Here in London many more people ride bikes to get around as it is less harmful and more beneficial to ones health than driving a car. My sister in law, a Dutch woman, said that many orthodox women ride and it's easy to do so in modest skirts. She has been told by her rabbi that is isn't appropriate in England as the minhag here is for women not to.

I would like clarification on this. Are women allowed to ride bicycles for transport?


1 Answer 1


Rabbi Jonathan Blass answered this when asked regarding horseback riding (more tznius-compromising):

Rashi (Exodus 28,6) describes the attire used by women riding horses in his explanation of the “Ephod” worn by the Cohen. From his description it is clear that the attire protected the Tzniut of the rider (who was not riding sidesaddle) by covering her from considerably above the waist and downward. Women would not ride camels sidesaddle as the height made this dangerous (Pesachim 3b) but it was the custom for women to ride donkeys sidesaddle except when the terrain was mountainous (in which case this too was dangerous). From the above one learns that it is permitted for a woman to ride a horse- which is both faster and higher than a donkey- in the normal way as long as she is careful to dress so that Tzniut is not sacrificed. There are books and pamphlets describing what clothing is required for Tzniut. These demands are not diminished when she is riding.

I think this can be extended to bike riding.

  • Rashi Shemot 28:4 says that it was princesses who wore this attire, which seems to indicate that it was not the attire for regular women riding horseback.
    – Menachem
    Jul 22, 2013 at 2:31
  • 1
    If she's going to wear a skirt while bike-riding, she should cover the spokes of the wheels :)
    – Annelise
    Sep 3, 2013 at 13:17
  • "These demands are not diminished when she is riding." Actually, from your quote it seems they are diminished when necessary (eg. animal is too tall so it's dangerous).
    – Double AA
    Jan 12, 2015 at 6:36

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