Pawing the ground: Juliet's race no.8
The world is full of inequality. Women are paid less than men, some people starve whilst others grow ever fatter and the few at the top control the greatest share of wealth.
You’d be a moron not to care about inequality, so I’m not dismissing it in any way, but sometimes I wonder whether we need another post about what’s wrong with the world of women’s cycling and the obstacles facing female bike racers.
What of all the awesome things about being a woman in the cycling world? Where are all the articles celebrating how great things are for female riders, how in some ways we’ve an advantage over male cyclists?
Attacking around the outside: no.8 Juliet's eyes are on the prize
As a woman who has long participated in male dominated activities, I can see many positives, so in an effort to ever so slightly redress the balance here are my ten reasons it’s awesome to be a female bike racer.
There’s a ‘we’re in it together’ mentality at most women’s races and fellow competitors will befriend and support you. Of course it is a race, and so we’d all ideally like to win but we will also cheer and support all the women competing. There’s a real sense of camaraderie making bike races an easy places to make new friends.
2. You’re an inspiration
A man entering a bike race is just another dude, but a woman giving it a bash is an inspiration to all of the other ladies wondering whether to give it a go.
3. You’ve a greater chance of winning
Fewer people in the race mean your chances of getting a spot on the podium increase!
4. You’ll look and feel amazing
Getting suited and booted in your race gear makes you look and feel like a total boss.
Great gear for racing - or not!
5. Spectators will love you and you’ll be buoyed by their support
There’s a special kind of respect for women who race and spectators absolutely love cheering us ladies loudly and with gusto.
6. You’re part of a new revolution in women’s cycling
We’ve still a way to go but women’s racing is currently booming, with new teams, greater prize money and more coverage than ever. Be a part of something amazing!
7. You can eat lots of cake
Disregard all those tedious diet articles in your favourite mag and skip straight to the fun fashion tips whilst you chow down on a large wedge of carrot cake, because hey, you’re a bike racer and you need the calories.
8. People will want you to win
If you happen to be competing in a mixed gender race, everyone always wants the girl to beat the guy.
9. You could meet someone...
I’m not saying all women are looking for a man by any means, but if you did want to meet someone, well you’ll be vastly outnumbered by dudes at nearly every cycle event so you could be in luck!
10. You’ll stand out
If you’re a man entering a bike race, chances are you’ll blend right in with all the other guys and no one will even notice you’re there. I understand how appealing that can be if you’re feeling nervous but it’s far better to make a splash than be just another nobody.
Fancy taking your cycling to the next level and possibly giving bike racing a go? Read my previous blogpost to get a few pointers on how to get started.
All photos courtesy of Dave Noakes