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Cover those legs or someone might get hurt

mfranti - July 21, 2011

Here’s something that gets my feminist hackles up:

Jasmijn Rijcken, 31, a bike company general manager from the Netherlands, found this out early last month while she was visiting NYC for the New Amsterdam Bike Show. While riding a bike around town, she encountered a New York Police Department officer who stopped her and told her that her legs—which were not entirely covered by her skirt, for some reason—were “distracting the cars.” This made her exposed limbs a source of danger to everyone in the immediate area, and probably also the city.

As a woman and cyclist,  my safty and life are my priority when I’m pedaling down 200 South to the post office, and not how much skin is exposed under my skirt and how it might affect the men types.

Thanks to this officer, we have another another example of how dangerous women’s bodies are to the men around them.

I have to say that if it makes women more visible to motorists to have a little leg meat exposed…I’m all for it.

Safety first!



  1. I say expose them gams . . .

    Comment by Guy Murray — July 21, 2011 @ 3:21 pm

  2. It was almost 100 degrees here in NYC today – I saw nothing but bare legs, on bicycles or anywhere else. All in all, a nice day to be out taking a stroll.

    Comment by Bill — July 21, 2011 @ 3:38 pm

  3. First off, I have a hard time believing this news article. But if true, I would invite Jasmijn to beautiful Oregon where we thinking nothing of an exposed leg and would be perfectly okay with her riding her bike around nude.

    Comment by Jacob J — July 21, 2011 @ 3:42 pm

  4. Another friend posted about this on her exercise blog. It makes me crazy.

    If someone can’t focus on driving enough to avoid crashing because of some bare legs, they shouldn’t be driving period.

    Comment by Alice (alliegator) — July 21, 2011 @ 3:43 pm

  5. I am insulted that no gendarme ever stopped me to warn against my bicycle-skirted missionary-self being a danger to French drivers.

    (Really, I’d like to know exactly what really was said. This story has passed through several hands, each one adding editorial spin, and I have to wonder how far it has grown.)

    Comment by Ardis E. Parshall — July 21, 2011 @ 4:01 pm

  6. First off, this is stupid. I can’t see this happening in New York especially if that is a picture of her and her legs. I’ve seen worse. Second of all, driving in New York you barely have a chance to look at anything other than the road and stupid drivers cutting in front of you, so, ya, that’s just dumb.

    Comment by Sunshine — July 21, 2011 @ 4:36 pm

  7. I don’t believe it either. If it really happened, the officer was an idiot.

    The funniest thing though, is the comment string on that other site you linked to. Awesome.

    Comment by MCQ — July 21, 2011 @ 5:53 pm

  8. I heard about it through a cycling website. That’s her picture. At least I think it is.

    Comment by mfranti — July 21, 2011 @ 5:58 pm

  9. http://www.nydailynews.com/ny_local/2011/06/12/2011-06-12_cop_said_my_outfit_was_wheely_too_hot_to_ride.html#ixzz1PCFQJSOy

    Comment by mfranti — July 21, 2011 @ 5:59 pm

  10. Who is this rogue New York City cop who doesn’t have progressive views on women’s issues?? Not in the New York City that I know!!!

    Comment by Rusty — July 21, 2011 @ 7:34 pm

  11. If a NYPD officer said that, he was joking. Nothing gets my middle-aged male hackles raised faster than people who have no sense of humor.

    The fact is, cars can’t see. And NYC drivers are a danger to cyclists no matter what they’re wearing (either the drivers or the cyclists). Of course, the walkway on the Brooklyn Bridge has no cars–just thousands of tourists who don’t know why the city painted bicycle symbols on one half. Bleeping tourists!

    Comment by Mark B. — July 21, 2011 @ 8:16 pm

  12. She actually did think the officer was joking but he made it clear he was not.

    Here’s the comment from the other thread:

    I hate to be the easily distracted pig here, but I’ve seen this before. Hot girl riding her bike with her short skirt blowing all over the place. It’s an automatic eye lock for anybody into women. The woman I’m talking about used to ride around downtown (in a shady neighborhood) all the time, begging for animal attention. Even though we all wrote her off as a nut, the panty shot inevitably brought out the thirteen year old in us.
    Bottom line, its cheating. Pushing monkey buttons like that is just not playing fair. It’s like throwing handfuls of cash in the air, instinct is going to kick in regardless of will power.

