches behind you, and you have no idea who they are or if they can ride well enough to be that close to you safely."

How does she deal with that deeply creepy situation? "I just pull over and stop for a few minutes and let them go," Randall said. "Sometimes I say something like, 'If you can't introduce yourself, get off my fucking wheel.' Sometimes I just blow snot rockets with reckless abandon."

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Interesting article. When I ask anyone if they need help, I help them if they want the help. If they don't, I move on. I don't care if they're mujeres o hombres.

The last person I helped was my significant other. She broke a chain by Ohio St Beach on her way to the office. She said only one guy stopped to help, but told him I was on the way. He asked her if I had the necessary tools to fix it. She said yep.

I showed up, helped her, and she was on her way.

im with you. unless the person is being a major creep or condescending i dont see why that would be an issue.  

And now I feel like I need to start carrying a chain tool everywhere. Whatever goes wrong is always going to require a tool you don't have on hand. The last ride I did to Madison saw one guy's lock ring come loose and the cassette started wobbling.

Scratch that, I just looked in my bag and one of the two multi-tools I carry has a pin and cradle for chains on it.

If you could move to D.C. and carry around a small tube for my Brompton… ;-)

My bike shop unexpectedly closed last week and I don't have spare tubes for my Brompton (or my Linus for that matter). I will need to go to one of their other locations soon as pick up a few. Shame on me. a ziploc scribbled: Yasmeen's Bromton tube, in case she flats.

Good read, but I am with Ernesto, if its just a hey, you good? do you need any help? I do not see why that would be offensive, I would be more upset if somebody would just ignore me, whether its a guy or a girl, young or old. As for the passing up when at a red light? id rather have somebody pass me up at the red light or stop, if they are just going to be on my wheel and i gotta keep looking over my shoulder, i have plenty of people that pass me up whether female or male and i have no issue with that. 

I had a flat over the summer near Montrose, and a woman rider asked me if I had all I needed. I nodded, gave her thumbs up, and I said "yes, thank you!" She said: good!

And kept riding. 

And a chaintool is a plus. I've helped out a couple of unfortunate souls with chain/derailleur issues, having to make their bikes into single speeds so they can at least get to their destinations.

One guy didn't thank me. He just got on his fixed bike and left in a hurry. The other guy was very appreciative.

Now that I remember, I helped a lady who was riding north on the LFT - I asked her to stop because... her fork was on backwards. Rotor was on the right side of the bike. We had a pleasant conversation about the issue, and I told her to never have a bike built by Performance bikes - that's where she told me her bike came from. 


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