Jess, I think it's great that you offered an interesting combination of cats. we don't have any 2s or 3s at this point, so we won't be there, but I honestly hope other women will race. Hell, a 2/3 race is pretty cool, don't you think, ladies?
Lorri Lee Lown
Good stuff Bunny.
Have you seen women's college basketball at the highest level? John Wooden himself said that the best women's teams play basketball in its purest form, and the UCONN women's team does that better than any other team.
Elis wrote:Many of the W3s are probably going to be at the Altamont TTT, which is also the same day and is one of the races in the 2009 Women's Racing Series (put on by BAWC, sponsored by NCNCA).
The Series includes races that have single-category fields for W3 and W4 (and this year we added a 35+ series, exciting!), and the Altamont TTT counts for the team competition.
Elis is likely correct on this. If there is a conflicting race, one or both races will suffer in participation as there is just a smaller pool of women racing.
I know that all of our riders doing the Altamont TTT are cat 2 and 3 riders.
Here is my opinion and personal insight on why more women donâ€™t race bicycles. Iâ€™m afraid this will be lengthyâ€¦.
The current in the river of reasons is that bicycle racing is not generally socially acceptable for women. I say â€œgenerally,â€ as I realize there are exceptions. And I realize that this is improving, yet it is still at the origin of the problem
When I started PE classes in elementary school, girls didnâ€™t even play the same sports as the boys. Girls played â€œGirls Basketball,â€ some net game that wasnâ€™t quite volleyball, and kickball. The boys played basketball, football, volleyball, softball or baseball, etc. Honestly, how many of you even know what â€œGirls Basketballâ€ is (without googling it)? Incredibly lame sport, from what I recall. No encouragement there to be athletic.
In middle school, at least gilrs learned some skills and played some regular sports. But one day, one of my PE instructors actually had us girls all flex our biceps and then told us to tap under our arms (triceps area). He said that when we were forty, if we did the same thing, that would all be floppy and flabby instead of firm like it was now. You can see that this path led me straight to bike racing. Iâ€™m sure the boys didnâ€™t get that lecture.
There was also no encouragement from my family or peers to pursue athletics. So, being the intensely competitive person that those who know me can attest that I am, I applied myself to non-athletic areas of competition for the majority of my life.
I realize that not every woman racing today is from the same generation as this old lady, but as the majority of the women racing in our district are over 35, I believe many others have experienced some degree of this discouragement and discrimation. And while men have to battle the pressures of family and careers also, at least society values their athletic achievements. Womenâ€™s achievements are not considered in light of their peers, but compared, too often, to the stronger/faster/testosterone-enabled men. So their value is less. How many people watch the WNBA compared to the NBA?
So what enabled me to start racing? I have been involved in the sport for more than 2 decades. But, it took most of those 20 years and an absolutely incredible amount of support to get this skinny bookworm to feel comfortable failing in an athletic event in front of a crowd. Support from my friends, a wonderful group of women racers that became my team, and my husband. And from promoters who offered cat 4 only womenâ€™s races. Without even one of those key elements, I never would have tried this. There was no support from society and not from my family. Most of my co-workers donâ€™t understand what I do at all. My family didnâ€™t understand why I couldnâ€™t alter my training/racing schedule whenever necessary for their social functions. And what keeps me racing now? The same thingsâ€”the support of those key people in my life. And I still need every bit of it as the negative forces are still there. Races that are the right level of competition for me are important. Races that are hard enough to test my skills and teach me new things, but not so hard that all I am doing is hanging on for dear life every race. Not so full of brand new beginners that I am more concerned with staying upright than executing strategy.
