Tuesday 13 June 2017 12.52 BST
A man once pulled up next to me in a van, opened the window and shouted “lucky saddle”. There was another time when a car of four men pulled up behind me in the middle of busy junction, leered and asked me if I wanted to get in the car. Or when a man cycled past and slapped my bum when I was riding along the canal tow path.
They were three fairly minor incidents which I hadn’t given much consideration, until a few conversations made me realise that insidious sexual harassment is standard fare for female cyclists in London. To the point that journalist Dawn Foster once mapped all of her experiences – which included having her top pulled down while waiting at the traffic lights – on her blog 101 wankers, and was inundated with responses from women who talked about being spat at, slapped and having objects thrown at them.
As Guardian Cities dedicates a week to cycling coverage, we want to find out what it’s like for women around the world who use a bike to get to school, to work or just for fun.
While the level of sexual harassment for female commuters in London may be intimidating or off-putting, in some parts of the world it’s frowned upon for women to ride a bike.
In other parts of the world women are held back by social stigma. In Tajikistan women have been told they’ll have problems finding a husband if they are spotted on two wheels, and they could even “lose their virginity” if they fall off – a myth that still prevails in some corners of the internet. In Uganda, a woman commuting by bike in a dress is such a rare sight that it is considered a news item.