Friday, April 30, 2010

Bike Girl Goes To The Races

Our fair protagonist has spent some time away from blogging to do some research. Bike Girl has gone deep undercover to infiltrate the world of women's bike racing. In order to fool the bike racing world into thinking she belongs, Bike Girl has had to undertake a strict training regimen that has allowed no time for updating her supporters of her findings.

One thing Bike Girl has noticed in race after race, is how the females of the species are typically relegated to the most undesirable race times. In one criterium, Bike Girl's category was sent off on the course before it had been fully set up.

In yet another criterium, when Bike Girl was sadly defeated by the peloton and lapped, the race announcer repeatedly made sexist comments as she passed. The worst of which was, "Everyone loves a woman who will go all the way." While Bike Girl was glad the announcer realized she was not planning to quit the race, she was still offended. She flipped off the announcer, thereby becoming the new crowd favorite.

In another criterium, all 4 women's categories were put on the course at the same time, with two minutes of separation in the starts. So as Bike Girl's category had one lap to go and started sprinting into position for the final straightaway, her field was neutralized to allow a faster group to pass through, even though that field had several more minutes of racing to do. Of course the women in Bike Girl's category did not want to cross the finish line without a sprint, so it ignored the neutralization. When the whole cluster of confused ladies crossed the line, thankfully avoiding multiple near crashes, the race organizer could not tell which women were in which category, and many of the results were contested.

In women's races, multiple categories often race together. So in order to upgrade from Women's Cat 4, a lady must not only be faster than the other 4's, but the 3's as well. The 3's are then allowed to sandbag, beating up on the 4's as long as they like. The 3's are also welcome to enter races that included Women's Cat 1-2 and 3. So three categories are on the course at the same time. These women can either upgrade to 2 by beating a bunch of 3's and 4's, or they can struggle to upgrade by beating the 1's.

Race organizers have also been cutting women's races left and right. The reason cited is, "No women show up." Well, after how they are treated at the races, it is no wonder they don't show up.