An Amusement & Diversion for The Genteel Cyclist. Daily.

Friday, June 29, 2007

The "culturally appropriate" bike?

We were razzing folks from World Bicycle Relief recently about their plans to provide "culturally appropriate" bikes to health workers in Zambia. Turns out what they mean by that is bikes that are equipped with tires that have rubber sidewalls-- traditional cloth sidewalls that are normally found in Africa are worthless on their non-existent roads.

But now the lost-in-time leaders of Iran have developed a bike for Islamic women. Up until now, Iranian women were not allowed to ride bicycles because, well, because it could lead to crazy fun sex. (Let's just speak frankly, shall we?)

So what does a "culturally appropriate" bike for oppressed Islamic women look like?

Your wish is our command. We're all about instant gratification here in the satanic West...

Kidding, but not a lot. (Being Islamic and all, there are no pictures allowed.) Still, lest we miss the whole point here, whatever the bike looks like, it's a wheel in the right direction. As Susan B. Anthony, "The bicycle has done more for the emancipation of women than anything else in the world."


Chris said...

Tires are only part of the equation -- "culturally appropriate" to us means that it fits with the intended use and users. For instance, the bikes we put into Zambia are improved upon (better tires, better construction, coaster brakes), but are backward-compatible with the spare parts and knowledge they already have in place. That's vital to having a sustainable solution that will last long after our program is "complete!"

-- Chris from World Bicycle Relief

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