Girls Rule

Just received this from one of my “biker chix” friends.  Ride on!

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Getting ‘Girled’

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!

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Tri-state Seacoast Century

Here are Bridget, Tom, Nancy, and I are the start (sort of) of the Tri-State Seacoast Century last weekend. Since my parents’ house is right on the Maine end of the course, we decided to start there and then work our way south. It was a great day — a bit chilly and foggy to start, but the sun came out mid-morning and we had a great tailwind to send us back to York, ME. Will definitely do this next year, although next time I’ll use the chamois butt’r sooner!

Here’s a picture of Bridget and Tom enjoying the sunset on the boathouse:

And here’s another photo of us enjoying a post-ride dinner with my parents:

Reservations are currently being accepted for next year.  Please book early and often!

MS Ride

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Here’s Team Bauer at the end of a very soggy 50 mile ride for the 2007 BKM/Steelcase MS Bike Tour. We rode in tribute to Bridget’s (second from right) sister Sheila and brother-in-law Dave, who both have MS. It started to pour buckets shortly before the 9am start, but once you’re wet, you’re wet, right? I had a bit of mechanical trouble with my chain ring/derailer, but Doug Tanner from Benidorm Bikes and Boards was there to fix my bike for me around the half-way point. The rain finally ended about mile thirty, so we had a decent ride into the finish. Thanks to all our friends and family for their support. We raised a total of $2,880 for the MS Society of CT. Next year 100 miles, right folks?