Why No Y?

May 17, 2012
by Mitchell Scott  
 
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Guys shouldn’t write stories about girls. Well, actually they (we) (I) can’t. Why? Quite obviously, guys don’t know anything about girls. Other than they’re different. Really different. We live on separate planets, men and women. It’s proven. Many long and detailed leather bound books have been written on the subject. And while a guy like me shouldn’t write about women, I’m still going to try. Even at the risk of being ridiculed and sandblasted. I feel compelled, and even if this is a story that doesn’t venture into the mysterious vortex of “how girls think and why,” it does discuss their effect on something we’re all incredibly passionate about.


Yes, this is a story about girls in mountain biking. And it’s written by a guy (me).

Wish me luck.

Photo Momme Halbe
  Whistler, where you can see girls shred. Photo: Momme Halbe

When it comes to mountain biking, there aren’t too many women around. Sure, go to a cross-country race, or certain special nodes in the world, like Whistler, and they’re there. And many of them rip, make no mistake. But throughout the evolution of our sport, and even in the context of per capita participants today, women in mountain biking represent a small percentage. The big official stats from the Outdoor Industry Association (OIA) claim a 2:1 men to women ratio across all mountain bike disciplines in the U.S. Dive behind the scenes into Facebook Insight stats from some of the sport’s larger companies (I had access to one) and it suggests a much smaller percentage, perhaps as low as 10%. So, to be fair, somewhere between 10% to 30% of all mountain bikers are female. Which sucks, and, in my opinion reflects negatively on our sport. In many different ways.


Firstly, as someone who grew up mountain biking, I had to endure (along with many of my friends) the pains of a girl vacuum. In the 80s and 90s there were NO girls mountain biking. Some would suggest the reasons are obvious. But I prefer to not believe that scars and mud and eating shit on a regular basis pushed women away. Maybe so. But really, think about it, humans are some 4 million years into this thing called evolution. Girls have endured a lot more than pedal bites and broken wrists throughout their history. You could even argue that they're tougher than men when it comes to pain and suffering. I would put childbirth in brackets but that might get me flogged.


Not having girls around at the outset of the sport has dramatically influenced its development. This is a dude sport. Companies are run by dudes. The big pro athlete contracts are signed by dudes. Bikes are primarily designed and built for dudes. Pretty much all of mountain biking’s imagery and marketing is dude-centric. It’s basically a dude-o-sphere populated by massive dudeness that can only, by virtue of its almighty dude, continue down the one-way road to dude-town.


Which sucks. Look at surfing. God, I wish I were a surfer. Girls all over the place. And I’m not saying this because I like bikinis and wet bodies and all that wonderful stuff (which I do of course, I’m a dude for crissakes!), but in the want to be somewhat cultured and intelligent (which can be hard for dudes), I know that girls add a certain element of balance to any endeavor. They are smarter, cooler and much more grounded than dudes, especially the athletic ones. Not to mention, quite simply, they represent the other half of our species. We need them, in more ways than we know or are willing to acknowledge.

Katrina Strand and Brook Baker riding on Grafton Mesa in Utah.

Secondly, not having girls involved in mountain biking in a significant way has greatly diminished the potential of our sport. Because of the dude brigade, and the fact that only 10% to 30% of mountain bikers are women means that our sport is that much smaller. Imagine if it were 60-40, or even better, 50-50? If there are 7 million mountain bikers in the United States right now (2012 OIA stat), we could increase that number by a few million participants. Which is a huge deal. More jobs, more mountain bike economic muscle, more critical mass, more people working with, riding on, and loving bicycles. And the Good Lord only knows, if there is one thing this planet needs right now it's more people riding bicycles (especially girls).


Thirdly, because girls don’t play an equal role in our sport, it’s my belief that we’ve created a girl backlash of sorts. And I get it. Dudes like to ride with dudes. And we give’r. And sure, while we like to ride with girls, it doesn’t seem to happen much. At least in the circles I ride with. Today, girls (for the most part) seem to prefer riding with girls. And sure, this happens in many facets of society—go to a dinner party and it’s girls on the couch and dudes on the porch. But as women start to gain a larger profile in our sport (which is happening), they’ve been forced to band together. They’re women specific camps, riding groups, clubs. And I think that’s awesome. It’s a natural reaction to the situation. But is that lack of integration an ideal scenario? And maybe I’m just old school, and it’s too late for me. And I do see the younger generation and the inklings of inclusion are there. Maybe I’m jealous that I missed out on that. But you have to agree, a more harmonious blend of women and men riding together is the way it should be…like surfing.

Jessica Reed rides her bike near Durango Colorado

Finally, while we might be from different planets, the circles that go round and round on our bikes don’t care what kind of engine makes them turn. And really, nor should we. Outdoor sports that are killing it right now have an equal balance of men and women: climbing, skiing, snowboarding, kayaking. Yes, rad dudes are cool. Truth is though, rad dudes shredding with rad chicks is way cooler. So, to all the girls, sorry a guy had to write this. The dude inside dictated that I abide.

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569 Comments

  • + 222
 If you ever want women to see you as men rather than little boys, you should show a little respect.
  • - 312
 'You could even argue that they're tougher than men when it comes to pain and suffering' yeah childbirth might be painfull , try getting hit in the nuts!
  • + 220
 Well, when our son was born, my best guess would be that it's like being kicked in the nuts over and over again for just over 24 hours. So yeah, great analogy.
  • - 25
 Little boys probably show more respect towards women than men do. Little grooms go to the beach to play in the water and build sandcastles 100% of the time. If riding looks appealing to someone then they'll try it if not they won't. Tough enough? I wouldn't wanna give birth. The article ends up objectifying women by talking about bikinis and scratches instead of talking about their strengths as women that we men don't have that would be perfect for the mindset of our sport. Rad dudes with cool chicks? You couldn't get a girl interested if you let them read this article. It sounds like it's speaking about and to little girls instead of women. Would be interesting to read a woman's take on this subject. Cuz as I guys we're probably missing something to begin with here
  • - 45
 Women have us figured out, which explains mud bunnies calendars and no men of dh/free ride calendars.
  • + 75
 Fullbug, marketing people have you figured out.
  • + 24
 Now cue all the ""wow shes hot, no disrespect" comments. The fact that this article is making a distinction or "observation" about this subject is pure hypocrisy.
  • - 36
 redrook, with that line of thinking I'm gonna assume that you think marketing people had also "figured" these women out, yes? these "marketing people" you speak of what gender are they? Hey, I'm not gonna lie and say mass media and marketing doesn't affect me in any way but I can think on my own sometimes(atleast that's what my wife tells me).
  • + 33
 Fullbug, your comment explicitly suggested that women-kind have conspired to make men buy nude callendars. Your last comment now suggests that marketing people are all women. You are confused, take a time out Beer
  • + 27
 Fullbug I will say this tho, I agree with your first comment. This article is very patronising and obviously written by a guy, why else would Ian's pic (4th one down) be so horribly retouched?
  • + 13
 Agreed redrook. Also, "You could even argue that they're tougher than men when it comes to pain and suffering". Until a guy gives birth we won't know, but I doubt either gender is better disposed towards pain. By that logic we could say that since most POWs are men that me are better at surviving long term imprisonment, torture and starvation. Thats an equally dumb thing to say. Heres an idea, why not get a GIRL to write this article.
  • - 7
 redrook- my 2nd comment about the calendar was to suggest that women are confident when they do that and they know what they are doing and yes, what men react to, that's all and nothing more. I'm glad you agree with my first comment as it relates to the article. being a husband and father for a long time and I'm only starting to barely figure women out! haha
  • + 10
 rbeach- one of the smartest comments I've read out of this so far. I find it hilarious that child birth was brought into this because as we all know if you're a woman, you HAVE given birth at one time... I already posted a couple times below so I'm not going to dive deep into why but this story had good intentions but presented this "issue" in the worst possible way. Here, let me write out an alternative story on the lack of women rippers...

There's not a lot of women that ride bikes. This could be because getting dirty, sweaty and injured isn't enticing to ladies or it's because they don't know how awesome it is yet. So go outside, bring a lady friend and introduce her to the sport at a level she's comfortable with and use positive reinforcement.
(use a quote from a WOMAN'S perspective). The end.
  • + 7
 Fullbug, Men can do it to them too, you just have to figure out how to do it to the specific woman you want to do it to haha. Women are just people and people are hard to figure out because they're all different! I'm just saying the idea of generalising gender characteristics makes no sense to me.
  • + 3
 Cheers townes, couldn't agree more. A lot of girls and women I know have absolutely no interest in riding a bike and never will, but then again neither have a lot of guys. I just find this whole thing very patronising and naive.
  • + 75
 sorry to butt in gents, but i would like to comment about the whole 'scars and mud and eating shit on a regular basis pushes women away'... i actually had a doctor refuse to perform surgery on my shoulder, because he said that as i am a lady, i wouldn't want to have ginormous scar on my shoulder. after getting a second opinion, it turned out that my collarbone was in fact stuck behind my shoulder, parts of the bone were shattered, and i had a stage 5 ac separation. because that first doctor decided i shouldn't have a scar, my collarbone disintegrated and will never connect to my shoulder again. and to say that we don't know how awesome getting dirty, sweaty, or injured is, is completely wrong. i spent 3 years off the bike and just started riding again because of my injuries. most of the male riders i know would have moved on from biking instead of coming back for more.
  • + 45
 fuuuuuuck me ^^^^ that is f*cking disgusting about the doctor
  • + 2
 haha sorry rhiannon, let me clarify that the awesomeness part refers to biking, not getting injured or dirty, haha.
  • + 7
 haha yeah no worries!! but the getting injured and dirty is awesome too... i was referring to the quote from the article.
  • + 0
 @rbeach: re: "Until a guy gives birth we won't know, but I doubt either gender is better disposed towards pain." - Actually, many studies have concluded that women DO in fact have a higher tolerance for pain, and not just because of child bearing. Men are typically bigger babies when it comes to pain and other general discomforts, such as when they are ill. HOWEVER, men also tend to heal/recover faster than women because of this because they take the time to rest, instead of soldiering forth through the pain.
  • + 10
 Wow AC5, that must hurt big time. I had an AC3 and had tears in my eyes. I probably would have died there with an AC5. I'm really glad rhiannon that your back riding. Getting over just the mental blockage takes a lot of courage. Take care.
  • + 8
 wow thank you so much for saying that!! yeah it took 3 surgeries for them to fix the damage and they finally had to take part of my hamstring out to tie my shoulder back together haha. you are definitely right about the mental blockage is the worst part! the whole process of getting back on my bike has made me a better rider because i am a lot more focused and driven.
  • + 12
 Respect is earned not given, don't matter what gender...
  • + 9
 Rhiannon,
I've seen you pop up every now and again on here, you seem like a pretty cool, intelligent and articulate lady. What's your take on the apparent lack of women in our sport? Good news on the injury.
  • + 2
 Not trying to sound offensive here, but i just think its more of a masculine sport, not saying women shouldnt ride cause the more the merrier, but i just tdont think it appeals to most women.
  • + 28
 thank you for saying that!! i can't really speak for most lady riders, especially since i don't ride with any and have only seen a couple in my neck of the woods. but, for me personally, i don't think any of us want to be treated as if we are more special than a male rider. i want to be treated as an equal. i will be the first to admit that i can't ride as well as the average male rider, but i have just as much passion and devotion to the sport as any man. women aren't built like men, so we have to work ten times harder (and that's with any male-categorized sport). so, no we don't need coddling, we need the respect that we show male riders because we have earned it. people have been discussing the comments that are made on pinkbike and i agree that they can be very derogatory, but it's not just men's fault. if a female rider wants to be taken seriously, she shouldn't post stupid pics of herself. sorry to ramble, but there's one last thing. as a female rider, what has encouraged me most as been having strangers at bikeparks come up to me give me input on my riding. this will help any rider feel welcome to the sport. that's just my two bits...
  • + 17
 i agree with rhiannon. since when did biking become a sport just about who is the fastest or built right to ride faster? it's about our love for the bike, the dirt, and the mountains. so anyone that shares that passion (man or woman) should be treated as equals
  • + 9
 damn rhiannon, that was well put. pinkbike should hire her as their female representative lol
  • + 4
 I used to be heavily into snowboarding, I think there was definitely an equality that is missing from biking. I ride with a bunch of dudes and do not personally know any ladies that shred. My wife is not into bikes, she supports me and will watch me race, but that's as far as it goes. I think having ladies in a group helps the guys act a little more human, usually when left to ourselves we descend into apes!
  • + 11
 Don't want to come off wrong..... but some people (male & female) just have no interest in biking , some do. If women want to ride , they'll go ride. and guess what. they do. and some don't.

We shouldn't have to suddenly respect people based solely on gender either. Just respect the person (if they deserve respect) and all is good. I can see women being upset about *those* comments...
but I truly think amongst the bike community that's not a huge problem, I haven't seen anyone make comments like that over women bikers....unless it's the woman herself that's purposely encouraging those types of comments , if you know what I'm getting at.
The mountain biking community itself is respectful to both sides.

and if other guys are giving you compliments about your looks , why get mad. It probably means you're good looking. The opposite gender is naturally attracted to each other. There's nothing wrong with that. We're human after all.

and It's not a gender specific sport like some people are implying. It's just a bike. and people gonna ride 'em.
The end.

but if we're going blame , blame society wanting too many princesses and beauty queens for daughters. Like cobvious said , bikes are simply all about the fun. That's all that matters.
I'll shut up now
  • + 2
 rhiannon, regarding your original comment, when you say that your don't mind getting muddy/dirty etc pretty much illustrates the fact that you can't generalise about "women" wouldn't you agree? I mean I know lots of girls who would hate to get muddy, but I know guys like that too. This whole gender distinction is stupid and the fact that this article exists demonstrates the prejudice (concious or not) of the author.

Also I'm curious, why did you not get another doctor? They have a legal obligation, it should've been no problem to get surgery elsewhere.
  • + 5
 @redrook actually if you take a good look at photo number 4 it's more out of focus than retouched that way. I had to do a lot of work on the eyes and helmet details to save it, further more that photos were not all chosen by the author, and they were placed to show several things. One of those is that women can be good looking and still ride as well as or better than guys, that has been a common misconception for years, and still is. That if you're a good looking woman you shouldn't get dirty or injured.

As for the comments about fullbug's comment about the Mud Bunnies calendar, specifically Mud Bunnies is actually a women's mountain biking club, and they (women) produce their own calendar. Any of the mud bunnies can correct me on that if I'm wrong...
  • + 3
 Ah fair enough Ian, it does look really retouched so perhaps shouldn't have included it as it gives a pretty strong impression given the context. Just my 2 cents Smile no big deal.
  • + 1
 No, and understood. I didn't add it to the story, and didn't feel the desire to remove it. It's a common misconception about that photo, and while I do retouch all portraits I don't ever go as far as that one looks, but it's also difficult to bring back realistic skin that isn't there, and I happen to quite like that photo in spite of or because of the look, not sure which...
  • - 1
 Actually, I think having some pictures of women looking nice is likely to attract more women to riding. Don't get me wrong here, I am opposed to objectifying women, but I do know some (perhaps not a lot, but some) women who stay away from riding because they think they will perceived as butch. Let's be honest, most people like to look good when they ride, e.g. jeans when riding = stupid! They are horrible when they get wet, they rip easily when you bail, and they aren't very practical for peddling, but we (I used to at least) wear them because we want to look good. It's an image thing. Marketing is all about image, and attracting people to anything is all about marketing.
I guess what i'm trying to say in my own clumsy way, is don't be afraid of looking good. (Or taking photos of people (men or women) looking good) It certainly doesn't hurt the sport, and who knows - maybe it will do some good. Keep up the good work Ian, love your work.
  • + 0
 thanks, Ian for clarifying the mud bunnies. My comment in regards to the calendar was with the knowledge that Mud Bunnies are a strong group of women, in every sense, who ride, and from my view, bring awareness for women in this sport on their own terms. I maybe assumed people would know who the MUD BUNNIES were. It was a show of support and a compliment and not meant as a deragatory comparison in any way whatsoever. you are right redrook, there is no need for gender generalities but as it was being adressed in the article I made a reference that was unclear. fair play.
  • - 14
 This has become so serious... In my opinion girls and women are overrated (not only in biking) They are humans just as we do, show me a Chimpanzee doing a scrub and I might say wow. I'm not sure if I need to see more girls riding, I defo want see less guys who behave like: when they see a girl riding faster than they do, they react as if they got gang banged by Sasquatch and Yeti. They find it extraordinary and would like to tell the world, no one ever saw one from so close, but then huh - what a bummer... Relax, when you go biking leave sexuality at home, it just conflicts with the saddle. Why no Y? I dunno, is it goin to be on exam next week? - Nope - yea!
  • + 1
 waki, got a 9 year old rescue ex racer greyhound that can still scrub a bmx track at full speed.
  • + 12
 I'm pretty sure Y chromosomes ( if that's what the title is implying ) are only found in men Razz
could be wrong , I'm a biker not a scientist
  • + 3
 epavichthesavage - you're right, that title actually makes no sense, it's trying to be clever and failing. It should be "Why so much Y?" or something.
  • - 1
 Wow, this article has generated lots of replies, and as a girl i couldn't agree with it more. I think less women ride than men because they are more intimidated, and maybe not very welcome. I like riding, however I am nowhere near as good as my brother, due to the fact he wont let me ride with him. Larry I hope you read this! Good article, it brings a lot of things to mind. Such as: Would you really accept women on bike trails, or just criticize them for going slower and being more careful with their bodies than men? The truth is, guys do need us. So respect us.
  • + 4
 @bermaguii I'm sure a lot of people would love to ride with you , maybe your bro just likes to go really fast and can't be bothered to stop. Which is understandable. Stopping or slowing down kills the adrenaline rush Razz .... I was in your situation too until I practiced enough (on my own) so I could at least keep up with my friends. That's how it is with a lot of sports like this.
  • - 9
 Its because they are to busy in the kitchen
  • + 4
 Taking care of kids like you who don't know how to spell....
  • + 4
 hey, im her brother, and @epavichthesavage you explained perfectly the situation. i started riding years ago, and, when i was nowhere near riding buddies, i would ride alone, and i think it makes you a better rider. i do like going fast and never stop. i would like to ride more with her, but for real epic shredding, there is a very steep learning curve for riding buddies. if they arent as good or fast as you, it isnt very fun, and if they are better than you, its fun to learn from them up to a point, when they drop you, and leave you eating dust.
riding alone takes all that out, you go your own speed, and dont have to slow down or keep up with anybody.
cheers
  • + 4
 @epavichthesavage as you can see: both my bro and I agree. Razz I am usually not motivated enough to ride alone, but reading these comments has encouraged me to consider practicing on my own, and as my brother says, you don't have to try to keep up, instead you can just keep your own pace. And an Ipod with some good music helps too! Thanks @epavichthesavage for the awesome comment, but i recommend shortening your username!
  • + 4
 no problem! I just know what it's like
sometimes you have to learn the basics on your own , I know it's no fun riding with people who've been riding for 4 years longer than I have. My advice for her would just find some people around the same skill set , that's what I did. worked perfectly and it makes riding much more enjoyable because you don't feel like crap at the end. Good confidence booster as well
and my long username is easy because it rhymes Wink
  • + 3
 I have started mountainbiking 2 years ago and so far convinced 2 girls into it. We are still riding together. I feel proud after reading this Big Grin
  • + 0
 What a nutless pussy worshipping article, first of all get your facts straight men tolerate pain better than women according to numerous studies further more child birth is an irrelevant comparison because for one no man has experienced it. Secondly, you claim that girls are cooler and more mentally balanced then men, I think we can all agree that each sex has members who are decent people and those who are not. You can't make an outright sexist claim that women are "cooler and more grounded." Thats like saying men are smarter than women. The whole focus of the article was kissing ass and claiming women are superior and must be introduced to mountain biking.