How do I decide which races Iâ€™m going to do? Almost never is it decided by race entry (unless we start to get over $50) or by prizes. I try to do races that my teammates are doing because I have the most fun at those. I do races that have categories that are peer-matched and that I feel have safety in mind. Therefore, I avoid races that have too many categories lumped together or that have multiple groups sprinting together (combined, picked separately). I try to support races with Masters categories. My husband and I are both more likely to do races that have appealing categories for both of us. But then factors like driving distance, whether it will be too hot to take our dog, and other day-to-day logistics affect my choices as much as anybodyâ€™s.
Therefore, in my opinion, the continued growth of womenâ€™s cycling wonâ€™t come from increased prize lists, lower entry fees, or similar incentives. It will come from our ongoing support of the sport. The support that we as cyclists, give eachother. Promoting races that give women the opportunity to race against their peers. Teams and clubs that give women a comfortable place to learn to ride and race. Society will be slower to continue to build acceptance for women in athletically competitive events and we canâ€™t wait for that. We are our own â€œcycling societyâ€ and we can, do, and should support eachother for this sport to grow. All the subsets of this societyâ€”not just the strongest, most vocal, largest numbered, or most successfulâ€”need to be valued and supported.
Odd that you should mention San Jose's velodrome racing as a viable alternative for the women. It is A, B, C seeding which will mean the women WILL BE racing against men! A better offer is Encino velodrome's category racing the same day. It offers a separate women's field and a separate junior's field. And the monthly L.O.T.S (Ladies on the track session) is the same day, and always well attended.
Women enjoy racing against their peers. The Davis Junior Criterium had 11 female riders aged 15-18 compared to State Championships 6 riders, neither huge money makers but both equally important.
Dad of 16 year old female racer
Marin_ite wrote:To be fair perhaps you should consider having just a Men's Cat 2 race and not offer a race for the Pro 1 men.
That's been done from time to time, I believe.
really hard to say jess
sometimes it's hard for me to figure us out, too
the w3 field for brisbane crit was small, but the circuit race was quite big
and the w3 field at menlo park was big (we're talking relative sense, based on number of racers in that category in our district)
i'm guessing that means we like flat, non-technical crits? and we like a race that isn't too long with a hill that isn't too too steep, and isn't too technical? and we don't want to drive too far? (maybe napa isn't too far for bay area folks, i don't know) i don't know if that's what it means or not.
i really hope more women show up for your race
personally, my husband is recovering from being sick, and i just had an injection in my foot
which are the things keeping me from pre-reging, or likely even same-day registering to an event that i would be, otherwise, interested in racing
Why only limit the Cat 1 women? What is good for the goose is good for the gander. To be fair perhaps you should consider having just a Men's Cat 2 race and not offer a race for the Pro 1 men. What?!? You think people would complain? Oh no, not on this forum!
Many of the W3s are probably going to be at the Altamont TTT, which is also the same day and is one of the races in the 2009 Women's Racing Series (put on by BAWC, sponsored by NCNCA).
Quote:And Jess, it truly pains me to say this, but I think the 2/3 is a fantastic idea & I hope you have a really successful race. I am really, royally bummed to miss it, but it's the same day as the one metric century I do with my parents each year, and some things really are more important than bike racing!
Really, Elis. I DO try to please. Thanks, Bunny, for appreciating me sans irony. I know, I make it difficult when everything I say seems designed simply to entertain my own ironic self. (Like that)
I've stayed totally out of this tennis match; not because of disinterest - certainly not because of propriety - but because I'm just too damned busy trying to make Saturday's race successful. It's a hell of a lot of work for one dude (or dudette).
So while I appreciate Forum Pong as much (or more) as anyone, I only have one comment to add:
WHERE IN THE WORLD ARE THE W3'S?
I'll admit my own mea culpa for slanting the categories strongly in favor of my own homeys, the higher-category old guys. I'm totally with Lorri on this one: At the Prince's Ball, he gets to choose his partners. I have spent a lot of time yapping about masters categories, novice fields, etc..., and I stood by those opinions with my race format.
That said, I do apologize to the juniors, the Cat 1 women, and the novice categories. I wish the NCNCA officials' and volunteers' workday could be longer.
