Bike-Life Quandaries? Ask Genevieve

Dear Genevieve Illustration - Velojoy

Hey city-cyclists,

How’s it going? Enjoying the warmer weather? Got your rain pants? Helped a friend buy a bike? Excited to see Citi Bike rolling out? Wondering why you’re starting to feel territorial over the lanes by your house? Maybe feeling slightly guilty about that? Wish you knew whether or not it’s normal to ask a guy out for coffee only after you know what kind of bike he rides and if he’d be willing to let you keep yours inside the apartment?

Mhm. I see. Well then, let me be the first to tell you:

Congratulations, you’re a cyclist.

And yes, to answer your questions. It is all normal. But how do you deal with those feelings on a day-to-day basis? That’s where I come in. Hi. I’m Genevieve.

I’m no expert, I’m not a lawyer. But I have an opinion and lots of experience b*tching about these things to the committee in my brain as a I ride around NYC. I’ve invested in (for the greater good, of course) hours of roundtable discussions with friends, talking about the banal joys and frustrations of being an avid bi-pedalist in the city. What I’ve learned is that there is never a simple, one-size solution to any bike-life related question, and more often than not these things require a little soul-searching. In fact I frequently find myself asking – is this a population problem, or a “me” problem for having moved here in the first place? Short of the unanswerable there is almost always a trick, be it mental or physical, that can help keep me going.

Do you have a question? Maybe a little embarrassing? A little self-centered? Think it’s maybe too raunchy? Nah. Just yesterday I spent an hour telling a friend how to mitigate the risk of flashing her hoo-hah when she rides in a skirt (and no, waxing was not part of the answer). I’ve been asked whether or not it’s rude to stare at one’s calves in the mirror, post ride, at a restaurant; whether I talk to myself in the bike lane after someone gender unspecified (dude, seriously) speeds up when he sees me approaching. I’ve been asked, “Is it scary to ride at night in Bushwick”; and, “What’s the best route from Carroll Gardens to Queens?” (Hit me up, friend. I’ll share the love). And I’ve definitely been asked whether I’d date a guy who doesn’t ride a bike. (I would be judging, I’m sorry. I’m still working through these issues.)

So what are we going to do about this? Every month, here at velojoy, we are dedicating a few hundred words to answering your moral dilemmas – starting May, 2013. Until then we want to hear from you. Have a  bike-life quandary? I have an opinion. Submit questions to Dear Genevieve at, or write a comment below.

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  • I bike everyday in Brooklyn and I recently ran into a friend who has one of the fancy biking jackets from Europe. It’s long (a few inches above the knee) in both the front and back and then has this little swoop-ie thing in the back so when you sit down, it concaves and folds under you. They happen to be very expensive. Could you maybe shed some light on the options, prices, reviews for such lovely items?


    • Jamie, thanks for reading and commenting. Please tell us more! Are you interested specifically in cycling jackets, or, more generally, in reviews of clothing for city biking?

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