Thats not necessary. Its alright to have mens sports and its alright to have women's sports, just because men gravitate to one thing doesn't mean women have to. More woman riding would be nice but if they dont want to thats fine. You dont have to go to these pathetic lengths of female worship to somehow convince us that we must assimilate women.
  • - 4
 i always wondered why women were seen as inferior to men in the first place? i mean, men fight the wars, men dig the mines, men men men, but when it comes down to it, women have to do all the hard work, e.g. childbirth - i mean, why would men start out as physically stronger in the first place, because in the first instance of actual human life (or what could be recognised as human life) it would have been such a tough way of living that both male and female would have to be strong to survive. so what I'm saying is, how did male supremacy actually start? just why?
  • - 1
 angryham- just stop... hopefully one day you'll receive the education needed in order for you to realize why this is...
  • - 4
 If this PB article wasn't pointless enough, here we have some more ridiculousness!

medicaldaily.com/news/20120515/9894/relationship-exercise-cycling-bicycle-women.htm
  • + 1
 Getting hit in the nuts is a walk in the park compared to childbirth! Man! Get your facts right bro!
  • - 1
 How do you know, do you have some pain meter? Something that goes from ouch, through wtf was that, daemm, Holy Mother of Hype to "worst pain known to man". I've heard that stepping on a Stone Fish is somewhere at the end of the scale. So... Let's take the meter, connect it to some random guy met on track at Whistler and kick him in the nuts - that's science!

BTW aleksulmer it's not only about women - I get the numb willy syndrome every now and then. They say it's caused by the wrong seat setup and can be relieved by massage - I massage myself deliberately on long rides, just as roadies on races - pervert sport that is!

Chamois cream helps but is very dangerous - some buddy of yours might play a practical joke on you and put Ben Gay into the tube instead. Getting Ben Gay on your crotch may be worse that child birth pain...
  • + 1
 Come now , lets all not downplay getting smashed in the nuts since you don't know what it feels like either. It's horrible!
trust me........if someone/something hits you just right , you'll be done for hours.
  • + 0
 well maybe i don't have said education, so could someone explain....?
  • + 1
 Yeah incorrect seat setup I hear can do some annoying things, as well as cause pain in the long term (also saddle style plays a big role, if I'm not mistaken?)
I only thought that article I found was ridiculous because it seemed to only address "cycling" as casual biking, when obviously women participate in not just beach cruising but downhilling, XC, whatever. The article provides limited data in that sense, so that's why I thought it was kinda stupid.
  • + 1
 waki- maybe you need to get new friends, haha. And yes seat position has a huge affect on pains (lower back or inside of your leg for example) or numbness (in your crotchtestinal region as said above) when you ride. For me I find that it helps a ton when the seat is nose down a bit giving you that support on your butt and it's forward enough so that you're putting your weight mainly on the wide part of the seat but not hanging off the back. Also how you position yourself as you ride, how much your back is arched for example, can affect pains but I only find that to be a problem on longer rides.
  • - 1
 I am quite aware of back arching (I limit it to the minimum, straight back - nice power transfer, good hip hinge. Bent? - not so much), I do have my seat leveled or pointed down slightly, but I use adjustable travel fork so no perfect position for me. I also use Selle Italia, which is as good as the seat can get. Problems occur mostly with lots of pain. I do find it problematic with erection as well after longer rides, cyclists are tough fkrs indeed!... I came up with a worse memory - eating something spicy after several hour ride without chamois padding, got to keep the toilet paper in the fridge for the next day
  • + 2
 hmm... there is a solution to your problem... you just need a riding buddy that you can "use" to rid of that pesky after-ride erection and can clean your bum correctly so you don't have a fire in your ass. may I suggest a border collie?
  • + 1
 good one scott
  • - 1
 I agree with you, you cannot just expect to be respected, if you get so offended at every comment, how can you expect to be treated like one of the guys? Just loosen up and stop taking things so personally, if you get a compliment, take it, it means your doing something right, if you can manage to be dirty, sweaty and still look good I don't see how this can be a bad thing. If someone assumes you can't ride something coz you're a girl, don't go getting all worked up about it, it's just an opportunity to prove them wrong, I think there is no better feeling than nailing a big jump that everyone just assumes you will be too scared to do. Stop taking all this so seriously, if you act like one of the guys they will treat you like one and you are less likely to get these comments that you so despise
  • + 1
 their was a comment up at the top about getting hit in the nuts. ive heard that getting hit in the nuts is higher pain ratting than chilled birth. it just dosnt last as long as child birth. i mean getting hit in the nutts hard hurts for a bit. but i couldnt take 12 hours or more i think id shoot my self!
  • + 2
 Hey man, I know that getting hit in the nuts is intense, but no man knows the true pain of birth and no woman knows the true pain of testicular assault. I feel that perhaps the men may feel more pain at ONE focused amount of time, which could peak over child birth, but no man will get kicked in the crotch for 20+ hours. The SENSATION of pain could get worse for the men, but the overall pain to bear is probably worse for women. The reality is, women will feel the "lesser" hell for a substantially longer, more intense amount of time. I'd say for 1 instant-Men hurt worse than women; for the real time duration- women endure incomparable pain in regards to men
  • + 0
 thats what i wanted to say i just got kicked in the nuts for 20 hours lol. no put thats what i heard its the same pain just nut pain is fast and you get on with your day! child birth she brags about the pain for years to come!
  • + 1
 lets just leave it at birth and getting hit in the balls hurts unless you had a sex change
  • - 2
 I was really disappointed when watching "Junior" that Arnold Schwarzenegger didn't give birth through his penis... I'm so for natural delivery
[Reply]
  • + 125
 i saw a girl once.....it was a wednesday.
  • + 3
 Hahahahahha spicy316 u crak me up!!
  • + 2
 haha entensity?!?
  • + 2
 Subway is a lot like prostitution. You pay other people to do your girlfriend's job.
  • - 4
 How can you tell if a bike mechanic has a girlfriend?...............

He has at least one clean finger!!
  • + 1
 @Ridingtilldawn: Yeah, dude... You`re the man.
There is definitly a lack of girls riding where i live and ride.
  • + 2
 Guys, guys. Solution is simple. Start riding XC Big Grin there are many girls there.
[Reply]
  • + 110
 I sometimes feel bad for my daughter when I take her mountain biking. There aren't many girls her age for her to ride with. She's often forced to ride with boys, the guys I ride with, or just me. This issue has a bit to do with parents really. Not many parents (including my wife) would want their young daughters to go out and get hurt riding. I get a lecture every time my daughter comes home with a scratch or worse. I, on the other hand, enjoy seeing my daughter get hurt from doing something she loves to do. Does that sound bad?
  • + 72
 I think that is where it all starts. With 'em young. Too many parents want a princess for a daughter. Raise 'em to not fear getting hurt, to take risks! TO HAVE FUN! Then you may begin to see more and more women in mountain biking. Props to you sir.
  • + 15
 i think this is a good point, my dad was sporty (a armed forces boxer) and a good all round athlete as were my brothers and sister as am i, i freeride on mtb and snowboards i train MMA, hit the gym most days of the week, my wife plays high level hockey (that is a brutal sport) trained in some Thai and is a gym goer too. i believe that behavior such as these are learned from those around you. although we dont have kids yet, male or female they will be encouraged to participate in the more 'dangerous' sports including mountain biking. i would rather have a daughter that was able to take a few knocks and endure a bit of pain every now and then when she stacks it than a shoe obsessed princess. in my opinion
  • + 8
 bighiggy you have brought up a good point - my MTB female friends that have had babies think the pain of childbirth is not so bad.. well, compared to tearing the ligaments in a shoulder. The women I know that haven't had any physical pain in their life think childbirth is "the most pain anyone can go through", which anyone who has some decent injuries AND gone through childbirth will tell you is untrue.
  • + 15
 i totally agree with this. my mum isn't sports and if it wasn't for my dad i wouldn't be into half the things i am into and im really thankful for that. he's the one who introduced me to mountain biking when i was about 6 or so and i remember going for xc rides with my dad up the local farm when i was about 8/9 and then going to glentress when i was about 9/10. if it wasn't for my dad i'd be like every other boring ass girl, spending all my money and free time going shopping and buying shoes. i've recently damaged my shoulder from a race and all the girls in work with were completely shocked that i would put myself through that and by the fact that i'm not going to give it up after injuring myself... i'm not afraid to give myself a few knocks, it's part of riding a bike. yeah i had a lot of fear riding downhill when i was about 14-17 and i'm pretty sure that was because i never had other girls or even guys in my area to ride with when i was wee, so nobody was there to make me think 'hmm they can do that, i should try it too' ... i think parents should really try and nudge their girls into riding, because it really pays off in the future.
  • + 2
 i think you guys are forgetting about the dads that want to have girly kids, my dad hates that i ride downhill and is terrified of motocross... and my mom is the reason that i race downhill (I'm a guy by the way)
  • + 8
 My little girl started riding snowmobiles when she was 3 (xc 120) and got here first quad @ 5, Started racing @ 6 when her mom put a stop to it. Now she's 11 and will take her first trip to Highland this yr. She's one of the toughest kids her age I know "boy or girl". I think it important for the parent to get behind their kid's and let them explore different sports to make them well rounded in life. Most patents would rather get their kid an xbox than a bike because that means they have to take them and show them. Which means they can't be selfish. I'm lucky in this category because I get to ride with girls from xc to dh and it's awesome to watch them progress!!!
  • + 3
 @goober6801 My daughter's favorite spot to ride is Highland. Mostly because there's little pedaling involved. She started riding just last season at age 11. Wish I had started her off sooner. We should definitely get our daughters riding together when you go to Highland. We'll be there pretty much every Saturday and some Sundays.
  • + 1
 I dont see anything wrong with taking your daughter out, as a teen, I get excited to see younger people out there of all ages and gender, they are the future to our sport. Take her to highland and let her scruff her knees. As a parent, when you take the training wheels off and you see the wobbles when they take their first ride, do you catch them, or do you let them fall? They learn from their mistakes, and that huge smile you get when she accomplished a huge goal on the bike will be the greatest time of your life(figuratively).
  • + 5
 I wish my dad would have done the same thing. But instead, I had to stay inside with the parents while my younger brother and my 12 older male cousins were playing outside, getting scratches, and bruises playing hockey, riding their bikes. My little brother had a skateboard, a BMX, rollerblades, name it ! I had none, I had dolls, and girly toys. I started mountain biking 6 years ago to spend more time with my boyfriend. I had to overcome so many fears because of the way I have been raised. Now I ride DH bike and I love it !!! And personally, when guys are nice enough to slow down their pace and enjoy their ride with girls (like putting aside their pride for once), I love riding with them way more than with other women.
  • + 6
 This is my experience with female riders. They flat out rock. Not only are they pushing the boundaries, but I've felt that riding with them pushes me too, which I like. Our group used to ride with this chick that was a straight ripper. We took a bobcat to her land one day, and built some pretty big doubles...things we had to stop and think about hitting at the time. This female rider forgot her bike shoes. She asked who had the smallest feet in our group. Size 11 mens. She borrowed the shoes (which she was swimming in obviously) and sent all the doubles before anyone else. It was inspiring to say the least. The wives/ gf's of our group now are getting into DH. I am so impressed the way they have taken to the sport and thrown themselves in. Wrecking, tumbling, hauling a$$ and bleeding yet at the end of the day they smile with the same Sh!t eating grin that everyone else has on their face. Then everyone gets to BS over a (few) tallboy(s). Nothing much better than being able to share a day like that with all your friends.
  • + 1
 Where I live, most parents do not encourage the same gender-biased activities for their kids as parents used to, say, 20 years ago. Girls are often encouraged to participate in so-called "boys" activities these days. On my trails (XC anyway), there is a pretty even mix of men and women. DH is still a bit male dominated though. What I think is important is to let our children do what they want to do. There's nothing wrong with introducing your son or daughter into mountain biking, but if they're not really interested in it, that's ok too. I love mountain biking, and I hope that when my son gets a bit bigger we can enjoy riding together. But if he prefers figure skating, then I guess I'll be spending more time at the arena instead Smile
  • + 1
 We recently started a family xc bike club in our area. We have a lot of young girls, which is great! I feel a little bad for the boys as they are greatly outnumbered. For myself, a woman xc rider/racer, I learned a lot more from riding with other women. Perhaps because we speak the same language. Now that I'm confident with my skills, I don't care who I ride with as long as I get to ride! I am not a big fan of the phrase "getting chicked." I think that encourages a male vs. female atmosphere. So what if you can keep up with or pass the guys? For me its all about challenging myself and having fun.
  • + 14
 I'm a girl rider and I'd just like to say that this article makes a lot of sense in my opinion. I have one girl friend that I ride with, and all of our biking friends are guys. We like it better this way. All of our girl friends are really girly, love painting their nails and shopping and stuff and, don't get me wrong, we do that stuff too.. But they're not the type to ride. In my opinion, people obviously grow up differently depending on how they're brought up. Some people just aren't meant for riding. Sure, I could force my friends to come up with me to Whistler for a weekend but I know they wouldn't have half the fun I would. I grew up with a brother and a dad who mountain bike, and so did my girl riding friend, and we both grew up in really active outdoorsey lifestyles and that's just how it is. I'd rather go to a bike shop than spend 3 hours at the mall. I'd rather spend 500 bucks on a seasons pass at Whistler than a closet full of clothes. And as much as it'd be cool if I had more girls to ride with, the ones I'm friends with don't. I'm okay with that. And at the same time, riding with guys and having that one girl to ride with IS a lot more fun. Riding with our whole group of guy friends but having each other just makes it that much more fun.My friends think it's scary that we ride. They always ask how I do it, and wonder why I keep doing it after broken bones and scars, and I just tell them I love it. As scared as they are, they think it's rad that we do and they support us 100%, but they're just not into it, and most girls just aren't. That's all there is to it. So, as much as it'd be awesome if more girls did, if it's not their thing, it's not their thing.
  • + 5
 its been touched on a little bit in the comments, but I think part of the problem is the previous generation of Moms. They grew up as unequal to men. Certainly it is better than in the past and women are breaking through barriers. However, some of those "ideals" are still there. Every generation those ideals fade away. My daughter is very girly. As in she will wear a dress 6 out of 7 days a week. She loves princesses. She loves to have her nails painted (I'm the one who paints them btw). Where did she learn to enjoy those kind of things? Her mom, grandma, my mom, other moms. That's what they grew up playing with and they want to share that with their daughters. Nothing wrong with that.

As a father, i'm doing my part to bring balance. my daughter finished her 3rd year of skiing this year. I wanted her on the snow at an early age so it became something that was part of her life and also as a way for the two of us to spend time together. When she's older, I don't want her to think that its just the boys that ski. Everyone does it. One of the times she fell while skiing and I laughed. Not at her, mind you, with her. I would laugh at any of my friends whenever they crashed. Provided they were not injured. She was actually upset with this. So I explained to her that its ok to crash and fall. and its ok to laugh with your friends about it too. as long as they're not injured. So, later, when she asked me to go off some big jump, i asked her what she'll do if I crash. Her response,"laugh, but not if you're hurt" Gave her knuckles and hit the jump.

Basically, treat her like one of the boys.

btw, in case anyone tries to take this wrong, men are still mostly to blame. Smile

-joel
  • + 1
 @stokedfolife: I totally agree with you. When you guys are forcing those girly girl into the sports, it is usually us (your girl friend that love biking) that ends up riding with them and coaching them. But as in any other activities, if they aren't into it they just never will. Even if you bought them the nicest bike, the nicest gears, if they don't, just leave it like this.

On the other end, I think mechanic guys in bike shop should be more aware of the differences between men and women body to be able to set up a nice bike with nice components for girls. I know that it is not all the girls that need it but for myself, (I'm 5'3 and 105lbs) I totally need a special set up to be comfortable on a bike. I need air suspension for there is no coil soft enough. I need the brake lever to be closer because I have very tiny hand, etc. Those little details will make a difference on long days. And I am no mechanic at all ! But these guys that know what we need are a rare species. And they can make the difference on the girl population in downhill specifically. (XC has its own WSD anyway) I have been looking for a downhill bike since last year. I haven't found the one yet. I have been very disappointed in my shopping experiences for 3 shops have tried to sell me medium size bikes which are way too big for me. At the end, I was even wandering why I wanted a DH bike so badly and almost ended up buying myself a golf kit !!! There is place for improvement, but I am confident that it will change over time...

Another reason why there aren't so many girls out there, well, it is part of the life cycle...women have kids....in the group of age 25-35, you can see a decline in women biker population just because we are kind enough to let you guys play outside and stay home safe with the babies Wink Many of my friends stop biking during their pregnancy, switch to running, and never get back on their bike. Or only once or twice a year.
[Reply]
  • + 51
 all the comments i've read so far, i'm sure, are not helping any women reading this want to get into the sport further... no wonder there's womens specific clubs & clinics...
good article though, some great points were raised...

so, maybe we can all show a little respect towards a picture of a girl with a bike and help make MTB less of a sausage fest...
  • + 13
 I agree... Guys, keep those comments to yourself.. Great article with great pictures Whould love to see more girls on the trails
  • + 12
 I would like to see any girls on the trails.
  • + 3
 Fully agree!!! haha
  • + 1
 OK... do you guys honestly believe that immature comments like, "man she's a hawty!!!" is an issue preventing women from getting into our sport? Last time I checked, comments on an INTERNET WEBSITE that a lot of bikers don't know exists or have never visited has very little impact on what women, or men for that matter, choose to do. If anything you're portraying women as weak-minded, emotional blobs who think the internet is life, and that's pathetic. Yeah comments like those are dumb and not needed because if a girl is good looking you keep that to yourself but do you honestly believe it's so damaging that girls are willing to never pick up a bike again if it does happen?

If you guys care about bringing more women into the sport then focus on the real world and introduce lady friends into riding (oh look I just summarized the whole article above in one sentence!). That's how you get more women into this sport is by actually bringing them riding, not by bitching at 13 year old kids who write stupid crap on a website.

I've also noticed it's always guys who bring up your point. I'd love to see what a women says about this because so far all the women I've met (in real life omg) who are a part of online communities for mtbing/freeskiing don't give a shit about what's said online... and really why should they?

I guess the point I'm trying to make is that comments on an online site is a non-issue and if you think it is, then maybe you should go outside for a while.
  • + 2
 if you'd love to see what a woman would say about my comment look at the comment above yours where it says "Fully agree!!"...

when this article was posted there were a slew of much more lewd comments that were deleted, that's what I and others were referring to...

i was only suggesting people show some respect, not b*tching at 13 year old's, i also said those comments (such as "she needs to sit on my face" and "i'd still take her even with the red hair" those were one of the deleted ones) were not helping women who were reading this, want to get further into the sport, nothing about "never willing to pick up a bike again", if nothing else it is not heightening their opinion of guys who ride...

as for real life, i'm married to a girl that rides...
  • - 2
 ^ Again I believe it's a non-issue because rude comments have been around as long as the internet has been and I know that YOU know this but for every post that says something rude or derogatory towards women to get a raise out of people, there are multiple guys to step in and represent the online biking community properly. A woman saying "Fully agree!!!" to a simple comment that all decent people already agree with, isn't exactly the in depth, womanly insight I was looking for pertaining to how much impact comments on a website have on how much women like to ride...
  • + 11
 haha just because we don't like having derogatory remarks said about us under our pics, doesn't make us emotional blobs. it means we want to be taken seriously, not for our looks, but for our riding.
  • + 3
 ^^ very well put rhiannon
  • + 1
 A lot of the comments in MY OPINION may stop if we stop using the professional females in Model shots?if you look look at the first picture she is more concerned looking at the camera then anything else . The Fourth picture is a prime example of a "model" shot. over the last decade of riding i have seen many examples of pictures like the fourth one with featuring many of the top female riders in the biking community. If ppl do not want to receiving sexual explited comments about them selves , one needs to not put them selves in situations were any one has the oppurtinity to be open to those comments. where does personal responsibility come into these situations?
  • + 3
 You gotta admit though, a good looking girl on a good looking bike that can bomb the slopes is a fantasic sight!!
  • + 4
 And to further touch on that subject if there were more woman in mountain biking chances are there would be just as many woman making those comments under male pictures. It strictly is not guys in this world who would do it . Look at all the other sports out there that haave the male athletes pose specifically for woman . When ryan kessller of the Canucks did i heard all the same sort of comments comming out from alot of woman in public places to
  • + 1
 it is a nice sight but claiming its mens comment keeping girls out and girls saying the hate those comments under the photos those is ridiculous when they put themselves in that situation
  • + 2
 ^^ +1 !