BUT I really thought the W2's and W3's would be PSYCHED to have their own race against only themselves - at least in a split field - without the uberettes. It is hard to fathom that there is not a single W3 pre-reg'd, especially for such a wonderful and interesting race as the Napa GP. In NAPA, right? Couples' heaven? And have you seen the weather forecast? PERFECT!
This Zebra is left scratching his head (with his hoof).
i only want to add my agreement to what elis said about the women's 2/3 field
i think it is a great combo to offer
unfortunately, for reasons that don't matter to this discussion, i may well not be able to participate this weekend
but i support jess's choice of field to offer
and while i like to see at least 2 women's fields offered at races, i don't mind as much seeing only 1 field when i see that the promoter is trying to offer any group of women the chance to race with their peers
i blame capitalism.
You do realize Kieran that the exact same thing can be said about men. There are thousands of non competitive cycling events that have way more participants, men and women, than the largest race in this country. Non competitive cycling events attract way more cyclists than competitive events stop the presses.
Then again that isn't really true though. There are thousands of people who do events like centuries, double centuries and triple centuries, who ride them as competitive events ( yes they know their time and place at the end of the ride) yet they don't have any interest in road racing. Wonder why these people who consider themselves competitive cyclists, both men and women, avoid road racing? It isn't because they shy away from competition or a lot of long training miles on the bicycle. I wonder what other factors come int play that keeps people away.
Elis wrote:Triathlon is often a feeder sport for bike racing, so that's great that there are so many women participating! Also, it's rare to have someone choose between a bike race and a tri on the same day, so the example seems irrelevant.
And I'm not sure where you're getting the idea that triathlon is less competitive/physical than bike racing -- ever seen a group swim? Yikes!
In any case, maybe triathlon/marathon running/recreational dodgeball leagues are just more popular among everybody than little fringe-sport bike racing, period, and that we need to look for solutions to grow the sport rather than seeking reasons to leave people out of the sport.
It is less competitive. I did triathlons for almost 3 years, and did the Night Moves 1/2mi swim, 5k run every Wednesday in Santa Barbara for a couple years too. So I'm well aware of the sport.
It's less competitive because it's 100% about you. Sure the is kicking and punching during a mass start swim, but only for the first 100m or so. After that it'll all about you and what your time will be. Just like the rest of the event. You always know what time you'll do in a Triathlon. There really are no surprises. It's more comparable to TT in cycling.
You're right it should be about figuring out how to grow the sport for women. I could be wrong but you don't do that by showing the men that promote races that there isn't a need for them to add women's fields because of all the other "GREAT WOMEN'S" events going on that day.
You need to figure out a way to sell the product "more women's cycling fields" to the ones who control the field selection most of the time...MEN. So perhaps considering the psyche of male race promoters would help a bit there and how best to market your product so the results meet your goals.
Triathlon is often a feeder sport for bike racing, so that's great that there are so many women participating! Also, it's rare to have someone choose between a bike race and a tri on the same day, so the example seems irrelevant.
Elis wrote:Quote:If a "Women's Only" social event sells out 2500spots in 2 DAYS, and a racing event with 1 women's field struggles to even have 15 pre-registered then that tells you something.
You're right. The way I see it, it tells you that the women-only event is more attractive to women than the event with one hour for women and several hours for men. Obviously the way you see it, it tells you that women don't like competition, but that seems like a stretch.
I guess I just don't understand the female psyche the way you do.
Hahaha! You seem to only be a partial reader. Sure the "women's only" is a factor but what about Triathlons? Those are attended by men and women....hey and look HUNDREDS of women preregister! They even do it months in advance....
So perhaps the "women's only" isn't as big a deal as you're making it out to be? Or perhaps that's just what the data shows. Do yourself a favor email a few triathlon promoters or check their results sheets and see just how many women do those "co-ed" events. I think you'll be surprised.
