As I sit in the two car garage, looking at the bikes, I begin to laugh. The giggles have taken hold so much so, my other half walks out to see the ruckus. As I begin to digress about what made me laugh, he walks away - not understanding a word I said. Ironically, it was not until moments later, I would comprehend the magnitude those giggles would enlighten me.
Three bikes stand before me. One of which, a male-designed bike, I ride with my children. Looking at the bikes for males only, their names are:
1. Huffy, "Street Heat"
2. Rampage, "Thruster 2.0"
3. Tunova, "Giant"
One may wonder, at this point, if I don't deserve a white jacket with arms that fasten in back, tightly. Please be patient. I promise, in due time my revelation will be seen.
Taking another look around, I spot my daughters brand-new birthday bike. Hot pink and purple with streamers coming out the handlebars. The name on this bike is, Rallye, "Glitter". That is what made me laugh! When comparing the bikes, the PR and marketing groups sure knew words and colors promoting the sexes. Something I never looked at when purchasing a bike. Either it was comfortable and my style or no, it wasn't. The word, "glitter", sure did feminize the bike a whole lot more than "street heat". Wouldn't you know it, the bike I ride is Rampage, "Thruster 2.0". Tell me you aren't at least smiling by now?
Pondering if this is just a fluke, I meandered outside where my daughter's other two bikes were. Each bike was for varying ages. Needless to say, the comparison solidified why I laughed. The names are:
1. Magna, "Princess Pearl"
2. Huffy, "Sea Sprite"
These bikes showed me the distinct and ignorant propaganda behind purchasing items. I suppose that is what draws children to wanting a certain bike. I doubt my daughter would like an all black and green bike called, Huffy, "Road Rage". No, almost all the bikes she picked were some form of pink, purple, and had light-feminizing names. Of course, being a self-publishing author; the perception of marketing is what I noticed first and laughed at.
It wasn't until moments later, I realized this pertained to my "special need" son, Chris. Although the Huffy, "Street Heat", was purchased specifically for him; he chose to ride the hot-pink, Magna, "Princess Pearl" more times than I care to count. He rode it until the chain broke apart. Other children in the neighborhood either laughed at him or questioned him, "why don't you ride your bike". He would just shrug his shoulders and say, "because I like this one".
Some of you reading may question if he's not, "light in the loafers", but I highly doubt that. He definitely swoons around the girls in the neighborhood and broadcasts his thoughts on their beauty at every opportunity. Regardless, I would love him the same. The point is, my son doesn't care if he rides a pink, multicolored, bike that has 'princess' written across the bar. The same as I don't care that I ride an orange-brown bike called Thruster.
My son, Chris, was taught to not care about labels. I never wanted him to conform but, rather respect social norms. Understand their purpose, yet still enjoy life. He showed me that by riding the, 'Princess Pearl', he's understood decent values.
You see, my son was never supposed to ride a bike. When he finally chose to, at age 8, it was like Forest Gump and his running. Chris just kept cycling. Many bumps, bruises, cuts, and gashes later; Chris has shown me he feels free from everything, just by riding the bike. The bike is just the mode to make it happen.
Male bikes may: look aerodynamic, have manly colors, and stylish seats, but comfort for a long distance ride to freedom, doesn't know: colors, shapes, or sizes. All my son knows is his mode of comfort and feeling free is the determination. Labels need NOT apply, either!