My little sister also rides and frequents some "ladies only" internet forums ( all kinds of sports not just MTB ), i was surprised at all the stuff the ladies come up when psting/watching dudes pics on there. Most dudes would blush reading what those ladies write Wink
[Reply]
  • + 40
 I love bikes. My bf got me into them some time last year and since then all my money goes on new components, magazines and anything bike related really. BUT I have two points. Firstly i would MUCH rather ride with guys, well my bf, but guys more than girls! You learn quicker, and you ride a lot harder!! But my main point here....how can you expect to get girls into riding when every time a picture of a girl is posted on here, the majority of the PB male population turn into school children all over again. I'm not one of those power to women kinda people but seriously, put it away and grow up!! It's just so lame that everyone goes crazy...OVER A PICTURE!! Seriously. It just has to be a girl standing next to a bike for everyone to get a bit crazy....and you wonder why girls get put off??? Really????
  • + 6
 i love you haha! i totally agree. i've rode with my dad and his friends all my life and i find that you push yourself to keep up with them and do the things they're doing.. i don't mean for this to sound bad but with girls they all just ride the easy stuff and you find you don't get anywhere, which really sucks cause it would be good for to ride with girls and find yourself getting faster and more confident after each ride. yeah, this is supposed to be a bike site, but i recently uploaded a picture of me standing beside my bike and the pic got more faves than a picture of my bike by itself....??? what?????...
  • + 3
 I am floored to see girls rocking a sweet rig because I hope that is what my little girls will be doing some day. But I know that isn't the only reason people fave those pics. And I do get frustrated at how many pics of women in high heels (and little else) sitting on someone else's bike get faved. That is what i hope my girls are not doing some day.
  • + 5
 As mrs fun socks doctor/boyfreind/riding partner Id encourage more women to ride. It's good for you, it's fun, yes it does hurt and it can be expensive, but it's totally worth it just for the grin at the bottom of the hill. Ride on people
  • + 4
 I know my gf was freaked out and surprised at the response she got when she got a pinkbike account. Countless friend requests from total strangers on the other side of the globe and the like just because she's a girl with a decent bike. She also can't stand the worship of the model shots etc of women near bikes that seem so popular here and for that isn't all that interested in pinkbike or many mens take on women in mountain biking. Luckily even with all that she shreds and still enjoys it, but finds it a very dude centric sport.
  • + 4
 YAyayaya! Fun to do a run or two with the ladies but I push way harder with les boys and improve faster (sometimes break myself more but I'm getting out of the injury phase....) Biking is the bomb. Our dh scene around here has like 10 girls which is pretty significant but I'm usually the only girl at the dirt jumps.... I think girls are just intimidated and afraid of looking stupid (everyone looks stupid on a bike sometimes.... fact) and I've gotten sooooo many dumb, useless comments about "I'm curious to see what a *girl* can ride here" and "Come on, even the *girl's* doing it!" by guys who never even pick up a shovel at a place I've been digging and riding at for years! pfffffffffft for shame.... ((But most dudes are really encouraging I'm just talking about a select few.))

To reach more women pinkbike's not really the best source. The ones of us on here are already into the sport and quite accustomed to the bonehead replies any women's articles on pinkbike receive! I liked this article though did not wholly agree with everything in it.

I keep joking about Specialized designing the Femo-8 women's specific dh bike... mostly I'd just want it to be really light and pink. I feel like smoking guys on a hot pink bike would just be too fun.
  • + 8
 To be fair, i think there really are a good amount of "school children" on pinkbike.
  • + 0
 IT is not just males who would make those comments about pics. thier would be just as many woman making comments . if their were the same amount of woman on this site . the remarks are not gender baised . there are just more males in the community so more males like that stand out
  • + 1
 So if I am still a "school child" at an all boys high school, am I allowed to get a little crazy? Because I can't really help it... Blank Stare
  • + 1
 What happens at little boys school is no business of mine... but yeah, get crazy. There's a time for everything though.
[Reply]
  • + 40
 This comments section will be evidence of why there are no girls in mountain biking.
  • + 5
 Not really. If a girl is on Pinkbike reading these comments; she probably shreds hard already.
[Reply]
  • + 36
 Well written, I agree and think you shouldn't be sandblasted... then again i am not a girl.
  • + 18
 I'm sorry... You think that's well written? I personally thought that was arguably the biggest load of shite I have ever read. Surely we must be beyond the point where we make any sweeping generalisations based on gender? The balance of particiaption in Surfing is similar to riding- and I've surfed for 18 years and tavelled extensively. Ok, so it may be slightly higher in places like Hawaii but worldwide there really isn't much in it at all.

Using photos of attractive women and using surfing to argue your point has massively devalued your argument. I read this article as..'Yeah we need chicks at the trails- we love hot girls....' when it should have read... 'MTB is awesome and we should do what we can to make the sport accessible to everyone'. It should be about the amount of enjoyment the girls could get, not about the enjoyment us 'dudes' would get by having them there.
  • + 5
 Ah crap I accidentally propped this comment Frown
  • + 3
 gavlaa - where i live, or at least in the university environment here in bangor, the surf club has almost an equal amount of guys to girls. The mountain bike club on the other hand, we have three, to about 20 guys. To be fair, last year we had one girl, and this year we have three with one on the committee, so things are improving! However I agree with the article, there needs to be more girls in the sport to really push it forward and let it reach the masses. Though all the girls I know that ride are happy to ride with blokes, but that could be a culture difference between here and the US? I don't really know.
  • + 17
 Awful article. No substance. Sweeping generalisations. Surfing analogy said it all. Picture selections fill in the gaps. You ruined it before you even posted it by merely being a male. You can not and will not ever truly understand their plight from your own perspective. Pinkbike if you're serious about the fair representation of women in the sport - you need a woman who understands it just as well to write your articles.
  • + 2
 gavlaa has it right. so does miff.
  • + 1
 I don't see any of you trying to write an article, so you're on no grounds to bash him. Unless you're a girl, then go ahead. He tried some thing that none of us would have, so just shush.
  • + 2
 @sam264 - a Uni surf club is not a fair representation of anything- most of the people will be there to look like a surfer or sit on the beach. In the water in winter you won't see many ladies.

@rippin-norco - You're right in that he tried something I wouldn't.... I'm not that stupid. I honestly think you cannot make any generalisations these days. Are all men the same? Hell no! I think the focus should move away from getting more girls involved and move towards trying to get ANYONE involved. Gender, race, weight, age etc are all just ways in which people are pigeon holed incorrectly. I want to ride with other people who love it like I do- that's all I care about.
  • + 2
 sam- comparing two different sports that are at different levels in terms of popularity doesn't make sense (this also goes for the guy who wrote that awful but good-spirited, story above). Any sport that is young, especially freeriding, there's always going to be a minority of women participating but that doesn't mean there's something wrong with the culture of the sport...

Now that I think about it, this whole thing is pretty damned stupid.
  • + 0
 gavlaa - you would be surprised, there's a fair amount of ladies that surf in the winter from what i can gather. More men, but as a percentage, they have more female surfers.

scott - the surf club has more members, but not by a huge margin. We have 20 or so, they probably have around 30? I think it's a fair comparison to make.
  • + 1
 ^ Comparing two completely different sports, especially two CLUBS for two different sports, is the farthest thing from fair.... To be honest, and this isn't personal, but that's a flat out stupid thing to do. To say the comparison is fair is to say that both sports have been around as long as each other, at the same level of popularity and that both sports have the same costs and benefits, intrinsically and extrinsically. If you think mtbing and surfing are that similar then you have a serious misunderstanding of one of the two sports. Hell why not compare skateboarding to rock climbing next?
  • + 2
 clearly the sports aren't similar in any way, however in our university, they both have a similar demographic (there are some people that are members of both clubs), and are similarly visible clubs. Even outside of the clubs, I know of more girls that surf than I do mountain bike, and there's a relatively similar number of student surfers/mtbers at the university.
I'm merely making an observation. Obviously it's not enough to come to some sort of hard conclusion from, but the surf club seems to attract more women. S'all I'm saying.
  • + 0
 But did you ever think that maybe more women are drawn to surfing because it's cheaper, on a nice beach, relaxing ambiance, prefer tanning/swimming than sweating/getting muddy, from a place where surfing is more popular, etc?

There's countless reasons why you cannot compare two different sports and that's really all I'm saying. There's no huge mystery or issue as to why there aren't more women bikers out there... I don't see why this dude Mitchell brought it upon himself to try to make an issue out of it anyways, haha.
  • + 1
 well that's pretty much my point ^^
though that's a bit of a stereotypical view to take, plenty of girls don't mind getting muddy. I know a good few guys that would be more at home topping up their tan on a beach as opposed to getting muddy on a bike though...
  • + 2
 gavla I have to say I kind of agree. The article came across like a bunch of dudes who want girls to ride so we can ask them out on dates. You may be a bit harsh with your comment, because I do not feel the article was poorly intended. But you are right, we should just focus on making the sport more accessable to more people including females, for their sake, not for dude's sake.
  • + 0
 sam, those were just examples as to why women MAY be more drawn to surfing than mtbing and you're clearly not understanding, or not paying attention to, my point...
  • + 1
 that or you're not understanding/paying attention to my point. Of course it's worth drawing comparison to other sports/clubs, so we can actually understand why those particular sports have more females involved. And not just because we all want something to ogle at while we ride. More women would benefit the sport as a whole massively.
  • + 2
 Can anyone tell me how to make that face palm guy? It'd be perfect right now...
  • + 3
 ditto, i still don't see what your point is. more of a non-point if anything.
[Reply]
  • + 24
 I ride all the time with my girl friend. We have grown in the sport together, admittedly fuelled by my passion, but I would say she's not that far behind me now in excitement and love for all things mtb. I think girls riding together is a pretty awesome thing really. Unfortnatly the reality is that particularly for DH girls are often slower than guys, and the nature of long tracks means they either get left behind (even if only to the bottom of a run), or the guy holds back to stay at her pace. In the above mentioned sports like surfing, there is room for the male natural athletisism, without it separating them from females. Also I really can't dismiss that for many many girls, the combination of mud, pain, injurys, scars and being scared shitless is all a bit much for them to get used to, it really takes some persevering to build early skill and fitness in this sport, for men this is mostly overcome by natural aggressive and competitive tendencies. I hope ive not sounded too sexist, I would love to see more girls riding and enjoying the sport.
  • - 23
 no homo
  • + 3
 good point Jamesb15uk. The raging testosterone that pushes us to new heights probably does have a lot to do with the gap. It also has a lot to do with us being stupid like mikeonetray13. Interesting thing is that women have a naturally lower center of gravity than men that should make them better equipped some aspects of the sport. As the women's side grows they might even begin to leave the men behind.
  • + 3
 Possibly true, but you only have to look at how much faster some strength training can make you to realise why men are so much faster in DH. Its a strength game when it comes to speed, and men win all day long there..
[Reply]
  • + 20
 Why no Y? Maybe because this article is a perfect example of how a male-dominated industry treats women. What did you put up as photos; Tracey Moseley, the UK world cup downhill racer? No. Any of the world's top xc racers, of whom many if not most are faster and fitter than every single poster on here? Nope.

What did you post? A girl with a huge rack and a full-face, and a girl with a lip ring and a piss-pot looking sultry.

One photo amongst twelve showed a woman doing something that might wouldn't even get fave'd if it were a guy doing it.

And you wonder why no Y.
  • + 15
 Hrm, most of the photos are showing a woman doing something that a mountain biker does on any given day. The majority of riders aren't competitors. And yea, sure, there is that one with the lip ring, but in the photo above that, she is acutally doing something! Not just some model plucked from the classifieds. So what if she looks good and whoops ass on a bike?
  • + 27
 hmmm... the 'girl with a lip ring' happens to be a Norco team rider... and, yes, she probably could ride circles around most of the posters here.
  • - 10
 She's not "doing something", she's sitting on a lift looking hot. Let me ask you; how many of the frontpage articles are about men doing stuff that your average rider does? Barely any. Huge hucks, downhill races, european enduro adventures, epic alpine adventures; you name it - we want to see awesome things happening. And that's fine, that's cool. But the author decided however to choose hot girls riding bikes in an average manner and standing around looking sultry rather than normal girls riding bikes in a nuts manner and ripping downhill courses. I'm sure she's a norco team rider, just like the "Trek Gravity Breasts... I mean Girls".

They aren't sponsored to sell bikes to women, they're sponsored to sell sex via a posh bike to men.

Now don't get me wrong, I get as hot under the collar from a fit cycling chick as much as anyone. I got my girlfriend into xc mountain biking, and she looks f*cking hot in lycra. I'm sure any girl who cycles downhill might get hot under the collar at the idea of Aaron Gwin (though probably not Danny Hart, no matter how bad-ass he is), but I don't think this article is defensible.
  • + 21
 "A girl with a huge rack and a full-face".

Huge rack? Dude, THAT is not a huge rack.
  • + 6
 Look again, Angie's not sitting on a lift, she's dropping off a boxcar on Train Wreck. Women like Angie Hohenwarter and Darcy Turenne are sponsored to inspire other women to ride hard and push their own limits. You've clearly made the point that you are not the demographic being targeted. Congrats to you... hooray!
  • + 26
 She's sitting on a lift and has boobs... that doesn't mean she was singled out for having a 'huge rack', which she actually doesn't... it's just a shot of a rider riding the lift, had it been a dude, you wouldn't have had shit to say. The other girl was just looking at the camera... just because you find her attractive doesn't mean she was "looking sultry"... The only thing those two photos made me think were; 1. If I tried to sit indian style on the lift I would probably fall off... & 2. Is that the same helmet she was wearing in the bus drop shot? I can honestly say "huge rack" and "sultry" never crossed my mind.

The way you managed to sexualize both of those photos and see them as anything other than mountain bikers doing shit that mountain bikers do is exactly the problem... those weren't "model" shots by any measure and I've seen dozens, if not hundreds, of shots of dudes in exactly the same type of positions. There's a dozen pictures in this article and not one of them is hyper-sexualized in any way. The issue isn't this article... it's jackasses like you who get so twitterpated at the sight of a woman that YOU make everything about sex. Seriously, grow up...
  • - 18
 Of course I'm exaggerating for effect; I'm making a f*cking parody of the article. Seriously, keep up.

They are doing shit that mountain bikers do. If it were a guy doing that, he would not have got front page time.

So why didn't they use a single championship winning female rider.
  • + 8
 Yeah TBF, continuity, you've kinda shown yourself to be part of the problem.

You say that this article and its photographic representation of women is the problem, but then you spend the next few paragraphs objectifying women.

"a girl with a huge rack"? Nice language there. Good to see you're focusing on the riding / quality of photo.

"She's not "doing something", she's sitting on a lift looking hot." And again, looking hot is a subjective thing. Take what you consider to be beauty out and you've got someone sitting in a lift, in a great photo, conveying mood, and a feeling of scale-of-landscape 'etc.

I've seen plenty of pictures of Gee, Gwin and the like sat on chairlifts in beautiful photography, but because she's a women and you find her attractive you've decided thats not ok?

Just because YOU find a girl attractive, you've decided that is not the best / or most 'equal-rights' way to show women in mountain biking!?

Are you saying that attractive women in casual poses is not an appropriate representation of women in mountain biking?
  • + 1
 Is one of the pictures not emily batty? i'm sure she was pretty close to being world champ recently. I might be mistaken but if i'm correct it rather upsets your 'So why didn't they use a single championship winning female rider.' comment. You probably wouldn't have recognized ACC if she was in those pictures anyway
  • - 2
 Fair call; I will backpedal on my first post. I scan read it expecting something and reacted more to my expectation than the actual article. I still think some of the ways the bike industry use women to sell sex and bikes is insidious, but it was my bad calling it in this article.
  • + 2
 So all you guys (except continuity who admitted it) are denying that you didn't see the girl on the lift or the "sultry" one and think "dayaaam she's hot... annnnnd she rides a bike!". C'mon, it happens, and you know it. Find me a photo of a male rider that would be the equivalent of the "sultry" one. I think it'll be difficult to do. Sorry, but I really did think that one was unnecessary, regardless of who she is, who she rides for or whatever.. Her action shots are what we want to see, so that other women go "ah man, check her out, she's ripping but she still looks feminine.. cool, I can do that too",
  • + 9
 I'm assuming that "Why no Y?" is referring to the Y chromosome, which is only present males, so the title couldn't be more incorrect, just thought I'd say.
  • + 2
 If she's not meant to look "sultry", why is she airbrushed/soft focused to f*ck, and every comment on the image is about how hot she is and how much the guys want to f*ck her?
  • + 1
 I'll admit it. But I will also admit that I believe more women should be riding as well. And not just for us men to look at. While I like hanging out with the guys, I also enjoy the company of women.
  • + 7
 Nope... guys are never the subject of photos like those... Rolleyes

www.pinkbike.com/photo/6836760

www.pinkbike.com/photo/6148667
  • + 5
 Exactly Leroy! If a guy is just standing around in a shot (and not riding), it is "lifestyle." But if a girl is standing around then she is clearly "being hot."
  • + 1
 Shouldn't he be in a tank top with no pads in picture one and photoshoped and soft focused to hell in shot two then!?
  • + 1
 Except the picture of Gee wasn't used in an article preaching gender equality in the sport, its all about context!
  • + 0
 So what you're saying is you take issue with what the woman in the photo chooses to ride in? Maybe this is more up your alley...

brimages.bikeboardmedia.netdna-cdn.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/11/cosmo-gee-atherton-nude-dec2009-3.jpg



