Originally posted on Cyclopology:
“…She was told never to touch a bicycle. Her parents feared she would lose her virginity.”
“To men, the bicycle in the beginning was merely a new toy, another machine added to the long list of devices they knew in their work and play. To women, it was a steed upon which they rode into a new world.”
Cycling around Dar es Salaam it doesn’t take long to notice a stark gender gap when it comes to who rides a bicycle. I’ve occasionally seen women sitting side-saddle on the back end of bikes pedaled by men, but so far very few ladies powering bikes themselves (an exception: disabled women cranking three-wheeled handcycles). Being an expatriate I’m an alien in Tanzania anyway, and while I’m no boor when it comes to cultural appropriateness while outside of my own country, I just can’t bend to gender norms that make it unacceptable for me to ride a bike.