Test For Women in Bike Ads

Alice White, circa 1931

One of my favorite writers in the bicycle realm is Elly Blue. Last week at the National Women’s Bicycle Summit organized by the League of American Cyclists, Elly presented the Bike Test that could be used by both media creators and consumers to evaluate images of women in cycling. The test has three criteria:

  1. Are women present or represented at all?
  2. Are the women presented as active subjects rather than passive objects?
  3. If the gender were reversed, would the meaning stay more or less unchanged? (Or would the image become hilarious?)

You can read more about the test on Elly’s blog, Taking the Lane.


How do you think I did selecting the photo for this blog entry? It came from Rides A Bike on Tumblr which features photos of Hollywood stars on bikes.

By the way, if I was starting a new media conglomerate covering bicycle culture, riders and industry, Elly Blue would be at the top of my list of serious writers to hire. Alas I am …

– Just Another Pedaler