    You’ve gotta love a guy who’s neanderthal enough to actually say that in public.

    Comment by MCQ — July 21, 2011 @ 9:31 pm

  13. A guy that thinks like that is repulsive.

    Mark, why would you to read that comment thread? Euwww!

    Comment by mfranti — July 21, 2011 @ 10:45 pm

  14. Alice,

    If someone can’t focus on driving enough to avoid crashing because of some bare legs, they shouldn’t be driving period

    Just swap out ‘some bare legs’ for “their cell phone” and you have a perfect sentence.

    Comment by mfranti — July 21, 2011 @ 10:48 pm

  15. Mark B.

    Who’s got no sense of humor? Me, the cyclist, or the cop?

    Comment by mfranti — July 21, 2011 @ 10:49 pm

  16. I think he was talking about the cyclist, unfortunately.

    Mel, when I see something that crazy, I just can’t look away. It’s like a slow-motion train wreck.

    Comment by MCQ — July 22, 2011 @ 12:37 am

  17. I’m still trying to figure out “why would you to read that comment thread?”

    I hadn’t read the link, so I thought the cop was joking. Since he wasn’t, apparently, I’ll retract my “no sense of humor” comment.

    But no, MCQ, I wasn’t talking about the cyclist. Save your “unfortunately” for some other poor soul.

    Comment by Mark B. — July 22, 2011 @ 4:19 am

  18. MCQ,
    I wouldn’t call a woman’s bare legs a “slow-motion train wreck.” But I know what you mean about not looking away from them.

    Comment by Rusty — July 22, 2011 @ 5:26 am

  19. From walking pornography to riding pornography…

    Comment by Kevin Barney — July 22, 2011 @ 10:29 am

  20. If people think a little leg is bad, they need to come to Chicago, where there is an annual naked bike ride (always featured, with a bit of a smirk, on the local news). It’s actually a very popular event. (You don’t have to ride absolutely naked, and people ride in various states of undress.)

    Comment by Kevin Barney — July 22, 2011 @ 10:33 am

  21. exposed body parts =/= porn. (just in case there’s some confusion)

    naked bicycle ride=fun.

    though, I might be inclined to keep the lady bits from saddle contact.

    Comment by mfranti — July 22, 2011 @ 10:37 am

  22. Rusty, I’d have to look too. A nice pair of legs is aesthetically pleasing.

    The female form is beautiful and looking at it to appreciate it doesn’t have to have anything to do with sex.

    I don’t get hot and bothered when I look at Bill Brandt’s photography even though I’m usually standing there mouth agape, stunned by the beautiful lines.

    Comment by mfranti — July 22, 2011 @ 10:46 am

  23. This is a peculiarly American phenomenon. In Scandinavia, women have been riding bicycles with dresses or skirts, some of them rather short, for many years. As far as I know, there are no known fatalities because of this.

    Comment by don — July 23, 2011 @ 5:16 am

  24. A lot of cities do the naked bike ride: LA San Fran and Portland do it. I would like to see it happen in SLC. Maybe if mfranti will help organize it. Up for it Mel?

    Comment by MCQ — July 23, 2011 @ 12:59 pm

  25. Oh please. Please. There is nothing cool about naked bicycle riding. Don’t you people know the difference between “good naked” and “bad naked”? Naked bicycle riding is bad naked. And Salt Lake City is too beautiful to inflict that on.

    Comment by E — July 23, 2011 @ 8:32 pm

  26. Depends on who’s doing the riding, E.

    Comment by MCQ — July 23, 2011 @ 8:41 pm

  27. MCQ, I believe you are mistaken.

    Comment by E — July 23, 2011 @ 9:22 pm

  28. The internet can prove I’m right.

    Comment by MCQ — July 23, 2011 @ 10:48 pm

  29. Where does this cop get the idea that he is the “morality police”? It’s just another religious nut believing they have the right to control other peoples lives.

    Comment by Glenn — August 6, 2011 @ 8:41 am

  30. Cops suck.

    Comment by Susan M — August 20, 2011 @ 11:54 am

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