...and if you think that photo of Gee isn't touched up to some degree, you just don't know photography.
  • + 2
 That girl looks like a girl! So sexist
  • + 1
 yeaaahhh in none of those photos of Gee does he look remotely "sultry". That was the point I was making. Yeah there's some hot guys out there and we get to see photos of them, but they aren't looking all sultry at the camera. Just stick to the rad action shots and non-sultry portraits and it's all good.
  • + 1
 Rolleyes I think you need to look up the definition of 'sultry' if you seriously think that girl was trying to look 'sultry'... She's a beautiful woman looking directly at the camera, period. Anything beyond that you're adding from your own perspective, it's not coming from the photographer or the subject. Gee is doing the same thing... except in one of them he's butt ass naked so it's way more sexualized than any photo in this article but, since he's a dude, that's perfectly acceptable to you. Stop hating cause she's hotter than you...
  • + 1
 haha mate, it wasn't me who first started calling it "sultry", so I needn't look up the definition.. I just borrowed it from whoever used it first, hence the use of inverted commas. To repeat: "Just stick to the rad action shots and non-sultry portraits and it's all good". As for Gee, well any nude photo of a guy you've known since he was 14/15 is pretty cringeworthy, and that one is no exception... not something I wanted to see.
  • + 0
 Whether or not you first used it, you're refering to it as sultry... which it isn't. So, the point is, they are sticking to action shots and non-sultry photos...
  • + 1
 "Sat on a lift, looking hot", she's wearing a full face lid and goggles. She could have a face like a bag of spanners, she could be crying at the thought of riding down that mountain or more likely she could just be sat there enjoying the view, thinking about her route down or just thinking about what she's gonna watch on TV later. She looks like a lady who rides a bike, she's at Whistler, so can probably shred like the best too.
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  • + 15
 "This is a dude sport. Companies are run by dudes. The big pro athlete contracts are signed by dudes. Bikes are primarily designed and built for dudes. Pretty much all of mountain biking’s imagery and marketing is dude-centric. It’s basically a dude-o-sphere populated by massive dudeness that can only, by virtue of its almighty dude, continue down the one-way road to dude-town." - made my day Big Grin

well written and funny to read.
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  • + 14
 I work for Troy Lee Designs, I support more women in MTB than the brand has ever had and I am proud of this stat. My wife is a former world champion and our daughter who is 7 loves to ride her bike. It does suck that I get shit from friends and other industry buddies for being a proponent of women athletes, this mentality will change someday-I hope. Maybe it is easy for me to back women in the sport because I have been with my wife for 20 years and she has been a racer/industry person the entire time, I have seen her struggles, etc...Fact is, most guys are douches towards women, if they suck at riding, guys become super haters, with no encouragement. I am headed to a women's only event this weekend in irvine lake, I will show some product there, my daughter will be around empowering women who ride bikes, my wife is coaching there, it will be a killer weekend. Things must change.
Nice article PB.
  • + 7
 Keep doing what you are doing, Stik. More women will get on bikes as the industry does more to support them.
  • + 5
 spot on Stik, the attitude is retarded...it's like a yahoo sauagefest "escape from reality" / leave the "little lady" at home attitude...might change in about 20 years but keep at it
  • + 2
 it sucks that people in the industry are not proponents of women athletes. i would assume that anyone in the industry is a proponent of athletes in general.
  • + 5
 If there is a so called 'backroom' of the industry, its quite depressing to see how much shit I get for picking up some 'fast new chick'...but again, I come from a day when the girls made GOOD money, ive seen it first hand, ive been around when the high paid women of the sport were valuable to a brand, we used those women as tools to sell more product and get exposure for a brand. I think the last 10 years has breeded a culture with the pro racer guy that just has to not respect women racers or riders, this must change.
  • + 4
 I started "downhilling" in the late 90's, inspired by the female riders show in movies and bike magazines at my friends houses....if it wasn't for Marla Streb, Leigh Donavan, Missy, Tara Llanes, Cherry Elliot and many many more I'm pretty sure I'd still be hard-tailing it on the bike path....they inspired me to race sea-otter and try my first double....

There still is amazing world class female riders today, but they do not get the same press as the "old" brigade got- I read decline, bike, MB UK and soooo many more and the coverage of women's biking is a almost null....very different from the late 90's-early 20's where you would see women on the cover of major bike mag's....

In short thanks to all the Women racers out there for inspiring me...today I live in Whistler, and every wednesday it makes me smile when I see a bunch of women line up Women's Wednesday...great program that many more trail centers should adapt!!!
  • - 5
 "my daughter will be around empowering women who ride bikes"

Jesus, Glaspell. That's such supreme bullshit and arrogance both! Your daughter's choices don't "empower women." They might empower HER but they don't extrapolate outward.

Stick to wrenching. Social commentary and theory isn't your bag, bucko. And your daughter may be a wonderful young person (she probably is), but she's not turning into Susan B Anthony or Rosa Luxembourg simply by riding a bicycle.
  • + 5
 CFO; my daughter will be around empowering women, I know a few dozen of them in this club and proud to have my kid be around them. Business owners, cancer survivors, incredible mothers, incredible athletes, a project leader for a major software company, a global director of a beverage company and the list goes on of women who ride bikes in this community. I never said my daughters choices will empower her you f*cking nitwit...I also am not looking for her to become the next Susan B Anthony or Rosa Luxembourg. P.S. I have not worked for a race team in a decade and stopped wrenching 5 years before that.

Signed, Jesus Glaspell
  • - 4
 I quoted what you typed, Glaspell. You're a corny one. Your wife was an awesome racer. Your daughter might just become one too -- but her decision to ride a bike empowers nobody but herself. Nobody else. I hope you're not as arrogant in person as you are on pinkbike and ridemonkey.
  • + 4
 I have missed your point, but I have never claimed to be intelligent.

Perhaps I do not know what empowerment means? but I assume bringing my 7 year old daughter to an event with a group of women that have done great things in their lives, in their community and to others, will give my daughter even more tools in enriching her life as a woman, than what she is given in her own home and in our family.

I don't think I am arrogant, I just don't know how to write well often times...and you clearly are a much better author, in addition to already having some bone to pick with me, so continue to hate-I can appreciate. Cheers
  • - 2
 It's not "hate," Glaspell. Not in the "I'm a hip MTB insider using 2012 slang" form of "hate" and not literally hate either.

I'm telling you how your crazy self-promotion comes across here, and on ridemonkey. I mean seriously: your little daughter "empowers women" by riding a bike? How exactly does that work?

And why does my offering critical analysis of your self-promotion equate to "hate"? Hell, I don't even know you, so how can I hate you as a person?

I'm criticizing posts. There's no "hate" or hate involved. It's just logic and reasoning, pal. Nothing more.

I'd also remind you that you have built a Public Persona that you milk on the internet, and because that's what you do, you aren't really entitled to act as though people are "hating on" or literally hating you. Go read some 1st Amendment cases about public figures and defamation.
  • + 4
 Actually CFO, seeing other women ride bikes (and well) does empower other women. You may not see it that way, but we do, so which perspective is more important, eh? If seeing other women succeed at something doesn't empower the rest of us, then what does exactly? In a previous career, I was a scientist, and I was inspired and empowered by meeting and working with other female scientists out there--how does that not apply to sports like biking?
  • + 1
 Not everyone shares the same concerns, that's just the way it is. People will be more supportive if the one soliciting support isn't terribly whiny. I know girls who ride, and their fast, but that doesn't make every females desire to be accepted my problem. Same as supporting product, lots of good helmets but I prefer KALI for performance and especially price. Who really pays anywhere near $500 for a full face helmet.
  • - 2
 courtneywylie,

I wonder why you need to see someone else do a thing before you feel you can do it. Why do you need external validation? Why can't you just pursue what you want?

Every successful person I've known hasn't cared what others thought. He or she just wanted something, and went after it -- to hell with others.

Perspectives like yours, Mitchell Scotts, and Glaspells -- they just relegate women to inferiors who need "lifting up" or "role models to emulate." Nobody needs those things. What people need is to free themselves from the idea that nothing matters if someone else isn't doing it first.

I can't believe the amount of cliche, bullcrap and non-thinking that people allow to guide their lives. I'd say that's the bigger obstacle -- not following your true self, but instead following the herd.

As to empowerment by watching another: what power did you lack before watching someone else gave you that power? Describe the power for me. Please.
  • + 4
 CFO, I don't need to see someone else do something before I do it. I never said that, you put those words in my mouth. What I did say was that it was empowering to see other women succeeding at something. I enjoy and feel lifted up by seeing other people (especially women) do the same things I love to do, especially if those things tend to be more prominently male-dominated (mountain biking, science).

You'll notice I didn't make any personal comments/attacks about you--since you like to deal in facts so much, I just stuck to the facts. You, on the other hand, turned to personal insults, insinuating that I'm just some dull follower. What you don't know is that I spent the past 5 years teaching other women to ride with the Dirt Series mountain bike camps--so to claim that I'm just following is pretty ironic. It's also ignorant of how a lot of women like to learn some more physically dangerous activities like mountain biking--they do prefer to see someone else do it first, to understand how the skill is broken down, to know how to safely do it. So your claim that seeing someone else do something first makes people just part of a herd ignores a significant amount of real-world experience, not to mention scientific learning theory. You see, there's these cells in your brain called "mirror neurons" that actually fire when you see someone else do something, in exactly the same way they'd fire if you were doing that activity yourself. So seeing someone else do something can be a *powerful* way for people to learn. I can send you some research articles if you'd like to find out more.
  • + 1
 Man, haters gonna hate. CFO, go ride your bike and quit telling women what they should do and think. Courtney shreds because she loves to ride bikes, I've seen it! Stikman... thanks for the support! It makes me super happy to read that you are doing good things for women in this sport and that you support the women in your life. Keep it up!
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  • + 13
 I'm female and I've been a mountain biker for quite a few years. There are lots more women riding now - so much so that we no longer get ignored when we go into mountain bike shops (although some male members of staff still struggle to look you in the eye).
A few thoughts: As a woman, no matter how fit and experienced you are, if you are riding with men who are equally as fit and experienced you will be at the back most of the time, playing catch up. That's why its good to ride with other women. We all want to get to top of the hill/bottom of the trail first sometimes!
Also, when it comes to technical riding, I think women tend to like to know what they are doing and don't take uncalculated risks like men will - but that doesn't mean we're scared off. A lot of the women I know who mtbike also ride horses. Now that's a dangerous sport!
PS Most of my mtbiking friends are over 40 years of age. Are we represented in the mtbiking media? Need you ask?
  • + 1
 Thank you NellyMTB-well said.

as a instructor for some years now, i can attest to many of your observations directly through experiencing teaching women's only camps.

Like you, my biology and physiology unfortunately does dictate my physical capabilities which frustrates me considerable at times but also means, like many women and smaller physiqued dudes, I learn to finesse a trail. But like you, i don't always want to ride last when i ride with the men. Fortunately that's becoming less of a problem as my skills increase Smile

I just dont know why we all can't respect the differences and appreciate the similarities. Ultimately, does it even matter if we all just love to ride bikes?
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  • + 12
 Getting girls into riding at a young age is certainly one way to cultivate more women in the sport. That's only part of the equation. The other part is converting older girls and women into riders, and this is where the enormous challenge lies for those of us in the industry. As an industry woman, it's hugely frustrating for me to hear the types of things that women tell me are limiting them from enjoying our sport. What we know from experience is that the best way to encourage women to ride is to help them gain confidence on the bike. This is why you see so many 'women's skills clinics' scattered all over the world, and indeed why we started sponsoring Candace Shadley's Dirt Series. The amount of success we've had at getting more women to become mountain bikers is massive. It's hugely gratifying to watch someone tackle something that they were previously not confident enough to try. This is usually best achieved in an all-women environment, not because men aren't capable of being encouraging, but because there is generally less pressure when it's just a bunch of chicks (obviously, this is a general statement, but one based on experience, both as a rider, and as a coach). For you guys, the best thing you can do to encourage the women in your lives to start riding, is to find them a skill clinic to attend. Even if they already ride some, get them into one. They will come back as addicted to the sport as you are.
  • + 1
 Amen. My mum wasn't too fussed on the mountain bike thing. My dad got her into a skills clinic, they set up her bike and taught her how to ride, and she came back buzzing. Was cool to see
  • + 1
 I found one of the best things you can do is to make sure your lady friend gets a decent bike. Buying some POS because she thinks she may not use it is a GUARANTEE that she won't. Buy a decent bike that rides well and she will love to ride it. And a saddle designed for women is crucial.
  • + 1
 Both of these are true. One thing we've also learned over the years is that women will typically buy themselves less of a bike because they don't think they 'deserve' something nicer. Getting a women's specific saddle is important, but it's not a simple matter of buying one that says it's for women. Getting sized up for a saddle, and getting one that is the right width, is really the way to do it right.
  • + 3
 I was introduced to mountain biking at age 48. I started downhilling 2 years ago. Today I am able to ride some advanced level runs (and I am practicing to learn more so I can perhaps race in the near future) . I attribute my willingness to learn to my personal determination and having an excellent mentor (my husband) I don't see many women my age on the trails or learning to dh at 53. But I am inspired to watch and learn from great riders, men and women . What do I do to personally encourage more "girls" into the sport? I encourage and speak very positively about this sport whenever I can. Otherwise we will lose our trails if we don't have equal representation and we turn away new riders beacuse mtn biking and dh is not accessible to women..
  • + 1
 I agree with TrekUK. For girls "getting one that is the right width," is very very important.....
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  • + 13
 "Why no Y"

Male = XY
FEMALE =XX
en.wikipedia.org/wiki/XY_sex-determination_system

Perhaps ignorance is the real issue?
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  • + 9
 Me and my brother followed a woman down porcupine in Moab and she was raaaapid. I had to pick lines I usually avoided just because she did them. She boosted off a massive rock face and I had to do it because she did. I was just hanging with her and thinking "holy crap this chick is a mean". She asked me if I wanted to go round and I said with burning lungs and some fear " nah, you're doing just fine."
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  • + 8
 Even though a dude wrote about women riders, I think he did himself proud. I especially loved the over use of dude, kudos to you. I am a girl(shock horror) I don't know why more women don't mountain bike, I can't even begin to guess. I haven't been doing it long, before January this year I hadn't even been on a bike since around 2005. I am now for months into it, DH that is and I love it. This weekend I will be doing my first ever race, I know i'll be pretty slow, but I'm still learning. As long as you let some of that testosterone blow out and give the girls a chance, wait for her on the trail, let her ask you a question or to, and take a look at her bike setup to make sure she isn't thrown off the second she gets to some roots, then maybe you may see more of us around. As cliche as it is, I got into the sport for my boyfriend, before a few months ago I didn't know the difference between HT and FS, I had no idea what anything meant. I started late which sucks, I was 22 when I got my first 'big girl' bike and I haven't looked back since..
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  • + 7
 Girls can multi task so much better! ... Shift down and drop down the reverb,,,all in the hand action lol

Great article, and yeah the girl with the lip ring is pretty darn hot, I want one Smile
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  • + 6
 "Thirdly, because girls don’t play an equal role in our sport, it’s my belief that we’ve created a girl backlash of sorts. And I get it."

Don't shoot the messenger, he's trying to get it and kudos to him for putting himself out there! I know I myself go ballistic when I see local sites advertise things like a "BroCard" to get discounts on mtb gear. A BroCard?? Seriously?! This tells me that women aren't exactly high on their list. And try looking for women's results on some of the mtb websites and you still have to dig deep, if you find it at all.

Want more women in the sport? Then write articles about us, feature us in promotional materials, let us know you take us seriously.
  • + 3
 That's not gonna happen here I'm afraid. The very fact that PinkBike is the platform that can showcase articles about women, but doesn't, and then hosts an article asking why aren't there any women in our sport just shows hippocracy. This story is just a regurgitation of previous articles that seem to be recycled every six months or so and backed up with aggressive championing by Mr PC himself, Ian Hylands and his magic air brush.
  • + 2
 True, and you get our frustration. However the more the articles like this are regurgitated, the more awareness is put out there. My last line was pointed to directly at the publications since they seem to like to bring up the debate, but don't do much to actually help change things, as you also stated. Social media is helping change the landscape and more women are being heard. It's an uphill battle but I haven't lost faith that someday it won't be seen as the Bro-Fest Love-In that it is right now.
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  • + 6
 I ride with guys. I don't have any girls to ride with. They're all different ages, all really respectful and helpful and I believe I'm a better rider for it. It's really interesting how many of the guys wish they had a girlfriend who rode. It's easy to assume biking is a guy thing which guys want to have to themselves to get away from us, but that's not true at all.

I also ride a guy's bike, and wear guy's gear which doesn't bother me at all or make me feel any less feminine. When my mind is on riding I'm not the least bit concerned about what anyone thinks of me, and the guys respect me for that. Biking is biking regardless. So to all the girls or women or whatever you want to call yourselves who think that guys don't respect you on the trails - respect is earned. Try being a little less fussy.

EDIT: I just realised I posted this as my boyfriend not realising he hadn't logged out. See? We can all get along. Now I am going to hide the laptop before he finds out. em-j
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  • + 6
 Good article.
My wife and i have been in the industry for a long time and she's working harder than ever on this right now.
Here is an example of what she is doing for women in the sport.
Her first fully self promoted womens event.
www.vitalmtb.com/videos/member/Dixie-Trix-2012-Women-jumping-fatty-ranchstyle,13325/k-shiz,14
  • + 1
 Is Tammy your wife? I met her at the Ray's Women's Weekend years ago in my previous role at Trek. She's great. Glad to see her getting this event off the ground.
  • + 2
 Tammy is such a baller. Girls got mad skillz.
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  • + 10
 and above is why there are no women in mountain biking
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  • + 5
 Im a female rider. And I personally don't find this article offensive or derogatory at all. The comments on the other hand are somewhat disturbing. Like lots of female riders being butch, lesbians or Tom boys? I can guarantee you that out of all the ladies I have rode with, not one was a lesbian. Maybe a little tom boy, but would anyone take you seriously If you had to stop to fix your hair or put on some eyeliner cuz you sweat it all off? No. Probably not. I myself and quite the girly girl, and I take pride In being one. I will wear pink gear, and my bike will be as pristine as the day I bought it(not from lack of riding, but because I take care of it). Some of you boys could definitely benefit from taking a gal riding with you. And for the reason most girls ride with other girls, is because there is no pressure. No pressure to hit that drop if you aren't comfortable, and than the support is there when you just want to send it. Unlike most male counterparts (I'm generalizing a little here), we are chill about riding. When riding, I don't want to feel like I'll get left behind or get ridiculed for not hitting that stunt or this jump like a lot of guys do. I just want to ride, and riding with the ladies is a lot less stressful. So next time your ride with your lady, think about how you talk to her and be supportive of her skills and she will get better! And if you already do that, well good on you pal Smile
  • + 2
 I feel like this is discriminating to lesbians. Also I am butch and a tom boy. And i don't feel under pressure from guys to hit things, usually the opposite because they're terrified I will, and hurt myself and they'll have to deal with it. One time I crashed and destroyed my stays, and the guy i was riding with CRIED because I thought i might have broken my arm.
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  • + 5
 many many woman ride cross country, but naturally not many women are interested in freeride and dh, not cause they are not capable but because the average girl is not interested in the risk taking and abuse that kind of riding style has to offer. this is not sexist in anyway and I absolutly appreciate the woman who are down to shred the gnar. But this will never ever change. ever. naturally Men are risk takers and find our enjoyment from adrenaline rushed sports.The average woman does not understand this mindset cause they are not mentally wired the same way. not everyone is the same and yes this is a stereotype but its true as hell. some woman do so break the chain, and rip it hard. solid!
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  • + 5
 I get the premise of the article. I appreciate it. However, instead of an article about why chicks DON'T ride, why not a feature article about chicks that DO ride? Why not a weekly female feature? In comparison to all the articles, photos, videos on pinkbike that feature guys, there are virtually none that showcase the lady rippers! There are countless girls out there busting their asses to be better riders and to stack up to their male counter parts and they deserve props. There are also countless ladies out there that are just out to ride for the love of riding and they also deserve props. In a such a male dominated sport, women need just a little extra support to get out there and not feel totally intimidated. Market the sport towards women and you will see how many more female riders there will be!
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  • + 5
 There are loads of girls riding in my local trail centres these days, when i started biking about 4 years ago i could easily be riding routes and not pass another girl all day, now that has changed. I have mainly ridden with groups of guys and there male bravado about how high they can jump, how big they can drop, how fast they can get up a hill i found rather annoying at times and intimidating, i go riding to enjoy it and learn not to always turn it into a competition. But saying that trying to keep pace with guys also helps my riding as i have to push myself to keep up and not hold anyone else back and ruin there ride too much.

