The Boyification of a Girl’s Bike

A pink and frilly bike

Hoping to recycle a used girl’s bike into a gift for a young boy, I decided to see what I could do to convert what was a very pink and frilly bicycle into something meaner, tougher and more ‘street’.

A black and tough bike

The end result, following a bit of black, matte spray paint and some duct tape pleased me. I left the tires pink, not only as a nod to the bike’s heritage, but also as an acknowledgment that we should not let our preconceived notions of gender and color go unchecked.

4 thoughts on “The Boyification of a Girl’s Bike”

  1. I am not sure why but I really got a kick out of this post. Maybe because it reminds me of my laughable efforts of trying to be a great dad, and never feeling like I will get there, but really trying hard. Maybe the fact that our parental concerns regarding gender roles, never really matters to a kid and in the end things always work out. Maybe because I know what a hack Liam is at home/mechanical repair work and I like to imagine the effort and pride he must have taken in this job, which was probably not fully appreciated by the young boy.

    Anyways, thanks for the post.

  2. @ Mark,

    Ha-ha! You’re absolutely right on how my efforts at quality workmanship and non-gender bias were ignored. Upon seeing the bike for the first time, the boy’s immediate reaction was:

    “Wheels pink. They supposed to be black. You paint them black?”

    I think the boy might also have misinterpreted my efforts when he explained a few days later that he was going to paint his sister’s toy black so that it would be his. Painting something black is, apparently, a way to claim ownership.

  3. Miguel Alcorta

    I like your justification for leaving the bicycle’s wheels pink :-). I am on vacation from work this week and plan to do the same exact thing to a pink trycycle my 2 and a half year old son inherited.

  4. @ Miguel,

    Thanks for the comment. Good luck with the project. It sure was fun for me to paint the bike — here’ s hoping you enjoy it as well.

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