Pedaling Ladies: Get Vocal. Here’s Your Chance to State Your Case

Ladies and Gentlewomen,

Please help the Association of Pedestrian and Bicycle Professionals by taking 15 minutes to complete this survey.

(It actually only took me ten minutes.)

People are listening so my recommendation is to LET ‘ER RIP.

Feel me?  Let’s do this.

xo,
swift

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2 comments

  1. Bummer men can’t participate. :(

  2. Dorie LaRue

    I had been riding with a local bike club for nine years, mostly men. Nine years ago two women dominated the women in the pace line. The pace line was always led by one of the members who donated money to the group, a sponsor, who had his name on the bike club jerseys. He did not want anyone else to pull. When I caught wheels of other riders not in the group going by in order to get a faster ride, I was chastised by these two women and reminded that this was a social ride and that “people will talk”–this from the president of the club who was a woman. I took to riding on Sundays with two men who in retrospect probably did not want me riding with them. My mother was right. Don’t play with the boys. They will be mean to you. One was rude and the other gossiped about me at the bike shop. I am ADHD, and true I spill things and make lame jokes and have poor conversational skills. I am also directionally challenged and would get lost when I was dropped, which was often. However I got stronger and stronger. I made the mistake of dating the man who lead the pace line, the sponsor, a lawyer. We were not soul mates and he took to insulting me whenever he got a chance. So I had the two gossiping divas, the gossiping Sunday guys, and this lawyer, who gradually wore his knees out and after three years relinguished controlling the pace line. The last three years I only rode occasionally with the group, mainly because I started concentrating on triathlons, with the goal of winning a certain triathlon each August and also improving my bone density. I only rode about 50 miles a week. I tried riding with them twice last year and found the lawyer and the new divas, two elite triathloners, were really prejudiced against me. I had obtained the reputation of being terrible in the pace line, a danger, and a ditz. One of the rides I undertook before my triathlon to give myself a real fast ride. The group had only about six guys that day. I got dropped and was happy to ride back by myself but the lawyer was determined to humiliate me via of email to the group. I stupidly got in a group email fight with him, drawing even more attention. The second was on the traditional New Years day ride, a social ride in which we have always ridden out slowly as a group and hammered back. On the way out I realized towards the end of the ride the group was really hammering. I did not have my HR monitor on nor was my computer working, because I assumed it was a social ride, or I would have dropped out early on. I ended up sandwiched between the two elite new women triathloners pulling the group or trying to do so right at the end of the ride. The elite woman athlete in front of me had pulled for five miles, hit a hill, pulled out without warning and I could not keep up the pace. I could not get out of the line because instead of going to the back of the paceline as one is supposed to do, she kept hammering on my side determined still to be first to our turn around. The woman behind me started screaming insults at me. Then after we arrived at our midpoint turn around where we traditionally dismount and have an auld lang sine snack at Dairy Queen, she jumped on me again. I was so humiliated I started babbling and made a lame joke. She accused me of not wanting to get out of the pace line and so I told her I did, that I was trying to get out for no other reason than I was afraid I’d miss the turn and meant to add, it’s not that I’m out of shape or anything. She cut me off befoe I got to the punch line, then the gossip started that I slammed on my brakes because I was lost. This woman had never shown any kind of sense of humor ever in a spin class I took with her for two years. What was I thinking to joke with her. It was also an easy thing to believe after following those Sunday guys around and getting lost all the time. Sooooo…The whole group is barely speaking to me now. Then I realized something. Unlike those who were most vocal criticizing me I hadn’t had a bike wreck in nine years. The woman who screamed at me twice on New Year’s day had wrecked her bike twice the year before within a few weeks of each wreck and was wearing tape on her shoulders that day. She had to get surgery eventually for all her bike wreck injuries. I also realized I’d won three annual 62 mile tours back to back, had ridden two MS-150′s, commuted on my bike to work, and ridden occasionally with a really fast early morning elite group in the summers. I believe that as far as ageism is concerned the women are as bad as the men. One of the women who warned me in the beginning that if I broke the pace line and hammered people would talk, was also the president of the group. She was accidentally awarded my trophy at one of the Tours that I won one year. She accepted it, and I heard her say to her husband, this is really D____’s, her husband replied, it doesn’t matter. She eventually gave it to me, but not until she’d had a couple of pictures taken with it. Odd behavior for pres of the club. I truly believe she and her husband tried to help her keep her edge by spreading gossip about me. Once after a spin class I left a new woman in the club sitting in a restaurant with those two. The next time I saw this new woman she almost spit in my face and was thenceforth very nasty to me. For two weeks this new woman and I had enjoyed each other’s company. After that night when those three were together, she was repeatedly nasty to me. I have started riding with a group in the next state with much success. I believe my first bike group was ageist, sexist, and classist. I believe my ADHD, being overly competitive, my gender, and age (I am not 61)worked against me. I believe with no proof having a husband and money and a good car would have helped as well. The group has now broken up into smaller groups, so I guess I was not the only one having problems.

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