Riding a bicycle is exhilarating, healthy, stimulating and it gives a feeling that you can conquer the world. It is indeed the best way to make you feel independent and free from all the hassles going around. Riding is a fun activity which can be enjoyed by all shape, size and gender and considered to be very essential for a fit mind and body along with vitality. Many female riders have started riding bikes on the road irrespective of their age, as they ride a cycle with liberty and passion as a feminist declaration. Cycling on the road gives us supremacy and control to move around the way we want. It connects us to where we belong to, it makes us familiar to the surroundings we are living in for years across traditions and generations. It makes you happy, reduces stress, improves your health and let you explore new places.
But, I often come across with petrified stories of harassment and eve teasing against women travelers while riding a bike. Female riders I am sure will have a plethora of stories to share in this regard. The assault on women cyclists have become very common, they occur on the road or on the highway or in the park or in the neighbourhood. The harassment can be as small as an individual slowing down their vehicle to check you out or stopping your way or may be trying to get physical on a lonely road. But, this can’t be a reason to give up your desires or habits, just don’t let your gender lay you off the game.
Irrespective of the apparent probabilities, we should be concerned about our own safety. It is very significant to consider few simple things, a female rider can take care off while heading out on the two wheels with that cute looking helmet and a ponytail behind. So, whatever I am sharing are my personal view and you can agree to disagree with me:
1.Avoid riding alone, have a cycling buddy along with you. Doesn’t matter if it’s a crowded place or a trail or a lonely path. If you are alone stick to a known street and not too far from home. Female cyclists can share live location with their family or group.
2. If you are riding alone, wear covered clothes. There is nothing wrong in wearing shorts or sleeveless or a short crop top, but it catches the public eye if you are all by yourself.
3. Carry your mobile every time you ride, keep it handy and don’t be afraid to dial 100 in case of any mishap or eve teasing.
4. If you see a vehicle is moving around you repeatedly take a picture and send it to your family or friends. High chances if a rider see’s you taking their picture, they will abscond.
5. Your bike has to be in good serviceable condition, to avoid any sort of malfunction. You don’t want to get stranded in a secluded place right???? This is also essential in case you want to make a hasty escape.
6. Carry a pepper spray, place it in an easily reachable place. There are products available online specially for cyclists and runners.
7. If any person or a vehicle stops and tries to interact, don’t entertain, keep moving.
8. Don’t tell anyone the price of your bike. Some people are very excited to share the price of their bike if its way to expensive. You are inviting trouble by sharing this, because you never know, the person you are sharing details can be a part of a gang or randomly shares this information with burglars.
9. If you feel, you are left alone and your cycle group has gone ahead. Stop at a populated area and call them up. Don’t ride alone.
10. Ride in a group, for your own safety.