If This Is Women’s Cycling, Include Me Out
BIKE HUGGER ( Dave Schloss? Byron?) wrote today, asked for my comments. But since you have to join up and sign in an’ all, I decided to just answer here. If answer is the correct term for dreaming up a thoughtful reply to the industry-financed DVD called “Cyclepassion”.
There’s plenty of discussion going on, possibly precipitated by a particularly pornesque portrayal of top(less) pedalinas– April, Heather– undressing for the cameraman/viewer. I am a fan of these ultrafast women. Watching the winners in Durango receive tattoos that night reminded me of a peep show: Heather Irmiger was gorgeous (but scary drunk) in her shimmering white wig , surrounded with a hundred camera-toting admirers.
“Manwhile”, few were taking notice of the male winner’s tattouage.
Perhaps some day there’ll be porn parity– we’ll see the top men doing precisely the same thing–stripping for the camera, offering their beauty up for inspection. This will happen when homosexuality doesn’t register a blip on the market value of the athlete, AND when the football players paychecks plummet.
I sent the link out to the Old Bat sisterhood for feedback.
Denver Wombat Amy Lewis wrote to me:
ugh–your polkadot tights have a thread reaching all the way to pornified vamping for the same old tired male gaze? Gag, i hope not.
I am surprised to think that the wacky tights could be construed as ‘sexy’ in the same way the Paula Pezzo cleavage and chamoisbeaver shots are. When I want to be sexy I disappear and come back muddy.
There was that one time I finished the Rockhopper sans jersey. It was simply to help the announcer recognize me. In 1984, there seemed to be no one checking race numbers against rosters to announce finishers by name. Really. For the record, my future husband Charlie was the first rider across the line that day, I was second person in.
The pro men did an extra four miles, so we weren’t the ‘real’ winners, just the first back to the keg.
I will wrestle with the topic of sexual sports rhetoric in my upcoming book Fabulous Me, A Hagiography. Due out er…soon. No. Not really. Late.
About 15 years late.
But here’s a comic –attempting to throw some light on problems encounterd when women enter the bike shop. I conceived this strip 17 years ago, and commissioned Mudflap ‘zinestress Greta Snider to draw it for a hundred bucks .
I can’t recall if it got published anywhere but Wombat News. I doubt it. It’s based on the true life-trials of Harriet Hayes of Boise Idaho. She wanted a Merlin. The kid in the store wouldn’t sell it to her. This seems unthinkable now, but back then he wanted to “save her money” by steering her to a cheapo cruiser.
Byron has other threads in his blog, one entitled
( so-called women specific design vs simply well-designed bikes for a variety of body proportions…) and here he points out that the industry blames the women who complain about their treatment in bike stores: It’s Women’s Fault–“they should do more research before going into a shop and then ask the right questions” opines someone from one of the big three manufacturers.