If We Were Riding is a weekly podcast I Iisten to. It’s hosted by Kelly O'Mara and Sara Gross and the premise is: if we were out riding this is what we’d be chewing each other’s ears off about. It covers the latest triathlon gossip and the hosts are both informed and opiniated (a good combination), there’s a fair bit of swearing and they do a good job at highlighting the sexism that’s unfortunately still rife in triathlon.
So if I was out riding I’d be yarning about why does the following happen…
Today I rode my mountain bike at Bedgebury and I pretty much had the place to myself. Until you pass a guy! Now when you pass someone you’ve normally been clocking them for a while and you know the pace they’re riding. So when you pass, all things remaining the same, you know you will soon drop them.
Not with guys that don’t like being chicked!
They clock the pony-tail or something that shouts out “Girl!” and within a minute you can hear huffing and puffing like a steam-train and they’re right back on your back wheel. And so it is for about 5 minutes until I’m guessing they can’t hold the pace.
Today this happened not once, but twice. Guy number one nearly killed himself to catch me up to tell me it was the fact that he was on a cyclocross bike that I was quicker than him in the single-track sections. What??
Guy number two; credit to him, he really put a massive long effort into being my shadow. A proper limpet.
I must admit I found today weird. If I was a guy I don’t think either of them would have reacted like they did. This was all about their attitudes to Getting Chicked.
The concept that a ‘chick’ who loves training and racing shouldn’t be able to ride faster than some guys is pretty offensive. Unless you’re a man at the absolute pointy end of biking, there’s a woman out there who is faster than you. And similarly I’m under no illusions of how many blokes (and girls) out there are much much faster them me. I'm well down the food chain.
It would be nice to stop bringing gender into riding! Stop making things unnecessarily weird!