To no one's surprise, other restrictions also apply.
photo credit: Walter Callens
AST ON THE heels of the announcement by the Saudi religious police that women had been granted limited rights to ride bicycles and motorbikes, an official announced today that any "wheelie" bicycle tricks performed by a woman would "bring certain death by stoning, so do not go there, women of Saudi Arabia," he warned.
The official went on to say that the restrictions "are for our women's own good," since Saudi females must continue to wear the customary abaya, which covers the body from head to toe, "and this garment could easily get caught in the bicycle works, causing harm to the body," he explained.
"If a woman causes harm to the body because she performed an illegal wheelie, we will be forced to stone her to death," he said.
Other frivolous bicycle moves a woman may not perform include riding with no hands, riding piggyback with a girlfriend, or attaching playing cards to the spokes.
"If a woman does not shun playing cards, she may very well be not shunning all kinds of other recreational activities I cannot mention," said the official.
"Therefore, should I or any other member of my elite religious police force hear the familiar rhythmic tapping of playing cards in bicycle spokes, there had better be a man on the bicycle seat, that is all I can tell you," he said.
Lastly, Saudi women must take care not to tie their abayas around their ankles in the effort to keep the garment from getting caught on the pedals or gears.
"We are allowing our women to ride bikes," said the official. "That does not mean we can allow them to tempt us with their ankles, in which case we would be forced to stone them to death."
© 4.3.13 Kate Heidel