No women's psyche analysis required.....
just the data as usual.
Quote:Elis, why do we engage?
Because we like the competition, duh! :D
there are other "social" rides that sell out in hours. the Death Ride is a good example. it's a co-ed event and sells 2,800 spots in less than two hours. I'd estimate that 70% of the participants are male. does that mean that there shouldn't be a road race for men on July 11th? No, that's silly logic and, in fact, there are three competitive options on July 11th, as well as at least one other recreational option.
the recreational cycling market is much larger than the competitive cycling market, both for women and for men. and for many folks who begin their cycling careers on these "social" rides, racing is a logical progression. does that mean that racers will never participate in social rides and social riders will never race? absolutely not! that's why there are race teams who promote social rides (it's definitely a good source of income) and there are recreational clubs who promote races.
Elis, why do we engage?
Quote:If a "Women's Only" social event sells out 2500spots in 2 DAYS, and a racing event with 1 women's field struggles to even have 15 pre-registered then that tells you something.
Elis wrote:There are many possible reasons for the high male-to-female ratio in bike racing. Kieran, your being so quick to jump on the "women are inherently non-competitive" bandwagon was what made (makes) you look sexist in the Menlo Park thread. I'm just mentioning that here because you seemed completely confused when someone called you on it, and it seems like you still don't understand why that happened.
Why all the negativity when talking about women and competition? Maybe it's not the non-competitive aspect that makes the Cinderalla Classic so attractive, maybe it's the women's-only part. Maybe it's the fact that it is an event that absolutely WANTS women to attend it and specifically welcomes them, rather than tossing them a few scraps and fighting about whether they even deserve a time slot (generally speaking -- I'm not calling out Napa or any other race in particular, but regardless of numbers seeing two women's fields to several men's fields sends that message).
Many of us who are actively involved in developing women's cycling take the view that women need more opportunities to race against their peers & to feel welcome at the race scene. I'm not saying that men aren't welcoming to women races -- in my experience most of them are -- but it can really seem like a boys' club with a lock on the door if you're just starting out. So if you're a woman who wants to do a cycling event that day, would you feel more welcomed at a women-only ride or a race with one, two or three max women's categories?
Before I get accused of being reactionary (again): as far as numbers go there are about twice as many cat 3 women and cat 4 women (combined) as there are junior men, yet nobody assumes they know the preferences of the junior men or that they are inherently non-competitive and therefore don't deserve to race against their peers etc.. THAT is where the offense is taken, at least for me.
And Jess, it truly pains me to say this, but I think the 2/3 is a fantastic idea & I hope you have a really successful race. I am really, royally bummed to miss it, but it's the same day as the one metric century I do with my parents each year, and some things really are more important than bike racing!
Not being negative, just calling it like it is. Look at the facts!
If a "Women's Only" social event sells out 2500spots in 2 DAYS, and a racing event with 1 women's field struggles to even have 15 pre-registered then that tells you something.
Especially when both events are on THE SAME DAY/WEEKEND.
Women are showing their preferences with their feet (or cycling shoes in this case). I don't know why people get so upset with data.... The comment about the "social" ride having the right fields doesn't help convince the mostly male promoters to change their ways.
I didn't even know about that women's social ride, but now that it was mentioned especially with how many women are so quick to preregister. I have to take back my comments to the Zebra man...looks like he made the right call.
Kieran, I'm neither upset nor hurt. I find you somewhat amusing (and somewhat troubling), and your posts are definitely worth a laugh or two, so thank you for that!
I've been doing what I do for almost 10 years. I would call that a success. I'm not going anywhere soon, and I will continue to support women's cycling in the ways I see best.
I am not 100% sure, but I think there are more than one exclusive Women's teams in our district.
I only see one of those teams coming out to promote a road event, Velo Girls.
Velo Bella does promote a cross event, but those are the only two teams I know about promoting events.
