Friday, April 29, 2011


I popped into the shop down the road for a couple of spare tubes. It’s not a place where I spend much time or money. While it’s a polite enough place, the shop where I used to work is closer to home now than it was...and besides, there was that time this shop put the axle and spacers into Wheel’s rear hub facing the wrong direction....

Whatever. It’s less than a mile from home and for an immediate need, I go there.

After paying for the tubes, I did a quick scan of the women’s clothing section as I headed toward the door. It’s tough to shake evolution. Women are gatherers and have been for millennia. We scan our surroundings for color, shape and texture that catches our a bike shop that’s clothing, helmets, chainrings, SALE signs. Doesn’t matter.

I saw the jersey colors out of my peripheral vision and turned to look. My eyes stopped.


Not brass ones.

In the midst of the clothing rack rose a female mannequin whose nipples cast shadows.

The jersey it was sporting? No clue. It didn’t make an impression.

Typically the only nipples I zero-in on are on a rim. But these, I couldn’t NOT see. Instead of walking over to take a look at clothes, I walked out the door, pissed-off at what was being sold.

It's marketing, obviously to men. I don’t know about other women, but I don’t want my man to give me a jersey and dream of a plastic torso when he sees me wearing it.

While men comprise the largest segment of cycling-related purchases, there are women who are capable cyclists. We not only buy our own clothing, we buy our own equipment and can service it. Our men wouldn’t dream of attempting to buy equipment, much less clothing, for us because we’re that particular about sizing, materials and features. In clothing we want three deep pockets, a chamois that holds up over the long haul, and colors that appeal.

Do nipples draw women over to fondle the polyester? Creepy. Creepy enough to send me out the door.

To the shop manager: do you plan to feature a male mannequin at the top of the men’s rack? one with chiseled rod and balls sporting the latest men’s shorts? No?

Then ditch the nipples if you want women to hang-out and invest some dollars.

- OB with another reason not to go there....


Leslie Morgan said...

Ah, I share your sensibilities, OB. I've seen some male mannequins that have sent me packing, so to speak. I'm not a male. To shop in their section of the store is already a stretch for me. "Will he like this? Is it the right choice?" Imagine my dismay at being distracted by a remarkable, but artificial, package right in my face. What, like if I buy those pants, he'll . . . . I went to another store where I could just study the trousers, and they were a hit.

C. P. said...

The fact that there were mannequins in the shop, nippled or not, should've been your first sign.

Linda said...

I agree with everything here. Just like there are some people who shouldn't have children or pets, there are some people who should not own a bike shop. I think it's a tie for all 3 on the top of the "shouldn't have" list.

Doozyanner said...

Oh how I love a well-written rant. Thanks for the laugh!

Ruby said...

This was fun to read. Thanks

Vito said...

I very much agree! I have red nipples on the Pugsley and blue ones on my 29er. I love both equally :)