If you’ve ever been on a Tuesday Night Ride in Traverse City or any race in the country, you know there is absolutely no shame in getting roundly and cruelly whipped by a woman cyclist. It is only the relatively new riders that have some sense of fear in ‘getting beat by a girl’. You will be beaten by a girl. If you haven’t yet, trust in the sure fact that there are literally thousands of women in the world that could drop you like a lumpy sack of potatoes on a whim.
Women’s cycling is growing, but deserves more focus and attention. Women’s races, both on road and off, are often the most exciting to watch and evenly matched. In Michigan, for instance, the Einstein/Hagerty/Priority Health weekly showdown is often more tense, thrilling and rewarding to watch than all the other categories. Women also add personality and sportsmanship across all its categories that men have a hard time matching. Watch 90% of women’s Elite mountain bike races, like the Mud, Sweat and Beers, for example. The winner of the race stays by the line and talks to every other Elite woman, sometimes for fifteen minutes or more. Perhaps because they are so few (too few, I’ll add) in number, women cyclists have an even tighter community bond than men. We can only hope to emulate them.
Specialized-luluemon is one of the best women’s teams in the world and features, just to name two, both Clara Hughes (yes, the Canadian speedskater) and Evelyn Stevens. Specialized has been working to promote the sport and to recruit women to join in and ride bikes in any way, even if it’s not to race.