'Ovarian Psyco Cycles' Bike Brigade Is the Best Thing Ever

Illustration for article titled 'Ovarian Psyco Cycles' Bike Brigade Is the Best Thing Ever

The all-woman, mostly Latina Ovarian Psyco Cycles Brigade is "both an answer and a challenge to the aggressive male biking culture" in Los Angeles. Fuck yes.


Evelyn Martinez grew up with a mother who told her it wasn't safe for women to ride bikes. Now, she leads the Ovarian Psyco Cycles Brigade, which defies both car culture AND macho bike culture. The nine main members are mostly 20something Latina nonprofit workers who organize a monthly women's "Luna Ride" during the full moon. Is this a dream?

From the L.A. Times:

The group says the name "is a play on words intended to be playful and simultaneously create some sort of acknowledgment/acceptance/pride in one's historically oppressed body."

Without blushing, the women use "feminine positive" slogans and catchphrases too risque for a family newspaper.

"This is a way to empower ourselves and use language that describes and empowers us," said Maryann Aguirre, this summer's group leader.

I can quit journalism now because I will never ever cover anything as important as this.

When I lived in SF, I was too intimidated to participate in the area's aggressively macho bike culture — I was always nervous about messing up my bike or using the wrong terms. It sounds pathetic, but I really didn't feel welcome. Since I've left, some of my friends have started a women-only bike crew called "Ladies Who Ride" to combat that mentality; I hope similar groups are popping up all over.

On Ovarian Psyco Cycles' website you can find information about their annual Clitorial Mass —- that's a play on Critical Mass — and coed rides, "although the men might have to listen to a lecture on male privilege and machismo," the L.A. Times notes. Misandry!!

[L.A. Times]

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I like how they're totally unapologetic about how they deliver their message, but this is one of those things where a feminist group/event starts mixing up language that describes sex and language that describes gender, thereby conflating the two. Like, all the names come from things related to the female reproductive system, but then they're talking about concepts like "feminine" and "sisterhood" that are related more to the social construct of gender rather than the biological construct of sex. Which is problematic for a few reasons, not least of all the fact that trans people exist.

Just a thought that popped into my mind when reading the line "...use language that describes and empowers us."