Even womens clothing can be sub standard to the guys, i prefer to ride in boys dh shorts, as they are longer and actually cover my knee pads, i cant stand that womens shorts are cut short, so ride up and leave a gap between short and knee pad!! However the clothing is getting better and not everything is pink and covered in flowers and swirls now either lol I know alot of my gf think im weird for biking and getting muddy and covered in cuts and bruises, when i could spend the money on shoes and crap, but id much prefer to be out biking than shopping any day Smile

Then there is the technical side, owning a bike requires knowing how to fix it!!

I think downhill could help encourage more girls if they were treated equal to guys. For example why are the women run as one group generally early in the day? Why arent elite women at least run before the elite mens for race runs.
  • + 1
 Great post, love the insight from a lady. Keep on riding.
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  • + 5
 Reading this article was a massive waste of time and has only annoyed me. It is pointless, says very little of any use about getting more people into the sport, just that guys would like to see more hot girls on the trails. Oh and also that they like pictures of girls who seem to be wearing entirely non practical riding clothes for downhilling, no knee pads or sleeves for Whistler DH, that girl is an idiot.
  • - 1
 while i agree with your assessment of the article, all i see on pinkbike are pics of dudes with no gloves, no elbow pads, and in t-shirts. lets face it, thats for aesthetics also. but i do love the "i have better sensitivity without gloves" reasoning. sure princess.
  • + 1
 yeah, but how often do you see guys riding whistler seriously with no knee pads and shoes that look like they wouldnt grip at all. Theyre not even skate shoes let alone proper riding shoes! And girls wear sports bra's riding for a reason...
  • + 2
 i do 10 laps a day usually its pretty hot up on the mountain armour just adds to that, i bet i ride harder than half the guys on this site and my airmaxs are sweet for riding youre an idiot go fck urself
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  • + 4
 Girls need the chance to have a go. i got into biking because my boyfriend wanted a new bike so i had a go on his old one. Sure we started off really easy, and he had to sacrifice a couple of fast rides but i soon got hooked. I loved it and now i completely match my boyfriends enthusiasm. Iv come a long way and would like to think im a biker in my own right now, i can name the parts, i built my own bike, my birthday presents this year are a whole new kit. I dont have girls to ride with though. When i tell the stories they just look at me like im mad. But if you want more girls in the sport, let them have a go, and let them start at the beginning. it'll eventually pay off Smile
  • + 1
 hmmm, dude those mushrooms you ate on that last ride through the forest are...working
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  • + 4
 MTB has to compete for legitimacy with other user groups for trail access, and for event hosting, and for a share of the outdoors market. INCLUSIVENESS is a key component in helping MTB thrive. Encouraging women to ride is a key part of growing thesport, and strengthening its community profile - which really matters when you want to protect trail access, get race permits, or host an event. If the community only sees "dudes" doing the sport, support and accommodation of the needs of the sport will be limited. However, when you see men and women together doing the sport (better yet, with grommets on the trails too), people see balance, and they see a reflection of their own community involved - THIS establishes legitimacy. In Squamish we have women's rides, we have somen on the SORCA executive, there is the Sugoi Dirt Series of camps up in Whistler, and there is a general understanding that women not only are wanted on the trails, but also belong on the trails.

Most men will agree, that they would also like to see more women around for the obvious reason of enjoying the company of women. However, one way to get more women on the trail, is to dispense with the idiotic sexualizing comments about sniffing saddles and following her downhill. That type of stupidity only shows that you have no class, no brains, and no game - no game whatsoever.
  • + 1
 ^^This is exactly spot on. For many, riding is about community, and women are an integral part of that. Just check out Brad's video on the North Fork, which paints this picture perfectly. If you want a legit community, you want more women involved and riding.
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  • + 4
 As I girl who not only rides, but also works in a bike shop, I can see this. I myself just recently got into mountain biking last summer, before that I was all road and I had no interest in mountain biking whatsoever.

Most (not all) of the women who I see come into the shop I work at are looking to bike more casually, as a way to stay in shape or go on easy simple rides somewhere with friends. I feel that mountain biking can be really intimidating, I still feel that. I am fortunate enough that I can convince the guys I work with to go ride with me, because I don't really feel comfortable riding the trails by myself yet. And in an area where there aren't many female riders, I can see how that would affect women wanting to get into the sport.

Oh, and guys judge women in biking all the time. In two weeks, I have heard at least three comments to my face (and who knows how many not) about my wrenching ability/bike knowledge while working in the shop. Just because a girl works at a shop, don't assume that she is just there to work the cash register.
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  • + 4
 The important thing about getting girls into biking is to have realistic expectations. You dont fast ride like Peaty or jump like Bearclaw, so dont expect your girlfriend to ride like Tracy Mosely or Darcy Turrene. Take them out on a nice relaxed trail and enjoy the scenery and dont pressure them to ride faster or anything they arent comfortable with. Be patient and help them build skills.
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  • + 7
 who gives a shit about either sex male/female! lets just go biking and say nothing more!!!
  • + 1
 Yes, let's all ride, however, there is a viewpoint that some bikers or organizations are creating the wrong impression. This article might not state that clearly enough, it's not good for anyone if the negative perception continues. I can't control somebody's imagination, but I can conduct myself in ways that are widely recognized as positive. Because I don't want to ruin anybody else's fun.
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  • + 4
 Ahhh..the old "Girls are equal" article with pictures of gorgeous riders through a soft lens. They even had her take off a ramp that most would have a full face on with a piss bucket so it would be a better shot. I will be the first to say that PLENTY o girls could kick my ass in mountain biking...and this article is very good...but I think we lose the mark with the pictures.
That being said, I have no issues looking at beautiful women on bikes either:-)
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  • + 4
 I agree its a sport that is marketed to guys. look a the recent movie strength in numbers - if it was really supposed to be showing solidarity in mountain biking it did a shit job. it had more images of children riding than of women. women are out there riding, whether we're 10 or 30% of the sport. and lots of women shred hard. it was insulting to see more pics of kids on tricycles than women on bikes. the real icing on the cake was the woman in a bikini - not that i see anything wrong with a woman in a bikini - just that it really showed where the filmakers thought women belonged in the world of bikes. ...the quotes were all about men, the songs were all sung by men (well, except the one by a woman, saying she wanted to be some dude's girlfriend). seriously. i'm a young lady who lives to ride and i'd love to see a little more representation Smile
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  • + 4
 Great pictures. Pointless article. All I can say is, Guys, when its time to buy new bikes for yourself and your lady, put some thought into it. As a bike shop owner, seeing a couple come in - the guy buys a $2500 full suspension, the lady gets a $600 hardtail. They're planning to try riding together. If she really likes it, maybe she'll get a new bike in a couple years. Worst strategy ever. Get 2 equal valued bikes. Give your lady a chance to experience the same ride you're enjoying on the same quality bike. Quit forcing clipless pedals on ladies who don't want them. Go enjoy some time on your bikes.
As for this article. Some women love riding. Some women don't. Same goes for men. We all have different motives for getting out and riding.
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  • + 4
 Man, the best part of these articles on women in biking is TOTALLY the comments! Everyone goes ape sh*t and at least half of the comments have terrible grammar and spelling (grammar, by the way, is the difference between knowing your shit and knowing you're shit).

As a female engineer and mountain biker and outdoor freak, there is definitely a part of me that would LOVE to write this article from a woman's point of view, but I won't. Because it will be a lot of (grammatically correct) writing, no pictures for silly people to ogle at, pictures of sick trails, mean feats of daring and general inspiration for riding, and probably (almost definitely) a lot of sweeping generalizations. Because as a woman, I'm not immune to the problem of trying to describe other people's experiences, either.

And then the interwebs would blow up in reaction to this theoretical article and we would not have progressed as a community, again. Solution: (I'll) (we'll) shut up, get stoked, make friends, and enjoy the ride.

Ok, mini-rant over. I think the author made a lot of great points that I agree with and often reflect my own experience in riding so far. The "dude" paragraph is so funny and is making my Friday-at-work-before-a-long-weekend that much better.
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  • + 4
 As a woman I can tell you that I am in the minority when it comes to wanting to do stuff like MTB'ing Climbing, Surfing etc... I do them all! But most girls I know just aren't interested in doing anything extreme. Could be partly to do with upbringing, if you spend your youth doing nothing but walking the streets with friends then flying down a mountain on a bike will always be too extreme and dangerous. It's also just how things are. Girls and boy's are different, that's a good thing! I just happen to like that stuff. I would like to see more women out, but if there's none so what? I'm gonna have fun regardless!

The only negative point is gear. The market isn't a large therefore finding decent clothes, general stuff and DH bikes small enough can be a challenge.

As for surfing.... How many of the girls are beach bunny's and how many actually surf?? When I'm surfing the ratio in the water isn't far off MTB'ing, unless it's an easy super sunny day.

Nothing wrong with a dude writing about women's riding, it's just good to see something! Anything.
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  • + 4
 Sh#t! I'm on the angry part of PB again!
I found the article funny and it (somewhat) did what it was supposed to do: start a discussion. But it is light reading; not a phd thesis.
And I loved some of the photos not only but also because there were women in them. I like the way women look. And, unless you forget everything else they may offer, that isn't a bad thing. It can't be.
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  • + 4
 I might be one of the lucky ones, I introduced my fiance to mountain biking about a year ago now- she needed a sport she could do that would have low impact on her knees as she has a dodgy knee, i suggested cycling but she hated the idea of road riding, so mountain biking it was. So i bought her an entry level Trek Fuel ex5 just to dip her toe in the sport and see if she liked it. Despite the fact that the very first time we went riding she coped the handle bar in her cheekbone and fractured it after trying to clear a log instead of getting off and walking over it, she absolutely loves mountain biking And it has been to my benefit because i now have someone as passionate about mountain biking as me. Our lives have basically turned to revolve around mountain biking now, we plan our weekends around where we want to go riding. Our honeymoon is going to be in Canada so that we can mountain bike on our honeymoon. We have turned our two Labradors into two amazing trail dogs and they absolutely love coming riding with us.
  • + 1
 And even better is i don't have to feel guilty about spending so much money on bike parts anymore because she benefits from it too. A year on and i have just finished building up a new Pivot Mach 5.7 for my fiance, her mountain biking skills have progressed at a really surprisingly rapid rate that she outgrew her entry level bike and needed something that would complement her increasing skills. She is now following me down super technical, rocky tracks without a second thought and loves every minute of it. And her love of the sport has been infectious at work, she has inspired many of her female workmates to get into the sport and buy mountain bikes. Yes mountain biking is a male dominated sport but there definitely is a place and an ever increasing demand from women wanting to get into the sport they just need a bit of guidance to get started and not to be made to feel like they cant cut it with the males. My wife climbs as well as me and the guys we ride with regularly, and she can outdescend more then half of the guys we ride with. It did take some time for her skills to get to this point, because she had never ridden a mountain bike 'off road' before we started riding a year ago, but her skills and confidence increase with every ride we do, and i'm amazed how well she rides now and its only been a year.
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  • + 3
 My two little girls are 2.5 years old and fear very little. They jump off stuff, they climb stuff and when they get hurt we encourage them to keep trying. My wife is with me 100% in getting them tough and teaching them to love adventure. That said, they still are girly in a lot of ways. they ask to wear skirts. They like dolls. They want to be pretty. And I love it! They can be as tough as dudes without sacfricing their identities! The credit goes to my wife, I think, since she is so awesome and tough and yet not afraid to be a girl. She can do what she loves and not see it as some sort of contradiction to her social identity.
She does prefer to ride with the women's group and she says she feels less self conscious around them. I think guys always add "and she's a girls" to the end of everything thing she does on a bike in their heads and it shows in how they act. I hope that isn't something my girls have to deal with.
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  • + 3
 Wish I could have a go at explaining this! Don't get me wrong, it's a pretty bloomin good effort, I just can't help seeing things differently. That's probably the same for all us girls though, your view on the sport is probably completely dependant on your experiences and who you ride with etc...For example, i've never ridden with a girl in my life but that doesn't necessarily mean I want to. If girls rode with girls all the time, nobody would ever hit anything big! Guys are ridiculously competitive and that's how they improve, girls don't have this approach so naturally aren't as aggressive with their riding. I've only begun to scratch the surface, could go on for hours!
  • + 2
 I'm somewhat perplexed by your comment. You state It's definitely dependant on your experiences and who you ride with and I completely agree, but then you go on to generalize women at the same time without having ridden with one?

Living and riding the North Shore, I could introduce you to girls that go BIG all the time and even hit stunts some guys I know wouldn't. And trust me there are plenty of girls that are competitive out here! They're not competing against guys but other women while racing riding the trails, you name it. I think it all comes down to ones personal mtb community like you said. The best thing you could do is ride with a girl and maybe get her stoked on riding, show her what you've learned from riding with the boys.

I learned how to ride with some very supportive guys before I started riding with other women so I can definitely understand why you have that view. I don't even disagree that boys are more naturally agressive, and that they do push each other to go bigger. Come ride Whistler or the North shore or anywhere that has a good population of women that ride, and at the sames skill level as you and you might actually be surprised Smile
  • + 3
 I can see what you mean, thanks (:
I'm just generalising based on the gap between men and women's riding I suppose, like in the world cups women chose different lines etc which lead me to my conclusion, and trust me, I'd LOVE to go to Whistler! Big Grin
  • + 1
 Sarah best thing you could do would be to ride your dh bike not your Xc bike next time Wink might help Razz
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  • + 3
 Who's the one with the red hair? She's so beautiful, she would make the most amazing background look like a dump. Not just talking about the head-shot pic, either. I would love to ride with her. Talk about getting style tips from a chick...And for those that insinuate that women are afraid of danger, I'm pretty sure she's riding stuff that I would wear a full-face on in a little brain bucket..

erniesbot- You're a dirtbag, probably only a kid, and will probably never get laid without an attached prison-term. Your the reason lesbians exist.
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  • + 3
 I led a group ride of 11 women on Monday night on a fast XC trail ride at Bend's Phil's trails. Yes, true... not much technical riding here. But whatever, we were hammering out the miles of singletrack and we were part of a larger group of 52—as in fifty-two—women of all ages and abilities who showed up for a weekly shop ride. 52 women! Clearly there ARE women who ride. Yes, most were newer to the sport, more timid, intimidated and cautious. No one was "going big" that I saw. But the point is: they/we are out there. Most WOMEN did not start mountain biking as young girls (unlike most men who ride). So if guys can't be patient while women play "catch up" to gain the skills and confidence to hit bigger trails, features and obstacles, then yeah... There probably won't be a lot of women to "ride with". I think, instead of bitching about there being "no women" those dudes either need to recalibrate their expectations or redefine "ride". Does that mean someone who shreds? Someone who hits big jumps? Strong technical skills? Someone who "rides like a dude". Truth is, women are more cautious and careful, and the majority will never ride like dudes. Some of us do (or want to and love to work at sessioning things) and the best thing you can do to encourage that is be inclusive, don't be a jerk, don't ALWAYS ride off the front and/or tell us how to ride everything. Oh yeah, and I don't have any kids myself, but many of my girlfriends do, so I speak for them: YOU COULD WATCH THE KIDS ON THE WEEKEND MORE OFTEN TOO! Now then, ladies... forget all this silly gibberish and LET'S RIDE!
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  • + 7
 Isn't Y the male dominant chromosome?
  • + 5
 Yes.

XX = female

XY = male

Further proof that Mitchell Scott is talking out his ass.
  • + 3
 Jaja. Yes. Excelent find. This guy Scott writes pure rubbish. Remember the other crapy article about switzerland?
  • + 4
 Yep. The arrogant article where he acted like he "discovered" riding in Switzerland, as if the locals who have ridden there for decades didn't matter at all.

He's an arrogant ass, as well as ignorant -- and a poor writer.

What in hell does PB pay him? I guarantee I could do twice the job at the same pay, and thereby save PB 50% in the bargain.

But then, I don't have ex-BIKEmag "insider" status, do I? Jesus. Felton at RM, Scott at PB... lousy writers with guaranteed jobs. What rubbish.

I guess there's an upside: they are better writers than those clowns at BikeRadar.
  • + 1
 Agree, Bike Radar probably has even worst writers, but I cannot believe that THE mtbiking e-site (pinkbike), with hundreds of thousands of readers world-wide, wouldn't make a better effort to have slightly better writers for their articles. I mean come on man, this guys didn't even checked for the right female chromosome...for his freaking title!!!
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  • + 3
 There definitely has to be more girls riding in the future! I get tired of riding dh just with the guys sometimes. haha Coming from me, I think most of us ladies don't mountain bike due to fear of getting dirty, scars, hurt, and looking stupid. Hey, for us, the guys can be intimidating. My biggest fear is getting lost since usually I can't quite keep up with them. But I know a lot of girls that don't want to get dirty or sweaty. I don't want scars either, but there is body armor available which I love! There's nothing like racing down a hill jumping over rocks or climbing up a long mountain to the top! Nothing can stop me from that! Hopefully, more girls will be interested in the sport. At least cross country riding
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  • + 3
 Maybe I am lucky in where I live (Nelson BC) and Nelson is unique in having so many women riders. On trails around here it is very common to see an almost equal ratio of men and women. It is also common to see mixed groups. I ride equally with men and women. I ride slightly differently with each group regardless of gender. I have some riding friends that want to get on extremely steep double blacks with giant hucks (both men and women), and I have some friends that want to ride fast and flowy groomed rippers(both men and women). The interesting thing is that it is not divided by women wanting to ride the flowy and guys wanting to scare themselves on hucks as the common false stereotypes would suggest. What I love about riding bikes, skiing, and any other of the action sports I do year round, is that although there is competition (at times really intense competition) there are the same huge smiles on each and every face regardless of gender. Those smiles exist when we are cut, banged up, bleeding and with a helmet full of dirt from taking a high speed digger; they are there wether I am first to the bottom or last to take my helmet off. The thing that really gets me excited is when someone learns and has that feeling of doing something new or better. This weekend I watched my amazing girlfriend manual through a set of ruts. She said,"I am trying to learn to preload my suspension to get through rough sections more smoothly." I replied, "You rode that so clean and smooth" (but inside I was shouting F"YEAH!!! So proud of you for learning!!!) It was all I could do to contain myself and let her relish the expreience without subjecting it to my own feelings....
  • + 2
 I hear ya on this machchicken! It's just about what we enjoy, not whether if it's a man-/woman-dominated sport. I thought I might enjoy biking, so I tried it. Turns out I was right. The fact that I'm a girl and it was all guys I was getting advice from didn't make any difference to me. What made the difference when it came to entering the world of biking was how amazingly welcoming everyone in the biking community was (and still is) to me! There've been many things I tried in the past that were within a woman-dominated group and the ladies were not overly inviting...so, I didn't stick with them. I've also tried things where men dominated and they acted a tad like douche-bags...so I didn't stick with them. It's about the attitude of the group and how comfortable they make a newbie feel that gets me stoked about getting involved. Doesn't matter to me if there's more guys than girls or vice versa. I'm just so happy that I have people around that cheer me on with my little accomplishments...guys or girls!
  • + 3
 You hit it Skycat: having fun is even better when it is shared. Oops my long winded post got cut up into two different posts...
....While I dont have children it must be the same when your kid first skates, rides, skis, jumps, inside you are screaming GO GO GO YEAH!!!! But you have to remain calm and let the experience and accomplishment speak for itself. I also got my ass handed to me by her friend on a long uphill that psychologically nearly broke me and required me to find something inside that made me take my heartrate into the danger zone to keep up with her(in the past I have given up and pushed my bike) but this time she made me grow and find something I didnt know I had. My buddy jumped a section of trail to make it faster and smoother and while I have not tried to jump that section I can see it is possible; it makes me want to learn more. Invite people into the experience of your passions, share your excitement, shun discrimination and infect others with your shit-eating grins.
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  • + 3
 I see plenty of women riding here in VA. Maybe 30% ratio. My girl and her friends ride with us. Some girls are faster than guys, some are slower. With the slower ones you just have to make it stress free and fun(wait up for them, maybe not push as hard). Then they'll keep coming out on rides and eventually be just as fast if not faster and build more confidence. Once they have that, then its just like riding with anyone else.
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  • + 3
 This article just made me laugh. I took up mountain biking at 41 years old, ate shit a whole bunch the first year, and fell in love with it. Even though I still have a whole lot to learn, now I can think of nothing better than facing down a nasty downhill line and making it to the bottom in one peice. Not styley, not fast, but super challenging and shit eating grin fun.

