One hot, humid afternoon I was walking along 6th Avenue in Manhattan. Amid the heavy creeping traffic appeared a bicyclist. The rider was a barefoot young woman with ash-blonde hair.
Worse, she wobbled along on a man’s model bike with a high crossbar, causing her short skirt to ride up around her hips.
Obviously stoned, she was oblivious to traffic, oblivious to flashing the world, oblivious to lewd shouts and hoots from cabbies and construction goons.
I winced and looked away.
Fifty years later, this distressing image came back to me when I saw Slate’s home page.
Penny in Yo’ Pants is a small gizmo with a silly Indiegogo fundraising campaign. A female cyclist can join the front and back of her skirt below the crotch so she won’t flash when mounting and dismounting a man’s bicycle or a motorcycle.
Women’s bicycles have no high crossbar. A skirted woman can step across the pedals tidily and assume her seat.
Takeaways to Consider
- How many women are wearing skirts and ride men’s bicycles? Don’t most wear shorts or slacks?
- Of those few that do wear skirts on men’s bikes, how many give a damn if anybody sees their step-ins, or up their leotards?
- Costumes in 1940s MGM musicals reveal more, as do athletes on the Tennis Channel.
- As for the business model, this is a tiny, one-shot, wildly overpriced ($7.65) trés-niche item.
- So you’ve bought a customer. With no follow-up offer for other goodies, it isn’t scalable.
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