Just received this from one of my “biker chix” friends. Ride on!
July 6, 2007 on 12:50 pm | In Racing | This will be one of the only posts you’ll ever see in ‘She Rides’ from a guy.
‘Getting girled’ is the latest in bike racing jargon from the man-pack. Admittedly, I know little of the history of strong women in cycling. My basis for discussion is simply emperical. Many years ago, only a few elite females could hand it to the guys. The lead pack of a road race was seldom anything but a sausage fest. In the dirt, even the Pro women were seldom pulling faster times in than the men’s Expert field. But women’s competition was marginal at the local and regional level in the midwest and SE US. Still, many men have blown themselves up to avoid being ‘girled’.
Before anybody finds any reason to be offended by the phrase ‘getting girled’, let me explain that it is a great thing. Moreover, ‘Getting womanned’ is just too hard to say.
In the mid-90’s thousands of women like Amanda McKay, Trish Stevenson & Karen Masson (now a mom!) got into the packs with the men, put up with our attitudes and egos, and perservered. In the new millenium, these grassroots heroines are huge players in the bike racing scene. They are inspiring all riders, shattering the glass ceiling of the male-dominated sport.
In 2003, I had the opportunity to ride the Shenandoah Mtn 100 with Trish S. I was in pretty good shape at the time and expected to finish in the top 10%. About 30 miles in, Trish grabbed my wheel, and we worked together for the next 30 miles or so. She probably did most of the work. Eventually, she pulled away on a long singletrack climb. I never saw her again. Damn, it made me smile. She won the women’s category with a big margin, and I made it into the top 10% of the robust field about 20 minutes back. (This was my first time at being ‘girled’. Frankly, it was a turn-on.)
Personally, I think this strong woman phenomonon kicks-ass. Maybe it is just because I love the balance women bring to the scene. Maybe its because they smell better than the guys. Maybe its because I own a bike shop and know that stong woman are growing our sport. Maybe its because I was raised in house full of women, and have a daughter. Maybe its because I enjoy watching guys wrestle with humility and their personal demons. For whatever reason, I have no choice but to look forward to ‘getting girled’ more often.
Show the world what you’ve got, ladies!