It's likely Women's position on this issue would be more persuasive if some of the other Women's teams put on some events.
I give credit to VG and VB for their contributions to the sport, I think they could use some help. They are a bit out numbered.
velogirl wrote:you know, you're absolutely right, Kieran. I don't know why it didn't occur to me before, but women really shouldn't be racing bicycles. I think I may start a competitive knitting team for 2010. then again, those sharp, pointy needles might be too dangerous. book club, anyone?
aww, don't be all upset and feelings hurt! Accepting the truth is sometimes difficult. As you know what I said above IS true. I appreciate your efforts to buck the trend, but you still gotta accept what it is.
As usual I also offered some fun alternatives for women that feel the need to race that weekend. The track has a big shortage of women racers too. It's due to the same reasons as road racing of course.
What I was really pointing out was how silly your comment about a social ride is in a discussion about trying to have more women's racing fields. If you do not see that error by now...well then there isn't much more I can say for you other than...
Enjoy the "fun" ride on the 4th.
There are many possible reasons for the high male-to-female ratio in bike racing. Kieran, your being so quick to jump on the "women are inherently non-competitive" bandwagon was what made (makes) you look sexist in the Menlo Park thread. I'm just mentioning that here because you seemed completely confused when someone called you on it, and it seems like you still don't understand why that happened.
you know, you're absolutely right, Kieran. I don't know why it didn't occur to me before, but women really shouldn't be racing bicycles. I think I may start a competitive knitting team for 2010. then again, those sharp, pointy needles might be too dangerous. book club, anyone?
velogirl wrote:Actually, April 4th is a great day for women's cycling. It's the date of THE LARGEST women's cycling event in Northern CA (and possibly in the US) -- the Cinderella Classic. Of course, it's not a race, but it's a super-fun women's-only cycling event and I'm guessing that most of the women who race in the NCNCA have participated in this event at one time in their cycling career.
And I think Valley Spokesmen must have their "categories" right, because they sell out 2,500 registrations in a day or two every single year.
LMAO! This is really funny. Perhaps you remember my description about why women's bicycle racing has challenges and what most women cyclists prefer to do?
Specifically "Attending cycling events that are of NON-COMPETITIVE or less competitive nature, and *LESS* dangerous".
I'm sure there are a couple triathlons going in in California that day that have well over a few hundred women preregistered too. Once again... a less competitive/dangerous event.
Unfortunately, you've just validated the promoter's decision to limit women's fields with your comment.
Actually, April 4th is a great day for women's cycling. It's the date of THE LARGEST women's cycling event in Northern CA (and possibly in the US) -- the Cinderella Classic. Of course, it's not a race, but it's a super-fun women's-only cycling event and I'm guessing that most of the women who race in the NCNCA have participated in this event at one time in their cycling career.
Marin_ite wrote:As a Cat 1 woman I am pretty disappointed that there is not a race for me to enter this weekend in Napa. As much as I periodically enjoy racing with the men and believe that it can make me a stronger rider, men inherently race differently than women, and unless you race with them on a consistent basis, the pace differential between men's and women's racing can be quite substantial, not to mention difficult to maintain over the course of a race. Plus, some guys just don't like racing against women, period, and will let you konw that.
I was looking forward to racing in this race, but it is likely I won't attend. I rarely comment on this kind of stuff, but for once felt I should speak up since I am sure I am not the only Cat 1 female who feels this way.
Hopefully next year you will reconsider the categories and schedule.
Of course on a more POSITIVE note, perhaps it's a good weekend for the P/1 ladies to head south for the Long Beach GP and Dominguez Hills crits.
Or PERHAPS, go to the Hellyer Velodrome on Saturday and enjoy the first of the Get Ready for Summer Track Omnium Series promoted by Rick Adams. http://www.ridethetrack.com/pdf/09summer.pdf
There's a Sprint Tournament at Hellyer on Sunday too promoted by Kevin Worley http://www.ridethetrack.com/pdf/09sprints.pdf Those are a lot of fun, and a great way to work on what WE ALL REALLY SUCK AT IN Northern California....SPRINTING!
wow didn't realize this until just now. Very interesting choice of categories. It's definitely biased towards men 35+.
