Saturday, August 28

Cycling fatty

Meet Gertrude. Gertrude is a Raleigh Urban 2, recently inherited from one of my Dads who decided she wasn't the most suitable bike for him either. She's quite simply the worst bike for someone of my size, and to say the least, we have issues (I'd quite happily abandon her for a nice Dutch/town bike). However, I really do adore cycling and so we deal with it. This is my first bike for about 8 years (!) (I did have one more recently that got stolen after my first cycle ride, sob) and I'm getting used to urban cycling. Where I grew up most places I needed to go could be reached without going on busy roads, or roads at all in fact, so I'm a very nervous urban cyclist. Also, Yorkshire is very hilly, particularly compared with Surrey, so much harder to cycle around! However, I'm definitely enjoying it so far.

One thing I've noticed about cycling as a fatty is that I seem to inspire a lot of pretty horrible comments. Just cycling up the road to Headingley village this afternoon, I got hooted at and also someone shouted that they felt sorry for my bike. I'm trying not to get too angry/sad/affected by these comments, but something about the last stung me. I'm happy with my fat, and I'm happy to be active again. When someone makes that sort of comment at me, it makes me feel like they want me locked away somewhere - out of sight, out of mind. Does my weight deny me the right to be active, to be outside, to be in view by others? I sometimes wonder this myself especially given how hard it is to find reasonably priced cycling shorts, and other activewear above a size 20, generally.

Anyway, I won't stop cycling, and I won't make my body invisible for those it offends.

I also didn't really come to post about this either. I wanted to show off my latest ebay score! This navy/white summer dress was £5.19 excluding postage. It's really fitted with a pleated skirt and sweetheart neckline, really well tailored given that it's from George and generally speaking plus size tailoring is pretty awful. I'm looking forward to teaming it with a cardi in the autumn.

Dress, £5.19 from Ebay (originally by George at ASDA)
Belt, vintage (pilfered from my old shop)
Shoes, ancient flats £22 New Look.


  1. Honestly, what is wrong with people? I suppose the only positive about instances like that is how it shows up the "but I'm worried about your health!" attitude for the crock it really is.

    You keep cycling! It's an awesome hobby. If it makes you happy that's all that matters, as hard as it is to brush off the naysayers.

    I'm really glad you've got a blog now by the way, have linked you :)

    Lauren xx
    Pocket Rocket

  2. She's beautiful. And so are you! Awesome blog adding you to my blogroll (and sent her by the fabulous Lauren from Pocket Rocket!)

    I just got a blue cruiser to ride around on - but he/she doesn't have a name yet. I'm sure I will name it something after LOST...haha

  3. Lauren - I know, I think that's what infuriates me the most about the whole health debate. Not that cycling is about health for me, it's just fun (and a little bit scary!), but it does make me feel like I'm only allowed to be in public if I'm performing the shamed fatty identity.
    And thank you! I read your blog too, it's awesome.

    And return to sender - thank you! I'd love a cruiser, they look much more comfortable for your tush!

  4. just discovered your blog and really love it, I've seen you on LJ and always admired your style :)
    Your haircut is awesome too!

  5. What is wrong with people? They are so infuriating! Keep cycling and enjoying it!

    I am looking out for a nice cruiser but can't seem to find one, but I can't wait too - cycling is so much fun!

  6. AWESOME POST!!!!!!!!!

    Keep kicking fat ass!


  7. Eee someone just linked to this blog from tumblr and I instantly recognised you as the girl who sells fabulous clothes on eBay! AND YOU HAVE A BLOG! I think I adore you!

  8. Meryl, hi! It is me indeed, and thank you! are you perchance the same Meryl who runs the LDN XL Girls group?

  9. Oof. I know what you mean about the comments. It's unfortunate that being fat seems to mean that you aren't allowed to be active. I can't find cycling or rain gear that fits, and people always feel the need to yell things at me as I pass them, or they pass me... :/ I'm not giving up, though. I get to go 60k/hr down the hill on my way home, and that's too FUN to give up!

  10. Those people are just obscene and insecure about themselves. Keep riding! I live on the other side of the hilly town my college is in and am so jealous of the people who live closer that can ride their bikes to and around school!! I think I could do 10miles, but the steep hills and crazy drivers intimidate me! hehehe More power to you for braving the traffic! <3

  11. Hey, saw this post reblogged on a bike tumblr and just wanted to say you are awesome and an inspiration. I just got my first bike after years and keep reminding myself that fat is not a reason not to bike, no matter how much bigger I am than everyone else I see swanning around on bike-chic blogs. Your attitude is just what I need to develop. Thanks :)

  12. With the greatest of respect, you are amazingly gorgeous.

  13. yay you! you are adorable and inspiring and just lovely. ;) My husband and I both have a vintage Raleigh's and we love them to pieces (her name is Beatrice, and her cohort Bertram). If you ever find your self in the US and stumble into Portland Oregon I would be honored to take you on a bike tour. :)


  14. please don't give up! we need people like you! i read your text in a brazilian blog, the "Outras vias" and just want to thank you for your inspiration.
    hugs and kisses from Brazil!

  15. Keep going Kirsty!! Cheers from Brazil!