I have to give props to the guys I've ridden with. Even random strangers on the trails around here think nothing of stopping and helping you out with some advice on how to clear that rock garden, or get up the hill faster. I ride every week with a group of girls, because it's super chill and really supportive, and we all learn off each other. But I love riding with my guy friends - because they take me on stuff I wouldn't take on myself, encourage me to push my limits, and celebrate with me when I nail something.

I'm a huge fan of the girl groups and girl clinics. We learn differently, and assess risk differently to guys. It's wonderful to learn from other girls, and watch a chick rip a line and think "I could do that ..." I think a lot of girls try MTB, and are put off by being pushed too hard, and too fast, and getting scared and hurt. Some girls get over that, and some don't. So if your girl shows interest, be nice!!! and if it's available, send her for some professional coaching to build her confidence. it might make all the difference.
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  • + 6
 I met a girl in Whistler. Someone stole her bike when she was getting lunch. Bastards. It was a schmick Kona Operator too.
  • + 1
 Oh my god, that's horrible! I think my world fell apart just this very moment... seriously. When I was in Whistler I thought this had to be the one place on earth where nobody would even think about stealing a bike. It felt like the atmosphere was so friendly and familial.. and seemingly everybody had super expensive bikes on their trucks.
  • + 1
 Yeah, i very highly doubt it was a mountain biker. Props to Andrew Shandro and the High Performance rental shop for getting her another ride for the rest of the day. I rode an Operator for 4 days that week, such an outstanding bike.
  • + 0
 Sounds like you stole her bike.
  • + 1
 As said before, stealing is not at all part of the mountain bike culture. But i made an exception this time....
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  • + 3
 Nice article! I think one reason not as many girls are into mtbing is that it's just kind of a hard sport to get into if you're a girl. It's hard to find other people to ride with that don't just do purely xc (especially here in NC it seems). I finally joined a women's biking group, but they do 99% xc, which is kinda frustrating for me because, not only are most of them kinda scared on the xc courses, but I also want to do dh and nobody from the group I'm in seems to have the balls (not literally) to do dh. Nothing against xc, though. It's still fun because it's on a bike, but dh is more fun Smile Another thing that I've found is that I tend to get treated like an idiot at first by a lot by guy mountain bikers. The first time I went to a new lbs, the mechanics treated me like I was an idiot, but once they found out that I actually knew stuff (I built my own bike for crying out loud) and that I could carry on an intelligent conversation, I got a lot more respect. This kind of initial treatment from guys can be really discouraging. Part of it might be my age, because I'm 16, but seriously, it should be a common human courtesy to not treat people like they're idiots the first time you meet them. To all the guys out there, maybe if you all would stop treating girls like they were stoopid for riding or working on a bike, then more would. Common sense guys, common sense.
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  • + 3
 the first time i rode schleyer i carried my bike down all the hard parts. but these guys riding past me were so stoked to see a girl on the trail, even tho i couldn't ride it and i just got in their way.....made me feel good.....
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  • + 3
 great read! personally ive been into the whole dh scene for a year or so now and never ridden with another girl. sure i get absolutely smoked by the guys but its made me faster and braver. the thrill you get from still keeping the guy your following in sight is amazing! being a lot physically smaller than dudes also doesnt help, especially when pushing up after runs. wouldnt change it for the world though!
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  • + 3
 To be fair, I don't think objectifying women is the real issue here. If you want to compare surfing to mountain biking just open up a surfer mag. Its full of reef girls, bikinis, and other women reducing pictures. I don't want to say boys will be boys but this kind of caveman behavior is prevalent everywhere, not just in mountain biking. I think its more about the sport. The sport is still fairly young. The women need to be able to take their own initiative to take up the sport. I think our behavior drives them away but as the sport evolves I think it will change... and is already. Women have never gained equal rights by letting a man put them in that position. They fought for it, and women are real fighters. And I mean that in the best way possible. My mother fought to bring me into this world. When women want to come around, they will. In the meantime it never hurt to be a little less demeaning...
  • + 1
 Excellent post.
  • + 1
 bmar knows the score!
  • + 1
 thanks for the respect bmar
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  • + 3
 My whole up bringing was around mostly girls, my little sister rides, her freinds ride (with me & the boys we dont exclude her/them if she/they wants to join us anytime) but why use hot chicks to promote this subject......... like the one on the lift doing nothing, and the extreme close up of the cute one I dont even see a bike, & the helmet looks like it was pulled straight out the box.

My point is, its not about being a dude or a girl riding bikes anymore its about the people who run these companies for one reason $$$$$$$$$$

PB included look how you used the cute one to sell this topic and get more traffic to the site.......

Girls dont worry we respect you no matter what way you ride your bikes DH XC AM

Lame. PB should be ashamed poor effort IMHO.
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  • + 3
 This is wheeldrops gf of 7 years, im the chick on the chair, we fell in love riding the trails of whistler and having such an amazing rider for a boyfriend has been an awesome experience we would get stoked for one another when wed do sick lines watching my man fly through the boneyard was inspirational and it pushed me to advance my riding, yeah i dont get along with some of your friends wheeldrop despite that we still managed to have a good time... theres nothing id rather do with my man than rip the trails. I can keep up thats not what hes referring to when he says i ruin the tempo its my confrontational atitude and imaturity that has caused drama but i was 16 so no shit all your 40 year old friends and i dont get along. And i ride pretty serious for a girl how many of you guys have done the goats gully bridge line, with no armour. Im a stripper dont need tan lines!
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  • + 3
 I am a female rider, and am very new to the sport... this is only my second season! I thoroughly enjoyed reading these insights and think you have a very good point. There is balance and progression that can be achieved by having more females in the game. Mad props for feeling compelled and just going with it as you bring interesting points and humour to the table! I honestly don't know 100% as to why there aren't more girls riding... but I can hazard a few guesses. I can say that I was never really exposed to it when I was young and it is a gnarly sport, but we can take the hits. So who knows what it really is, maybe just the massive amount of dudeness not trying to inspire and draw in more female riders? Anyways being a snowboarder that never had a solid summer sport, I fell in love with it instantly (as terrified as I was, I knew I could only get better and with that would come the fun factor). Granted, it was a Wednesday night women's group lesson on Whistler that eased me into it. There is a different mental approach that guys take then girls. We see differently and in this respect it was the perfect learning environment but now I ride with my boyfriend and guy friends (yes I'm always at the back because they have been riding for years). But who cares because you're still out on the mountain, throwing high fives and sharing laughs! They don't care if they have to wait an extra few minutes, they just respect the fact I'm out and trying and know it's the only way to progress. I am also an aspiring photographer and plan on exploring this new world through my art and hopefully inspire more females to be drawn into this exhilarating sport Smile
  • + 1
 Lindsay - have you got a good collection of women's bike images we might use for the upcoming MBTA conference in Sooke BC? Im arranging the womens panel discussion - perhaps your work might be able to help? perhaps you might be interested in getting involved in the panel discussion development? AR
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 well, I just have few rides with girls. Where I live it is possible to count with your fingers the girls who ride but when they come to ride we treat them like queens, I heard some one say the girls don´t like bikes because it makes you sweat and stink, but it is way fun ride with them.
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 I ride with women who are not afraid of being hurt, not afraid of going fast, not afraid of getting sweaty and dirty. They are usually in better shape than myself. They seem to have less fear when doing the difficult sections than I do. Guys, we need to learn a bit from the opposite sex if we want to be the best we can be.
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 just to make my point i dont freel im a bad rider but alot of the wimin i have ridden with in the past have been for wand of a better fraze some of th lads as in thay are as good as the men if not better and they dont have to get off every 10 minuites to comment on how there bike has the best speck possible like alot of the blokes i ride with at the end of the day JUST RIDE BIKES
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 I'm a girl, I ride, and I think this was a great article.

The more reasons and perspectives encouraging women to freeride/DH, the better. At the same time, if we really want more girls riding, we need to sponsor more women. Even if the top ladies' skills don't always measure up to the top mens'.Until the industry takes women seriously as riders, it may be hard to find a large number of us seriously shredding.

Along that thread, while I see room for (and value) images of beautiful women shredding – even if a bit sexualized– those can't be the only ones.

It's a difficult dichotomy for women riders when beauty is often valued as much as, if not more than, their ability. How are we supposed to throw down and push limits if we're scared of how we will look with scars on our legs or dirt on our faces? The solution : glorify women in their bloody, dirt-covered, beat-down, "ugly" moments.

Finally, Much of women's riding clothing doesn't fit well for women over about a size 8/10. The average size of women in the United States is 14. If we continue treating average-sized women as an anomaly in the bike industry, they will stay an anomaly. All I'm saying is that when over 50% of the women in the U.S. would struggle to find appropriate gear to ride in, it is a little unreasonable to expect their equal participation.
  • + 0
 Whitney, what womens apparel do you and your friends ride in? A lot of brands think globally, not just USA, I know more than half our bike business is outside the USA, so to cater to the 'average size' would not be wise. I do know some customers of ours that can not fit into our XL 'moto' DH shorts just run our mens shorts and are fine. Good input, look forward to more.
Thanks
  • + 1
 My wife finds the same thing you do. A lot of the women's stuff is just small and poorly made, my wife is usually stuck wearing dudes clothes.
  • + 4
 stikmangalspell - My friends ride in a variety of clothing : Sombrio, Maloja, Jett, Fox, Oakley, TLD, Harlot, Northface, Dakine ... Board shorts, jeans, t-shirts, men's clothes, little boy's-sized shoes....

It's a good point to think globally ... And while I think I may have put too much emphasis on the size of things – though average British dress size is now a 14/16, Canadian 8-10, New Zealand 12 (and who knows what those sizes really mean!!!!). Asia and Europe probably trend lower, and I have no idea about S. America.

The real issue is that it's perhaps a lot harder to fit a variety of women than a variety of men (apples, pears, hourglasses, rectangles, oh my!) And since the market is *currently* small, it's not able to accomodate all of these shapes and sizes. Smaller girls often just buy a size or two bigger so things don't restrict, or so they can fit pads under the girly cuts...but those that are already a L or XL are just out of luck. I'm not sure how you fix this - just making things in bigger and bigger sizes clearly isn't the answer.

I see all sizes of women, most of whom are considerably smaller than the US average struggle with the fit & tech features of women's clothing - In fact, I just saw one very talented woman wearing men's elbow pads as knee pads because they were the only thing that fit. And, I'm still not sure how I'm supposed to fit armor under most any of the women's DH jerseys, or why my shorts are always falling down when I ride Smile . We somehow need more variety to get more women in the sport...but we also need more women in order to get that kind of variety!

Honestly, I don't know the answer to this conundrum ... I'm a bit of a fashion disaster myself.
  • + 1
 I was totally going to make a comment about the clothing issue, but you already hit it on the nose. Hurray!
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 All the lewd rude comments aside, the fact is men are the more thrill seeking, adventurous, and athletic half of the species, PERIOD. Sorry for you men with daughters, but I'm sick of the pandering for women. And to the men with sons, treat them like you would your daughters and maybe we can get more then 30% of men in college compared to 70% of women. And maybe we would not get beat over the head by the family court system that's still living with a 1950's philosophy. Then maybe there can be more male nurses, dental hygienist, state and county employees, physical and occupational therapist, apartment managers, secretaries, receptionists, waitresses, bartenders and the list continues to get longer in favor of the female species that will never feel like it never has enough. The funny thing is we as a society consistently dismiss the very real inequalities of race in America at all levels, but work feverishly to provide women with more encouragement and opportunity. If they want in, let them earn it. For centuries men have financially taken care of the women that bared them children, the women we loved. In a short couple of decades now that the shoe is on the other foot, men get divorce papers.
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 Maybe the sport keeps progressing so wildly that its just becoming to knarly for them to even begin, 90% of my local mountain is wild.... would they want to pay $40 to ride 2 trails....and honestly I really could care less if girls ride.....I don't care if its a girl, a monster, or if your purple, when I go out to ride I'm there to ride, not look at girls anyway. Is that lip ring photoshopped on that broad with the blue shirt?
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 I'm unsure if my these comments have already been captured above (I read most of the posts, but there's A LOT - apparently a hot topic!), but wanted to share.

I've been riding bikes for many years, XC, DH, freeride and commuting, and heard lots of opinions on this topic. I agree that there's a small element of intimidation (skills required, male-dominated, technical-know-how) and dislike for getting hurt/dirty. Conversely, I think most mountain bikers do encourage others to ride and are genuinely stoked to take newbies out and show them how to ride/around their local trails. I also think most guys who have GF/wives/daughters encourage them to participate, too. The % of guys who are completely against supporting women and frown on their involvement or inclusion on rides, I think, is minimal.

So, here are some additional thoughts and observations:

1. Mountain biking is a solo sport HOWEVER it does typically involve moving from A to B in a group of 2 or more. This makes it a bit unique. Surfing doesn't require this - you hang out in the same spot all day and doesn't matter if you catch more or less waves, you're still all together. Fishing doesn't require this. Golf even forces you to play one hole at a time so waiting is necessary. Backcountry skiing/boarding (longer runs) and running are similar, but definitely more established (running is also very accessible when it comes to gear/skill/terrain. Keeping up is definitely an issue in MTB and not just for girls in groups of guys. It's a common concern on female-only rides, or even guy-only rides as someone already mentioned above.

...to be continued below...
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 ...continued...

2. Girls aren't typically attracted to solo sports. They are attracted to teams because young girls gain strength and confidence through validation and "fitting in". It is not common for young girls to break away on their own to play a solo sport, especially one that is dominated by boys who are more fearless (which likely scares the shit out of the parents of girls). I read this in an article that compares the psychology of team and individual sports...quote "The study showed significant differences in individuals who played team sports, like volleyball, and people who played individual sports, like tennis, track and golf. Participants on the volleyball team, a team sport, tended to display more traits associated with introversion such as being reliable and thoughtful. Learning to cooperate with other players and sharing the recognition for a win with other people tend to require being less bold and outgoing, and instead, being calmer, rational, and aware of surroundings. Participants of individual sports, where the pressure is all on you to perform reflected traits of extroversion such as being outgoing, energetic, spontaneous and to some extent egotistical." (intro2psych.wordpress.com/2009/05/15/the-riddle-of-personality-and-sport). Most of the girls I know who ride DH/freeride/DJ have very strong personalities - even their personalities can intimidate other women. I have found XC/road riders definitely less aggressive - this is a sweeping generalisation, but fitting for where I live and ride (BC).

...continued below...
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 ...continued...

3. Mountain biking is fairly new (only a couple of decades old as an established sport) and most of our parents are baby boomers who are more conservative in their approach to what sports kids should play (also reflected in school curriculum). I bet once the X and Y generations have kids there will be more and more support and encouragement for kids to participate in action sports. There will likely be more tolerance of the costs, too. I know my parents would be shocked at the worth of my bike quiver & gear.

4. Lack of girl bike gear - there's not enough demand yet so the supply is low. It's a catch 22. But, there are definitely more female-specific frames in market now.

5. It can take a full biking career to become a professional and a mentor to kids and other adults. There were significantly less women racing/pushing limits over the past 10-20 years compared to men (e.g. Streb). As the hot riders of the last 5 years start to retire and/or supplement their careers with coaching, more woman are influencing new riders (e.g. Turenne, Buchar, Donahugh, Pruitt, Kintner, Llanes and many more).

6. And finally, THERE ARE MANY MORE GIRLS RIDING NOW compared to 10, 5, even 3 years ago. I see more girls on the trails, at races (almost triple the number riding 6 yrs ago), in the LBSs, in photos (but not videos), at club rides, tweeting about biking, and starting bike-related businesses. Even though the growth is small, I'm personally stoked.

Not sure anyone will get around to reading this download, but felt compelled - I'm always keen to hear opinions as to why there are less women.
  • + 1
 Hey Nshoregal- id be interested to talk with you more about this to get your input into an upcoming conference.... but , not on the PB forum - msg me back directly ill tell you more..... AR
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 Back in the day when I was travelling around hitting races I used to think it was awesome to see a female rider. There was very few riding DH at that time so when you saw a woman riding she was typically pretty solid. They weren't "holding anyone back" even if they were a bit slower. It was inspiring to just be riding with people in general that were passionate about the sport. I also think ladies in motocross pants are sexy! What can I say. Now I have a 4 year old daughter and she has started riding a bike which is amazing. We were driving home one day and she was looking out at the mountains and from nowhere says "I can't wait to go mountain biking with you dad!" My heart still swells because there is nothing I would like more. I think this is a great article to not only give some props to the girls and women that are out their giving it their all but to help create more awareness for the ones that maybe want too but need some motivation. I know that as a father I wish there were more strong role models for my daughter so she can see what she can accomplish if she works hard. Not just women role models but acceptance and support from my brothers out there can go a long way. Treat all people with respect and the MTB world can set a great example for all sports.
  • + 1
 check out Emily Batty. She is a great role model. you can look her up on face fook, subscribe to her, or check out her website. My daughter is 7 and wants to be just like her!!! Emily Batty is a pro rider for the US.
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 I am a woman... And guess what... I too love my bike. I love my DH bike, XC bike, road bike and my cruiser! Yes... I can ride them all. I am a woman .. Only by design. I can ride stronger than most men, but that is not why I ride. I ride because it kicks as*!!! I love the feeling of accomplishing a steep climb.. Or a steep descent. I love riding my road bike home after work... Or my cruiser along the beach. It doesn't matter if you are a guy ... Or a girl. We both have balls... We are all rock stars .... Just shut the hell up... And get your asses on your bike! Ride because you love it! Dirty Girl Designs !!!!
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 I ride week in week out (when not injured) with a group of about 20 guys at our club social ride, there are usually 2-3 women tops. I enjoy riding with the guys, it pushes my riding in ways that I don't get to do with the hand full of other women I know that bike, but that doesn't take anything away from the fact that some of the best days riding are with just a girl mate, head to head for the whole day and with some helpful criticism from local guys at a track!
We did a couple of Ladies only rides last year which we are about to start up again, and it was really great to see how many of the guys OH/wives joined us who had never been out on a bike before/within the last decade, and absolutely loved it. Muddy, soaked, knackered and chatting away like they do it every week!

I think if biking is something you are bought up doing, then you already have your wits about you just to carry on, I picked up a bike 18mths ago and have barely put it down since, and I know its one of the best feelings to beat the guys when you've worked so hard for it, but that doesn't come overnight. It is really daunting at times being out with a group of guys no matter what the numbers, because there is always that bit more competition and at times you do get left behind, but that will happen in every sport. I think the thing to be focusing on is to continue to make the sport accessible for women, encourage people to ride to a level they are confident with, and then learn to push that. You guys all do the macho thing when you've nailed a section you've not managed before, but guess what, so do we!
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 It will require someone to push the subject; and get them started. This is not about women getting started in the sport, its about anyone that should be on a bike; getting them exposed to it. I would love to see women in biking, they deserve a chance to expand in a repressed society. All Societies are repressed in one way or the other.