Only 1 womens' race, no juniors field,no Cat 5 men, and no Cat 4 women.
I do applaud giving time for the kids to take a lap though, that's always great to watch.
So I guess if you're a man, over 35, a cat 3 or better, and have children under 10 you're all set for nice day with the family. ;-) (unless your wife/gf happens to be a pro/1!!!)
I realize the demographics of racers in this area actually fit this field selection perfectly so I can't argue with the reasoning...but even my by-the-numbers-capitalistic-self is just a 'tad' bit bothered by this. It's like the *exact* opposite of the Menlo Park Grand Prix.
This is what I'm talking about. If Menlo had done the fields right, and made some more money, they might have had a little $$$ left over to bribe Zebra and other by-the-numbers promoters into having 1 more womens' field. :-) o'well, women's/juniors cycling loses on 4/4 I guess.
Maybe with the women's field shortage we'll actually see that women's field full?
One method that could be used to bolster the confidence of race organizers when considering more Female Pro 1/2 events is pre-registration. If Cat. 1 riders wait until the last day of pre-registation or simply decide to enter the day of the event - your typically nervous race organizer will be less inclined to offer you a spot on his race program. I mention "His" because, with a few exceptions, almost every race organizer IS an XY-type. And, it has been noted on plenty of forum topics before, we just don;t get it.
A quick look at upcoming major races reflects some areas of potential nervousness - Wente has 17 Pro 1/2 male racers (also a notoriously late group of registrants) pre-registered for the weekend compared to the quantity of female Cat 1/2 racers entered. Cat's Hill - 17 Male Pro 1/2's pre-registered - how many Female Pro 1/2's? You could look it up.
Contrast this with Mt. Hamilton - 7 Pro 1/2 Female entrants already - and zippo on the Male side. This could make Jonathan Racine's comfort level way higher for future Female Cat. 1/2 events.
There's no USAC requirement for organizers to offer events for all potential groups of racers. Organizers are going to make decisions using a bunch of criteria - and influencing them by pre-registration might go a long way towards getting your spot on the calendar. What have you got to lose, anyway?
Tom Simpson - Pilarcitos Cyclesports
As a Cat 1 woman I am pretty disappointed that there is not a race for me to enter this weekend in Napa. As much as I periodically enjoy racing with the men and believe that it can make me a stronger rider, men inherently race differently than women, and unless you race with them on a consistent basis, the pace differential between men's and women's racing can be quite substantial, not to mention difficult to maintain over the course of a race. Plus, some guys just don't like racing against women, period, and will let you konw that.
Cat 2 women may only ride down one category. Only Cat 1 women may ride down up to 2 categories. THe idea of the rule is to allow Cat 1/2 women to ride in an Elite 3 race if they wish.
Interesting. So at the NRVGP, women could double up and/or ride in the following races:
Cat 1's - Elite Pro/1/2 or Elite 3
Cat 2's - W2, Elite Pro/1/2, Elite 3 or Elite 4
Cat 3's - W3, Elite 3 or Elite 4
35+ 3's - W3, Elite 3, 35+ 1/2/3, 35+ 3, 35+ 4, 45+ 1/2/3 or 55+ 1/2/3
35+ 4's - Elite 4 or 35+ 4
It just boggles the mind.
AS the rule states the only female riders who may ride up in age group are those who are 35+ AND are Cat 3s or 4s. Cat 1/2 35+ women may not ride up in age group and women under 35 may never ride up in age groups per the rules.
I don't know the rules, but Pro/Cat 1 women who are under 35 have raced in the mens 35+ 1/2/3 in several races I've been in.
I have no problem with that. :D