Getting Chicked

Yesterday, my friend Judith Elliot forwarded a link to a post by Marijn Vries, a Dutch professional cyclist, about doping (or lack thereof) in the female peleton. The posting title is “I Cycle, Therefore I Lie“.

One of the points of the posting was the lack of respect Marijn has experienced regarding women’s racing and strong female cyclists, from Euro men and journalists. I felt a need to respond to her from the perspective of a male cyclist in the US, so I dropped a little message in the contact form on her blog.

Basically, I told her that I’ve had my ass handed to me by many strong female cyclists, and I think it’s great. Also, probably all of the guys I ride with love having strong female cyclists with us, and if they know how to race, so much the better.

I didn’t describe my reasoning to her, but this is it:

  1. Diversity is great. I don’t want to ride with a bunch of guys who are just like me. That will get boring right away.
  2. A strong woman is another person to take a pull at the front so I can rest more.
  3. Face it, I’m a lecherous old man. It’s pretty sweet being in a peleton with well-conditioned women in form-fitting kits.

I also told Marijn a story about getting shelled repeatedly by Lauren Tamayo (pro cyclist, former US national champion, world record holder) when taking her for a training ride in Palos Verdes several years ago. Nothing demands respect in the cycling world like somebody leaving dust on your shades.

Surprise! Marijn emailed back to me just a couple hours later. She replied that what I said is in fact what she has experienced among guys from the US, including pro cyclists. 180 degrees apart from most Euro pros. She also referred me to a posting about getting “chicked“, that is, a strong female rider coming around a group of guys and riding them off her wheel. Hee hee, it was a wonderful post! Marijn gave the example of her teammate, Emma Pooley of Great Britain, and how she casually destroys guys on climbs. Here she is, putting the hurt on the boys going up the Col de Saisies earlier this year:

Away we go

Away we go

Reminds me of what Dara Rogers did to me day after day in the French Pyrenees back in 2003. I didn’t mind too much – see reasoning point #3. Here she is at the Col du Tourmalet, well rested after waiting for me to get my skinny corpus up the pitch:

Dara Rogers at the Tourmalet, July 2003

Dara Rogers at the Tourmalet, July 2003

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4 Responses to Getting Chicked

  1. Alan Geiger says:

    Miwa, my older daughter, who I told just after she dropped me on the switchbacks( everyone else can do it, why not her?) for the fist time “You just rode yourself out of my will”, has a different story. Back in Central Park (Yes, I still remember Central Park) guys go nuts when she passes them, be it on the flats or Harlem “Hill”, and will shred their legs trying to chase her down, perhaps it’s because there are so many jerks back there, but having been dropped by equal numbers of women as men, I can say that I enjoy the view from behind.

  2. Jay Luedde says:

    Jeff, in my current condition this happens regularly. And you would think it would be a motivator … can’t wait to get back out on the bike, J

    • Alan Geiger says:

      Jay, on a completely different topic, I have encouragement for you from a friend who went through what you did recently, and now is super strong, climbing Vermont mountains like he never did before. If you ever want to contact him let me know. Alan

  3. Paul Swanno says:

    I actually help my wife “Chick” other guys on events. I will pull her up to a group of guys then drop back just to watch her pass them. I love it. They look to their left as she cruises by and you can see the “WTH?!” look on their faces.

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