Women might not think they are worth it or good enough to be part of something like this; something that expresses freedom. So, Its up to me ( one person at a time), to push mountain biking. Im not waiting for you to do it!.

Glad this article was here.
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 I don't want to detract from a bike related issue too much but I'm going to go with something that I can relate to.

My friend isn't into the majority of sports at all but she is particularly interested in tennis.She watches Wimbledon and has kept up with the US Open recently, anyway she always mentioned having a go at it and I suggested that we go try it out. When I went to pick her up she thought that I wasn't actually being serious (I guess it didn't help taking her to a specific tennis centre instead of just the local leisure centre, It was a bit intimidating for both of us as we'd never played before). So we gave it a go, she wasn't great (neither was I though :3, but she didn't think that) but I made sure too keep encouraging her and concentrate on just our game, no one else's. She enjoyed it and even wants to do it again.

Mountain biking is just as accessible as tennis in terms of gender. The problem isn't the sport, It's the nature of the people who want to engage in it. Men shouldn't push women away from the sport, If they show an interest then try to help them get into biking. If they don't then that's fine, It's dependant upon the individual.
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 cool write up... damn though fellas, the comments on here... lonely dogs man.. My wife is my 'wing-man' for ridin. She absolutely KILLS IT at Northstar tahoe for the girlies, rides hard, crashes hard. She's on here too, you've probably drooled over her bloodied crash and jump pics-yeeeah. Launches her Kona Minxy DH, shreds her Spec Safire for AM and XC. I'm one lucky dude! Props to all of you girls goin out there and lovin the dirt! Awesome and hope to see more of you gals rippin us guys new ones! Thanks Ian for bringin this topic up.
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 I got my girlfriend into riding by teaching her the basics as best I could. When the time came for her to learn more skills, she decided to go the the Dirt Series camps at Whistler with a lot of other women - she liked the idea of riding with women to get better. And she did! But now she can't find a group of women riders that works for her. The broad level of skills that you'd find among male riders exists with females as well (beginner, intermediate and expert). But she tried the women's rides with the local club and enjoyed it about as much as I expect I'd enjoy riding with the same wide range of skills in a single group. Not all that fun waiting on the slowest beginner rider, when you can ride advanced intermediate or even expert, regardless of gender.

Just like you can't lump all male riders together due to a broad range of skill (I, too, am not all that crazy about the local club rides for the same reasons), you can't do that with women, either. But it may take some time for more women to fall in love with mtn biking so they are no longer a single "group".

There was a recent video on Pinkbike with a woman rider from Scotland ripping up some tech trails on a hardtail - impressive. Or the woman rider from Projekt Roam (the Silverstar video rocks!), who's clearly got the chops.

I certainly hope that change happens sooner rather than later. It'd be a good thing for everybody IMHO.
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 Another problem with the lack of women is that the new generation of ladies and the way society dictates behaviour means that "girls are put off exercise for life because it means they sweat in front of the boys" or something stupid like that. Tried to take the missus up the local hill; complained all the way up and down, that put me off inviting her again.
  • + 2
 Society doesn't "dictate" anything like what you suggest.

If any girl or woman thinks "society is telling her" that she isn't allowed to perspire, that's her own twisted psychology at work.

Ladies and girls -- DO WHAT YOU WANT. I trust you will. I trust you won't imagine that "society" is telling you that you can't perspire.

I've known plenty of competitive athlete women. None of them was afraid to sweat. None cared what your so-called "society" was telling them.

Jesus.
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 im fairly sure girls are put off biking because whenever a photo of a girl comes on pinkbike you get the 'lads' commenting, 'i would ride that hard' !!!
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 So what. This whiny article could be written about anything. Why aren't there more dudes in my aunts crochet club? More chicks in the volkswagen mod forums? If you want your gf to ride bikes here's a clue, find a girl who rides and date her instead of the nancy who doesn't. Oh BTW this female graphic artist creates those "dude-centric" mtb ads. I easily ride 50/50 with girls and guys, theres no shortage maybe this"dude" shouldn't be such a condescending a*shole and more girls would hang out with him.
  • + 0
 So what ? you sound like a shallow self centered hypocritical woman with sand in her gina . maybe your aunt would like more dudes at her crochet club ... hater .
  • + 1
 eat a dick & pls explain why I'm a hypocrite. Yes I do hate on idiot a*sholes like yourself. Girlfriend much? Go play xbox.
  • + 0
 no xbox , ps3 or whatever here bitch ... uhhh lol should i eat dick or find a girlfriend ? you sound like a confused person , maybe a lesbo ? . your a hypocrite because you call this article whiny while leaving a whiny comment . i do partly agree that the author sounds like condescending a hole but you are on the complete other end of the scale . you sound hella self centered when you go on about 50/50 ratio etc . if you ever need someone to wash the sand out of your gina im here for you .
  • + 1
 Self centered because I said I ride 50/50 with guys and girls? Out of all the comments here you pick mine and respond with a nonsensical reply about some problem with sand and angina. I am a bitch, and you sound like a crybaby runt. There's a pack of chicks and dudes out here who'd crush you on the trail and in the parks you baby POS. You'd be so lucky to wash any sand off any girl. Go back to the sandbox with your baby friends and try and raise a few more IQ points huh?
  • + 1
 Ok yeah I just saw some other comments you've posted and you're not very smart so I'm not gonna engage you anymore haha
  • + 1
 you mad bro? lol coward
  • + 1
 hey did you see that pod ? so much for your "pack" . yes your a bitch now sit . good dog .
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 ...While I dont have children it must be the same when your kid first skates, rides, skis, jumps, inside you are screaming GO GO GO YEAH!!!! But you have to remain calm and let the experience and accomplishment speak for itself. I also got my ass handed to me by her friend on a long uphill that psychologically nearly broke me and required me to find something inside that made me take my heartrate into the danger zone to keep up with her(in the past I have given up and pushed my bike) but this time she made me grow and find something I didnt know I had. My buddy jumped a section of trail to make it faster and smoother and while I have not tried to jump that section I can see it is possible; it makes me want to learn more. Invite people into the experience of your passions, share your excitement, shun discrimination and infect others with your shit-eating grins.
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 Get your average girl to tell us what it would take to get her on a bike?? I am a girl and I don't know the answer to that question, cause I think mountain biking is the best thing ever...
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 Gosh, I wonder why more women don't play in the NFL. I guess it's because the NFL hasn't yet decided to "grow the sport" of football, or "progress the sport" of football.

Hey, I wonder why more women don't look into contract killing (hit man) as a line of work. Clearly the mafia is misogynistic in its decisions to hire hit MEN and not hit WOMEN.

Once when I was in 7th grade I tried out for my jr high basketball team. I didn't make the cut. I'm gonna rewrite history to suggest that my 7th grade BB coach was not willing to "progress the sport" by giving me a spot on the team despite my lack of skill. His cutting me was oppressive, and resulted in my not knowing how to empower myself. If he had given me a spot on the team, my pine-riding antics would have empowered lots of other skinny gawky kids who were good at soccer and motocross but lousy at basketball. I'm pretty sure the coach set us back by decades in our search for skinny gawky kid empowerment.

Also, I was never interested in wrestling for my jr high, high school or college teams. Does that mean I'm entitled to now claim that I was forced out of wrestling by prevailing attitudes? Or is it just that I am not interested in wrestling, and therefore never pursued it for that reason?
  • + 0
 You might want to check this out CFO, because you're definitely wading into this territory here: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Straw_man
  • + 2
 Holy crap that's funny.

I was intentionally using straw men, Courtney.

It's satire.

I suggest you go get "empowered" by being part of the herd mentality.
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 Girls want to be treated with the same level of respect that guys treat each other with. Yea your girlfriend or wife will expect a different level of respect. But girls just out shredding like this are "just one of the guys" so to say. Gender don't matter, everyone shreds. You don't have to treat them like they don't understand things because they do. Girls are sometimes more fun to ride with than guys because they don't hate on everything.
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 I've been riding mountain bikes since the mid 90's and have rode BMX since the late 80's. When I first started mountain biking I didn't see any women maybe the odd one doing XC but I was more into DJ since I came from a BMX background. Me and my sister really got in to MTB in 2002 and haven't stopped. I've had numerous broken bones, broke my jaw 3 times and some other injuries have left me with permanent damage but I still come back for more...because I don't find anything else as fun as riding my bike and I certainly don't mind getting dirtySmile I'm also a bike mechanic and have been for almost 15 years and I still get dudes who ask can I speak to the GUY who fixes the bikes lol!
I'm pretty stoked about the number of women I see riding now and hitting the jumps and am all for promoting mountain biking to more women!
  • + 2
 As a fellow female mechanic, it makes me laugh when a guy comes in asking to talk to a mechanic, and then you tell them they are talking to one. I find it kinda funny to see how they recover from that...haha
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 Dude-o-sphere indeed. Just look at how heavily retouched Angies's photo is. It's not a porn mag so why worry about the wrinkles so much?
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 Agreed...even the pictures of the ladies are glorified and made to look perfect to please "men". How are woman supposed to feel confident or want to join the sport when we are still posing pictures to be "models of the industry"?
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 It can be quite intimidating riding with guys... And I know that guys genuinley just wanna see a girl having a good time and learning new skills. But when you're literally stared at all day at a track it can make you a little self concious!
The majority of girls I know just aren't insterested in riding a bike- not even to the shops! And thats OK! I like being unique- I like hanging with the boys- and I love my bike Smile
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 We have similar issues in the paintball world. Though recently there has been a surge in the female sort playing, and playing well. But then we get the "I'M A GIRL AND I PLAY PAINTBALL! HEAR ME ROAR!" crowd. It annoys me. Just shut up and play. Not sure how it is in MTB, as I haven't been around it for long.
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 I'm 17 and taught myself to ride a bike at 3, it's just something I did, my sister is 21 and she did the same, we were given the same opportunities with riding and don't get me wrong, my sister loves to shred with us guys and she loves riding a bike, yet she doesn't come out as regularly as she could. She rides her Roadie more than her MTB mainly because she can get out with other girls, I personally think that riding MTB is something anyone and everyone can love and do, I also think it is fair to say there is not enough accessibility for everyone to ride because there is too much male "banter" within the sport. I would love to see more Girls out and shredding but I think we should respect them if they would rather go on a road ride. Ride what you want to ride and enjoy it! Shoot me down if you think I'm wrong this is just my opinion!
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 To quote the PB editors in the story's intro: "Why are there not more women in biking and how can we change the numbers to get more females into this great sport"
I would suggest introducing females into the sport at a young age and mentoring them to build their skills.The "girls" in the pics look really young to me but they have probably been riding for a while. Many females are not introduced to MTB at a young age Many women try mountain biking and drop out because it is a tough sport to learn and requires strength and stamina to sustain... dh is a greater challenging skill set. I think one of the keys is to find ways that keep women riding. I hope the "girls" remain in the sport and develop into "mature" women riders so they can mentor and inspire others to ride,
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 From a girl/women perspective... Is not many girls in any sport that actually take it with passion. So just a boyfriend or a camp is not gonna get u on to it. It has to come by personality. I've climbing, hiking, skiing with my dad all my life, and that's why i live for, cos is what he though me that, even if i was a girl. You have to love it ur own. And girls in the end prefer to get mani/pedi instead of new break pads, or a haircut before shopping instead of a bikepark pass. Of course industry can do more... but is a matter of education, a matter of how our society makes us grow up. It's not less feminine to want a bike or to lose ur mind for a ride than wanting a 500$ pair of heels. The day we have that in out minds is when women will be riding bikes actually LOVING IT no matter what.
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 Pass the sandblaster.

You say "In the 80s and 90s there were NO girls mountain biking." Rubbish. Where were you mountain biking? In Broadmoor?
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 Fantastic Story, good to read so true.. we need more girls on bikes.. my angel rides....better than me in some cases...(uphills..dreadful things) and i love it.. my mates get jealous when my angel rides with me..cos shes a babe who rides bikes for fun....we need more babes on bikes....
Peace.
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 Agree! Would love it if my better ½ would come out riding, but she's seen me come back bleeding and bruised way too many times to want to do anything other than green runs. For what it's worth I also don't see that many women on roadies, it seems to be mostly commuters.

Those other sports mentioned still have risk associated with them, but snow and water will nearly always make for a softer landing.
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 Ok well guys as far as I am concerned the male female ratio is crap I think guys should open the door more to girls I am a downhill racer and my last event there was only 4 girls competing at the event it would be nice since I live in bc on Vancouver island canadas meca of biking and we bearly have any girls on the island that race
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 I wish there were more girls like me Frown .... I hate going to the trails by myself and I only ride w boys, I'm the only girl that dirt jumps at my local park and I always try to get my girlfriends to join me but they are fu**ing lazy ! Im in need of girlfriends riders !
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  • + 1
 my wife rides been riding since the early 1990 just had our little girl and she was back riding in a few months. My little gril is going to get a bike as soon as she can walk so I am going to riding with even more girls. They are cool and ride hard, just need more bike made for them and we all need to get our women on the trails.
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  • + 1
 Its a good point. In climbing there are loads of women especially at the wall. You have to be talking 60/40 men to women ratio. Thats physical and dangerous sport so why are numbers not the same in mountain biking. Must be a perception thing and unlike with climbing where are beginner can go out with a expert and still have a great time, with biking there is always the issue of either one having to constantly wait or the other having to go balls out to keep up. Then again you get loads of women in running clubs.
  • + 2
 Climbing is only dangerous if you are careless and don't check your safety. I never feel any inherent danger when I climb, but I do when I ride, because there are no safety restraints when you make a mistake.
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  • + 1
 All this discussing is one of the problems why girls don´t want to ride bikes. Don´t discuss, do something. Get your girlfriend to ride. Bring by yourself the Sport to girls. Of course it´s hard to get women to the sport if they don´t have a boyfriend or anyone who is involved in the sport. So the first thing is to get your girlfriend to the sport. Maybe then she´s get her friends to the Sport. I get my girlfriend to ride a Big Bike and I don´t regret it. I even got her to film with me a little bit!
www.pinkbike.com/video/255842
  • + 0
 I just got dumped cos my gf said i gave my bike more attention than her Razz
  • + 4
 And now ya got more time to ride!
  • + 2
 Yep Big Grin Double Win Big Grin
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  • + 1
 What a storm!! 100% true about getting your other half a proper bike,kit and saddle (how many times have I seen 'him' on the new full sus and 'her' on the old, crapped out hardtail... she not enjoying oddly enough).
True story - her (at bottom of cwn down) 'so you're upset because you were toasted by a girl?'
Me 'if only it were the fist time that this had happened...'
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  • + 2
 last week i saw female football game, on eurosports tv, and thers a huge evolution in these new generations, football much more competitive and talented. same will happen in female riders, for sure.
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  • + 2
 It seems the surfing example is misplaced. I surfed Florida and Hawaii most of my life and witnessed maybe 100:1 dudes to girls in the lineup. Maybe golfing or tennis would be a better example.
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  • + 1
 c'mon people, do you have to be such pecimists? The author is clearly trying to make a good point here, that we need more girls to ride with. can none of you see the phenomenal amounts of sexism in todays culture? the guy's trying to break down a barrier. sure it might come across a bit strong and what not but do you really have to pull it apart and argue over this?!
just support it, because every rider should be all for more cyclists.
  • + 0
 How dare you call me or anyone else a "pecimist"?

We don't even know what that means! It's so unfair!

Mitchell's not trying to "break down barriers." Why? There ARE NO barriers. I guarantee I can prove that every imagined "barrier" is nothing more than someone's perception.
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  • + 1
 ive noticed lately theres alot more female riders at the trails these days. not as a testament to their gender, I find some of them, NOT ALL, to be rather arrogant. the ones who are respectful to other riders though, I have no problem with, in fact I think its awesome seeing the female demographic of mountain biking grow. respect needs to go both ways, from both the males and females out on the trails. downprops, here we come
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  • + 1
 Well,well, well, looks like we have all sorts of comments hear, A guy wrote it, the girls have boobs,and my favorite was that the doctor didn't want her to have a big scar,I bet his wife was ugly and got tired of trying to make her look good.I like the story, I have a son and daughter that rides, in fact she broke her collar bone at 13 fallowing me on a table top, I was so proud that she went for it.I would love to see more women riders, not just for the view ( yes I think women bikers are hot, I have my own) but, just think, if mom rides, then probably the whole family will ride, like Mitchell said, we would have more say, more trails to ride, and less taken away from us.Also think guys, Wow, that Bike would look good between my legs, and your wife says, yes it would, plus I need a new chest protector, cause of my new fork, I want to try some new stuff. (yes my wife said that to me) so lets see more women out there.
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  • + 1
 There are more girls than ever now! Unfortunately there hasn't been too much media coverage... so I started ShineRidersCo.com I could go on and on about whats going on but hop over there and check it out. Yes, we've had to create our own separate events to foster an encouraging environment to grow our new female freeriders... but I have personally watched new chicks pick up bikes and send it better than guys that I know. Its only a matter of time until we catch up to you Smile
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 I agree, but unlucky for us most women would rather go shopping and buy make up than shredding and getting mud under their nails,
don't get me wrong there are some that are willing to go get dirty and jump off shit all day long and some more fearless than men i know but it's life the event will always be a sausage fest Frown LOL but as the sport grows hopefully ( crossing his fingers ) more women will join in Smile
  • + 1
 oh PS say what you like but she is hot as fudge Smile
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 I have done my part, My wifey loves a nice relaxing XC ride. I just dont expect her to ride boxcar or A-line. She will kick your ass in a sea kayak ans big waves though
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  • + 1
 I've always wondered why so many girls race BMX but not enough transition over to MTB riding/racing? Maybe with the scholastic mountain biking teams starting to spread throughout the school system and gain some ground more females will be introduced to the sport.
  • + 1
 Totally agree, most guys transition into dirt jumping or some type of mountain biking after racing bmx but what about all those girls, hard to believe they just want to give it up.
  • + 2
 I support a bunch of olympic bound BMX pro women/girls, not one has any interest in transitioning into MTB. For years I have wanted USA cycling to offer discount licenses to a BMXer to try MTB, or vice versa, still hasnt happened. Most BMX girls think MTB is too gnarly, the bikes are too expensive, bla bla bla, same ole crap, im trying to change that with my crew of girls.
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  • + 2
 Seems like a more genuine answer to this issue could be had by asking athletic females (ya' know all those surfer/snowboarder/climber/'yakker women mentioned) who aren't yet into mtb, why they haven't checked it out...
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  • + 1
 I know hardly anyone else near me to go shred dirt with - i don't give a shit whethter they are M or F - i just want someone to kill trails with!

I think part of it is probably money, i am stuck on a crappy HT but i just use my dads full sus (my dad got me into it surprise) I cant afford to fix my bike - let alone get a new one! its a difficult sport to get into, especially when you are young... I couldnt bring my (ex (see above)) gf riding cos' her wee bike would disintegrate!

It's a shame that it's so expensive cos it makes it difficult to step up from easy trails to shredding big shit!
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  • + 1
 Hi, I've been mountain biking for a while and am a woman. I did not read the article but am here to say that I agree and also that knitting is not just for women, men can do it too, there are plenty of artistic creative men and if you could only try knitting you would realize how rewarding and surprisingly masculine it actually is. Also as a movement we require the critical mass outlined somewhere on this article as I scrolled through it. P.S: I am a genuine woman. Cheers
  • + 1
 Gender roles as laid out by corporations for society should be ignored. And with enough information, people will start to realize how they can work better by embracing what strengths others have, regardless of their genetic makeup.

