If you’re on your bike, and you wanna look good,
Who you gonna call?
If you’ve got a slim waist/ Jeans don’t fit like they should
Who you gonna call?
They ain’t afraid of no hips!
They ain’t afraid of big tits!
I’ll stop there, but you get the idea. I have, in fact, re-written all the lyrics to the Ghostbusters theme tune in homage to Ladybiker, I am considering making a music video… but I shan’t bore you with that now. Instead I will tell you why I have been inspired to spend my Sunday afternoon plagiarizing Ray Parker Jr.
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Well, for one because I am avoiding other tasks on my to-do list, but mainly because I flipping love the ladies at LadyBiker and the website they have created.
As we know, the motorbike world has long been dominated by men; it still is. But we also know that increasing numbers of women find themselves on motorbikes, both as riders and passengers.
Other things you might have picked up on in your time on this earth: women’s bodies are different to men’s! Even more mind blowing, women’s bodies come in all different shapes and sizes. This has always been the case but bike gear tailored for women is relatively new to the industry. Up until pretty recently most gear manufacturers offered a “pink it and shrink it” policy for women’s gear. Some also shamelessly offered gear that wasn’t up to the standard of men’s gear – lacking armor or even abrasion resistance.
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Finding gear that fits the thighs AND the waist is a challenge for me. To be honest, I struggle to find normal clothes that fit all my lumps and bumps appropriately; so what hope have I got when it comes to technical gear? Enter LadyBiker.co.uk
“Borrowing your husband or partner’s spare shapeless jacket to go out for a ride isn’t where these women want to be,” said Daisy Bell, the site’s managing director.
Yes, most bike gear retailers have a Women’s section, so what’s so spesh about LadyBiker? It has to do with the women behind the site and the fact they – as riders – understand the challenges female riders face.
The site was established back in 2002 by a group of women who recognized a major gap in the market. In particular, there is an element of personal service, with the team behind the site willing to work with women to find gear that will actually fit them.
“Many of our customers share detailed information with us that they would perhaps not tell family and friends, but it enables us to remove all the tension and frustration from what should be a fun experience,” explained Bell.
This is the reason I was so impressed with the shop. I had spent some time looking about for new riding jeans, and had an image in my head of what I wanted, but was unsure what size to get.
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Before I earned my CBT, I had worn a pair of Resurgence Gear Skinny Cafe jeans that had been given to me by the manufacturer. The jeans look great but are strangely tight on the calves and hips. It’s perhaps telling that Resurgence Gear doesn’t appear to sell these on its website anymore. They were tolerable for short journeys as a passenger but once I became a real biker girl (well, sorta – I still need to take the full test), I decided I wanted something a little more comfortable.
A few emails back and forth with Daisy, and I splashed out on a pair of jeans. When they arrived, they fit beautifully, but I was worried they weren’t high-waisted enough. I am fussy and have a massive paranoia about having a builder’s bum (“plumber’s crack” for US readers).
‘Borrowing your husband or partner’s spare shapeless jacket isn’t where these women want to be’
I contacted Daisy and she offered a refund without delay. She also recommended another pair of jeans which had a waist higher than the Empire State Building. I’ll be ordering those as soon as my next paycheck comes in.
Throughout the back and forth with Daisy, she was funny and helpful. This is totally different from normal online shopping I have experienced, which makes me feel like I am on “The Crystal Maze” – one wrong foot and I am locked in a room in the Industrial Zone with nothing but an automated email response and the hope that my teammates will forfeit a crystal for my freedom.
(American readers are completely lost now –CC)
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“We pride ourselves on the bespoke service we’re able to offer,” Daisy said. “Internet shopping doesn’t have to mean that everything arrives in a bland cardboard box. There are lots of things we do that make the whole experience seamless and full of joy – whether a customer spends £10 or £1,000.”
LadyBiker is based in the UK but ships internationally. It’s been so successful in its home country, though, that it plans to set up a physical shop in Suffolk next month. Another reason to pass my big girl test and go on a road trip!