Thursday, April 14, 2011

Okay, the Girls Can Play, Part II

Well, it looks like Andrew Messick and AEG Sports listened to the criticism about making the Stage Six of the AToC a "Battle of the Sexes". The women will now have their own ITT (individual time trial) and a big purse to boot.
Women's Amgen time trial, invitation only, offers $10,000 purse
Mr. Messick, were you really surprised by the negative criticism of your prize money idea? I'm not.

I'm a little murky in my feelings towards such an event. Really, why would organizers just sprinkle women amongst the men in the ITT and tie the women's purse to how many men they beat? It makes little sense to this Women's Cat. 4 racer. I have no doubt that these elite women could ride the legs off a ton of the men, but why tie the money to that? Why not offer the purse in a traditional manner to both men's and women's fields? I don't get it.

I have no problem with women racing with men. I've raced Cat. 4 with Cat. 5 men for my entire (short) racing career. I actually like racing with the boys; it's challenging and motivating, especially when I can catch and stay on some one's wheel. I play co-ed hurling with men that outweigh me by 80 lbs. or more. And I love it! Playing with the guys makes me scrappy-er (is that a word?) and not afraid to make a tackle for the ball. I'm guessing it's the same, only even more so, for a professional woman cyclist.

I think a lot of pro women, purse or no purse, would jump at the chance to ride with the men. I would.

Boys, I still hope the women kick your @$$.

Until next time, ride long and keep the rubber-side down.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Okay, the Girls Can Play

Sometimes I wonder if modern society and Western culture have come as far as we think regarding women. Specifically, how women are viewed compared side-by-side with men in their accomplishments in professional sports.

There was a little blurb on two weekends ago.
I didn't even see it. A possible women's time trial during the Amgen Tour of California in May? SWEET! I've checked the AToC website and found nothing. Nothing on the news page, team page, stage page, nothing. Is something rotten in the state of Denmark?

Bouncing around the blogosphere this morning, I found this piece by a communications student: The League of Extraordinary Non-Gentlemen

Women have worked hard in the past 2,000+ years to be seen and treated as having as much to offer others and worth as members of society as men. The prize money for the competing women will be based on how many men they beat? WHAT? Why, after Title IX, Women's Liberation, etc. are you thinking this is an intelligent idea? You say comparisons will be made to men anyway. Why encourage it and perpetuate the idea that women have to measure up?

If you really want to help women's pro bike racing, why not invite all these top women's teams (Peanut Butter & Co.-Twenty12, HTC-Highroad, Tibco-To The Top, Team Vera Bradley, Colavita, et cetera) and let them ride their own ITT? That's what they do in Minnesota for the Nature Valley Grand Prix. And guess what? It works! The women are insanely talented, fun to watch, and yes, they are fast.

Versus is (rumored to be) giving this women's event at least ten minutes of TV air time. How generous of you! We might be able to watch one rider take off, ride the course, and finish in that time. How much airtime is being devoted to the men's TT?

Boys, I hope Kristin Armstrong, Amber Neben, Evelyn Stevens, Alison Powers, Tara Whitten, and all the other women kick your @$$.

Until next time, ride long and keep the rubber-side down.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Oh, Joy! Oh, Happiness!

Parks Dept. Disavows a Speed Limit for Bicycles
For some odd reason unknown to this writer, the speed limit for cars in Central Park is 25 mph and for bicycles it was (posted in fine print on a few signs) 15 mph. In what world does that make sense or is safe?

After some police officers issued at least ten speeding tickets to cyclists in Central Park, the Parks Department disavowed the 15 mph bicycle speed limit and said the new limit was 25 mph, the same as an automobile.

Someone check the thermostat in Hell, I think it just went down .25 degrees.

Until next time, ride long and keep the rubber-side down.