Ride Like a Girl?

by CycleChick on January 22, 2011

Dear Giordana

I just happened across your 8 page advertising spread in the January 2011 issue of Bicycling Magazine. In the first seven pages you show, not surprisingly, riders riding.

On the last page, under the headline “Ride Like a Girl” you show a female rider. Besides the typical and annoying fact that her kit is pink, she is the only rider in the entire spread who is not, in spite of the headline, actually riding. She is posing.

“Ride Like a Girl” as you are probably aware, is something we riders (yes, even female ones) will toss at each other as an insult, usually in a joking fashion. “Dude, what’s going on? You’re riding like a girl today.”

I suspect your intention in the ad was to try to “own” this phrase, giving the power back to the girl. To show that riding like a girl is a good thing. Instead, by having the woman standing passively, posing prettily for the camera, while NOT riding, you did the opposite. If the image showed the woman riding strong, dropping a man, or even another strong woman, THAT would have made your point. Instead, you made yet another ad that shows women riders as an afterthought. It’s not like she’s wearing high heels or anything (that we can see anyway), but by overlooking a simple and obvious detail you missed an opportunity to connect with women riders and acknowledge them as serious athletes.

If you want to sell shit to women, I suggest you actually talk to some. I would also suggest you fire your advertising agency for being so lazy and ignorant.

Sincerely (and on behalf of women riders everywhere),

Winnipeg Cycle Chick


And hire you, of course. You should pitch them or something.

by Kim on January 22, 2011 at 9:04 pm. Reply #

The other thing that struck me when I was looking at the actual magazine last night (I have it, I just haven’t read it.. sad, I know — casual George looks great on the cover though). Look how she’s holding her brake hoods. For that matter so is the guy in the first ad (that you didn’t reproduce) and he’s actually riding his bike. How are you going to break like that? Or am I doing something wrong?

Like there are not any good looking enough REAL cyclists out there to use in ads.

by Kim on January 23, 2011 at 2:30 pm. Reply #


by Kristen on January 24, 2011 at 3:09 pm. Reply #

I wanna know…did you send this comment to them? And if you did are you their new agency? I’ll pitch them for ya! Good grief Charlie Brown……

by meg on February 4, 2011 at 9:50 pm. Reply #

Good grief is right. No, I didn’t send it to them, but it was fun to write. I believe the parent company is Italian, so this may have been their brainchild. The European style of advertising always has a bit of an odd flavor. Check out the post I did about Assos, a Swiss company, and you’ll see the similarity.

by CycleChick on February 4, 2011 at 10:40 pm. Reply #

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