Knitting seems like it could be fun and useful. vimeo.com/16783518
  • + 1
 your profile says you are a 16 year old boy Frown
  • + 1
 Hence the P.S: I am a genuine woman. it was an ironic comment, knitting much like mountain biking tends to be gender specific because it plays on each genders strengths, for example men like speed, they tend to therefore enjoy cycling fast. It has been proven that women do not like speed so much so are more likely to take up a stationary hobby, like knitting. However, of course there are those who are in both categories, for example there are women who enjoy mountain biking nd men who enjoy knitting. It just means the majority of participants are going to be of a certain gender, its how we're built, it's in our DNA!
  • + 1
 Also, SItOnIt, that guy in the video looks like an absolute nutter, and I live in Stroud: the hippy capital of the world!
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 Women don't ride because they don't want to ride. Nobody I know works toward keeping girls or women from riding bikes. Every woman I know who rides does so for her own reasons. No women I know who do NOT ride are "prevented" from riding by attitudes or anything else.

It's definitely North American Culture circa 2012 to look for social reasons why people do or do not. But people are much more individualized than that. People make choices based on what they want.

Cycling doesn't need to "grow" and I'm pretty tired of every pseudo-journalist writing about MTBs saying that we need to "grow the sport." The sport, the activity of cycling, it will do just fine without "growth" and there will always be girls and women who will ride because they WANT to do so.

What a boring article. Might as well ask why more men don't wear brassieres or put on makeup. This article smells and looks like someone trying to be "feminist" and trying to "promote women's interests" while being patronising and having the author think his particular worldview describes everything honestly and accurately. My experience suggests that the author is clueless. So I submit that I'm right and Mitchell Scott and most other MTB "journalists" are wrong.
  • + 0
 finally, someone who has a grip on reality. great post cfoxtrot!!!!!!! so glad you wroye this post.
  • - 2
 Thanks Stacy.
  • + 3
 In Kamloops there are tons of females riding. We even have Dh womens ride groups, hundreds of women in XC riding and more joining every day. We sometimes lose a few as they get get busy having families but overall I see women joining the sport here everyday. I see them on the trails in hords, up at Sun Peaks and Silverstar....this is not an issue in our area and the sport continues to grow. There are women racing DH at 50 here and I just sold a Demo 8 to a 12 year old girl.
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 I think I will peacefully pretend I didn't read some of these comments. Smile Why aren't there more women on your bro-rides? Well for starters guys are faster. Sure there are fast women who rip and are faster than many guys and it's not true that all women are slower than all men. Some gals rip it up on rocks and jumps and some like to hammer uphill. But if you look at your local race results class by class, for example pro women vs. pro men, sport women vs. sport men, the fact is we are slower. I think most gals who start out for the first time are struggling to keep up with their man or their guy friends (who have been riding way longer than them) and it is usually discouraging. It's frustrating to constantly be stopping for a slower rider too - I totally get that. So if you are interested in getting your wife/gf/sister/gal friend (heck, even your beginner guy friend) into riding, be patient and encouraging and take them for a ride after you've just tired yourself out by a hammer-fest and feel like going slower. So many times I've heard my guy friends say, "I wish my wife (or GF) was more like you.. .she fell once and got scared and I think she's going to quit." The funny thing is it is usually the case that the wife or gf doesn't end up quitting, and ends up really enjoying it. Women tend to approach things more delicately (gracefully? emotionally?) than you guys do... usually. It doesn't mean we have no aptitude or interest - just a different approach.
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  • + 1
 Great subject well said! We need more girls, funny enough my wife started riding about 1 month ago, and i can tell you it was one of the coolest things ever happened on our marriage, not instead of leaving her on a weekend to go riding, she just comes with me.

And the most impressive thing is watching her evolve from 0 to amazing is this short period of time, i'm really proud to see her shredding the trails with me... of course a few stacks here and there, bruises and scratches, but she is handling pretty well, gets up hops on the bike and keep pushing those pedals...

So for all of you guys out there, wondering should i do it? My answer is YES, do it, get her a decent bike, not a supermarket brand one, something that is light and easy for her to learn, something with a decent suspension that will save her from some nasty troubles, and she will be hooked... Give it some time, you will have to go with her on light rides without your riding dudes in the beginning, so she can have the feel for the bike without the pressure of having to catch up with everyone 2km down the track. Do it and you will have a ridding buddy for life...

And there is more, now she doesn't even complain if i'm watching a MTB movie at night, she just sits there and watch it with me, because she can relate to it...

So thats it, here is my 2 cents... girls deserve their place on the sport for sure!
For the boys: get your girls in to it! It's cool to have your girl shredding with you... and it's even cooler to plan a MTB holiday trip together...
For the girls: if you have the opportunity or desire to give it a go, do it! You will see how much fun it is... with or without a partner you will love it, and if you don't have a partner, i bet you the moment a guy sees you ripping that bike around the trails he will fall in love with you at fist sight. There is nothing sexier than a sports girl...

cheers,
dan
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 Maybe you shouldn't smooth the skin in PS in that 4th picture so beyond reason that she has lost her skin texture. Treat them equal like they probably want you too and not like the way you think they want to be portrayed. Just a thought, but wow, you went or the mannequin look on that one.
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 i liked it, it was done with some sensitivity, and enough humility, and despite horrid grammatics, was actually funny in terms of poking fun of the y chromosome. and yeah you have to admit you'd have thought he was looking for party favors, or porn if the title was "where's the xx". don't nitpick, he set out to start a healthy dialog and reading the comments looks like he did. are many men, generally speaking, pigs by women's sensitivity standards? you bet. guys, you want some girls to come ride with you try not looking at them like a hungry wolf at meat, or treating them like they're any different than you at all. they just want to ride. admit, don't admit, whatever, it's physiological fact--both sides are sexually motivated in the oldest, most primitive parts of the brain. is it exploited to get your attentions? c'mon you're not retarded. nobody wants to be hit on by someone they aren't attracted to. try being someone's friend for a minute at least, and if you get the sense there's a mutual attraction shoot your mouth off, go ahead. either way i bet you got more respect built up for them that first minute and what comes out of your mouth will be more tempered and thoughtful in the first place. and you're an ass if you enjoy leaving anyone behind to make yourself feel like the kom. you popped out of the womb throwin' tabletops and whips and manualing your way to kindergarten? hell no, some folks taught you some shizzle along the way. so keep it in your pants and give some back, and don't be surprised when they come back.
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  • + 1
 I think this is an issue of mentality and perception by both male and females. I'm a female rider and I think part of the reason more women don't ride is women have generally been raised to be more "tame" or "proper". It's a cultural thing and this society is still trying to get over that. However, I never felt this way as a child, was never raised in an environment to aim for less and therefore always believed I could accomplish anything. But, sadly this "I-can't-do-it-because-I'm-girl" mentality still exists. For example My 10 yr old female cousin didn't know that women could become mountaineers when she saw an episode of Everest on the discovery channel. I felt unsettled by this. I suppose her parents never created an environment where she felt she could do anything.
Another reason is the male dominated industry's perception of women since their expectation is lower and therefore women will band together where we feel uninvited. But, change is inevitable and I hope for the best.
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 nice article. i think we can do more, but i can recall bugging my girlfriend endlessly to come on rides with us when i lived in nelson. i'm a mellow dude, and we were never in a rush, but the gf often felt like she was holding us up, or whatever. she felt a 100 times better if there was even one other girl on the rides. that said, nelson is mellow, people usually aren't in a rush and having a bigger group usually seems to work ok. anyway, I was always happy when she came on rides, and so was she.
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  • + 1
 I think the real issue (Mitch probably already knows my thoughts on this) is that the mountain biking community condones misogynist behavior in its many forms. Women are not objects. A female rider, who is obviously skilled and also happens to be beautiful, posing for a face shot is no different than a male rider posing for a face shot. Women don't want to be surrounded by ignorant "dudes" who see them or other women as sex toys... at least for me this is part of what DOES NOT appeal to me about mountain biking. It is the only sphere of my life in which well-educated adult men openly objectify women. I know that most guys that make inane comments on pinkbike are not bad people, but words form action/habits/character as the saying goes. There are tons of women out there who shred and who are also allowed to be attractive without being objectified. Let's get stoked for women and girls who ride bikes and encourage them as humans who are challenging themselves and having fun.
  • + 1
 Speak for yourself, bro-heem.

I don't broad-brush an entire population of anything in any context. You shouldn't either. Mitchell Scott sure as hell knows better if he's ever answered to an editor's reviewing eye and mind.

I think what you mean to say, if trying to be accurate, is that there are some really sexist jerks who ride bikes and/or work in businesses related to bikes. Which isn't surprising -- there have been sexist jerks of BOTH gender in lots of different settings and mini-communities I've encountered in my life. Prejudice and ignorance are part of the human condition. And if you aren't seeing prejudice, ignorance, sexism anywhere but MTB, you are very naive, or aren't looking very closely.

Don't go blaming me for misogyny, bro-heem. That paint won't stick.

The problems you're talking about, and what Mitchell Scott is trying, poorly, to write about -- they are problems of INDIVIDUAL people who see girls and women in counter-productive or corrosive ways.

Any woman or girl who looks outside herself for a reason to ride a bike -- she's looking in the wrong place. Any person who's been cycling seriously for any decent length of time will agree with me on this, I think. If you're riding for someone else, it's not going to stick. It's not going to last.

So the ladies shouldn't be looking to Pinkbike or NSMB or MTBR or ridemonkey or vitalmtb or anywhere else outside themselves for what to think about riding. They should ride (or not ride, if that's their choice) based on what they want as a result of looking within.

I suggest reading Ryan Leech's latest essay as a counterpoint to this crap above by Mitchell Scott.
  • + 1
 Thanks for your reply, "bro". I am actually a woman, and I ride bikes (yes, seriously and for a decent length of time, and no, I'm not looking outside myself for a reason to ride) and I know what this scene is like. I'm glad you think you aren't sexist, but we still live in a world where women are still fighting for equal pay, the right to control our own bodies, and the right to be seen as something other than an object. I know there are many many really wonderful men who mountain bike (I have the pleasure of knowing many), but if those men don't speak up in defense of women, they are doing us all a disservice. Note that I used the word CONDONE. Men condone this behavior.
I guess what I hear you saying is that you're not sexist and you don't appreciate being labeled as such. I am not labeling you, but your self-defense is a little like a white guy calling himself color blind and trying to suggest that we just drop the issue of racism. I am a white girl, and I recognize I am privileged because of the color of my skin and that it is my obligation to help reverse centuries of discrimination and disparities in income/health etc. that run along racial lines. Likewise, an enlightened man would recognize that he still lives in a man's world and that a passive approach won't reverse the sexism in our society.
I don't buy mountain bike magazines, and this is the first time I've ever commented on Pink Bike. Why? Not for a lack of passion for mountain biking, but because there is no reason why I should buy a magazine only to realize that I am clearly NOT its intended audience. A stripper slung over a bike gives me a message that this ad is for men... this magazine is for men... this sport is for men.
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 all the above is why Girls find it hard to ride with "dudes" Id love a girlfreind/partner/wife that could or would ride hard with me.
  • + 1
 my husband is a pro, nd he got me into biking. I ride hard with im all the time. I may not be as fast as him, but I have learned a lot, and we love to ride together.
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 LOL at this article. No disrespect, but this article isn't exactly girl friendly. From how I read it, you just want more girls to oggle. Which is cool, but not a good way to convince girls to join in, just saying. I ride with plenty of girls and know a large amount of girl riders, I get invited to go riding with girls. Why? I don't oggle them and see them as part of the scenary. Treat them as equals, give them some pointers, take some pointers from the ones better then me. Challenge them and accept challenges. Enjoy the pedaling. The girl in front of me isn't any different then riding with a dude, in any respect. That being said, I speak girl a bit better then you lot.
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 I think the reason we dont see many girl bikeing is tha its starts from when you a very young moms dad tend to let boys be boys but tend to take girls shoping so they miss out . Would be great to see more girls rideing .
  • + 2
 Possibly a slight factor. But many people take up new sports as adults, esspecially extreme sports.
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  • + 1
 There is no excuse why women can't just go out and ride. Surely they can do what we do, get in contact with friends and go for a ride, it really isn't that hard. Surely they have other female friends they could go with, or even shock horror, men!? Men do actually like riding with women it is just there is hardly any about. Mountain biking has to be one of the easier sports to get into as well.

I do think it is harder for them to get into racing because the harsh truth is mens racing is more exciting to watch, so is dominated by men. For the record I love watching womens racing as well, I was/am a big fan of riders like Anne Caro and Missy Giove and current riders like Rachael Atherton.

I think the bottom line here is this is more of a problem with society. They are the only ones that can make the change, If you really love something, you will do it anyway. Just get out and ride ffs.
  • + 4
 It's not about excuses, and it's a lot more difficult than you think to get a group of women together to ride. And getting into racing isn't the problem for women. Making a living at it is the problem, since there is still a huge disparity in prize and sponsorship money.
  • + 3
 In the 90's, pro womens gravity riders were making BANK! so it attracted more and more of them to the sport. Then in about 2000, things started changing fast, it was the reason my wife (Leigh Donovan) retired in 2001, she went from a high six figure salary, to no more offers past her current contract, this was happening for all the top women...it was not worth it for her to risk her life every weekend for shit money, but she was involved at the right time, made a lot of money, got a lot of women into bikes, mission accomplished. So....do I think the racing was MORE exciting back then for the women? probably not, the field was deeper for sure, but the media/industry treated them as equals (to some extent) and the media made the women celebrities, this does not happen now, they have been downgraded to a side show and there was even secret talk from industry cool guys to eliminate women from the world cup. Guys are dumb.
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 Haha hilarious comments! Give it some time.. Look at snowboarding in the nineties barely no girls.. Snowboarding now?
Mtb'ing is a relative young sport, there will be riding alot of girls in the future!
  • + 4
 rock climbing is almost split down the middle of how many men and women do it. I'd love to see mtbing get that way.
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 Ladies - We have equal payout for Pro Women and Men ($1000 for 1st) at the Bell Wasatch Enduro at Canyons Resort - www.bellwasatchenduro.com - July 21st in beautiful Park City, Utah - Come shred the enduro and grab some cash, then stick around for the Canyons Bike Park - Ali G
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  • + 1
 I enjoyed reading this! And I plan to go to Whistler next summer and get in to mountain biking! As well as ski in the winter. I love the outdoors (in fact I did a little bit of biking before university) and can't wait. Bring it!
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  • + 1
 Love this article, well written and full of good points. As a unicyclist I have noticed a huge disparity in the number of female mountain and Trials Unicyclists. That being said, I am not sure the article is well named. Seeing as females genetically posses two X chromosomes and males have one X and one Y chromosome it appears to me that the title of this article asks why there aren't males in the sport.... Bit of a laugh there but overall love this article and am impressed with the freeride pictures!
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 FYI about the all women have given birth once comment...that is false as I am married to a woman who never has nor wants to give birth. We are "child free"...unless you count us! Wink

BTW it's hard to write an article about the opposite sex as you're never going to completely be able to understand their wants, needs, desires, emotions, etc. Doesn't mean that this article doesn't have some validity, though. It's just a man's perspective.
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 I see quite a few dads out with their daughters shredding the hill and i think it is a great! we need more people mountain biking and i really think that it is a good way to meet new people and be social and all the while have a great time shreddin! in other words: invite girls that you know to go mountain biking with you and start a new trend (that isnt alltogether new)
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 Also was there any point to this article? other than a vague ill-founded attempt to blame men, it just seemed to point out that few women do mountain biking which everyone knew anyway. I don't really get where all the discussion came from.
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  • + 1
 Not sure how much language plays a role in stuff like this but I have definitely rolled in circles where calling women "chicks" would not fly nor would calling them "girls" while we refer to ourselves as men or dudes. Mtn. biking is a very chauvinistic culture and very discriminatory. Half the time I wonder why I want to engage in a sport where people think words like "retard", "f*g" and "gay" are okay to use. I'm going to go out on a limb and say women prefer riding with other women because they prefer good, safe, and smart company.
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  • + 1
 A sad fact of the matter is that mountain biking is a boys world. Even when an extremely talented female rider comes along, there are lots of them BTW, most comments are about how she looks, or the ever popular "she's good for a girl" pop up.
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  • + 1
 OMG!!!! you are all so funny. i live in Bend and most women i see on the trails are by themselves or with other women. the writer was simply expressing how much he would like women to be more of a part of something he loves. how is that something to be attacked for? as for women being the toughest...childbirth is far from the most pain one can endure. they have no special license there. get over the poor me thing ladies. we love women, and mountain bikes. who wouldn't want them combined? all the hostilities toward men is only harming yourselves. we, as a gender, are not the problem. individuals are. how intelligent is it to blame the innocents? you are better than that.
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  • + 2
 Whatever, this says it all right here in this video:
vimeo.com/42113828

Ladies aren't only hotter if they ride, but they are having just as much fun as the guys. That's the point.
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  • + 1
 My daughter loves bikes, end of story. She is 12 and racing downhill on the BC cup. A lot of people don't have the guts to sign up for a race and get into the starting gate, thats fine, each to their own, but she likes it. The people around Kamloops riding the trails are awesome. They look out for her on the trail, give advice, lend a hand. Dylan who owns Mostly Mental has been really good getting her out riding downhill,coaching. The Bicycle Cafe is an awesome shop and and it doesn't matter who you are, they make you feel welcome as soon as you walk through the door. Its a good thing to have more girls riding downhill, freeriding, xc. You would have to be pretty insecure to slag anyone who wants to ride, guy or girl, and unless we have seen your name beside Matt Hunters or Steve Peat then its pretty safe to say your just a regular guy out enjoying the mountains.
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  • + 1
 Hi guys...do you know my page of facebook?

"I LOVE GIRL RIDERS"..11.000 Fans from all over the World

What we do? CELEBRATION OF GIRLS DOING WHAT THEY DO = RIDING

..because We Love Girl Riders..

Follow us!!! www.facebook.com/ILoveGirlsRiders
  • + 1
 Good Job Guys!!! We Love Girl Riders
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  • + 1
 in our country girls don't ride bikes, because they think its uncool, and guys riding bikes are uncool. they instead like guys who ride 100 cc tin cans. and girls ride 50cc tin cans. its way bad here ! hoping that the whole scenario changes here soon !
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  • + 2
 I'll say what others already have.....go look at the comments for any article featuring womens biking (even this one) for the #1 reason they are getting turned away from the sport.
[Reply]
  • + 1
 There is no money for the woman, even for the men for that matter. For god sakes the "world champion" (steve pete) a few years back was looking at the remaining riders to finish their runs while sitting in the back of a pick up truck. I dont get it either. I have loved this sport for over $20 years and although it has come a long way it still has a ways to go. Lauren Daney a female rider has a lot of potential to bring some attention to the sport. She looks awesome and rides even better.
[Reply]
  • + 1
 I went to a XC MTB race last night. It was discouraging for the women. There were about 10 of us. Maybe 30 guys. Not a bad ratio. What was so discouraging is that they had no women's class. The women raced against the men. There was no way us women could beat these sandbaggers racing in the beginners class. Half of tem were pros. This is what discourages women from riding. No women's divisions. Why should we go race our hearts out when there is no chance for us to make the podium? It is only going to make us to tell our female friends not to race, it is not worth it.
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  • + 3
 A very large part of the shop I work at is devoted to women's bikes and clothing. I see more and more women every year getting into the sport
[Reply]
  • + 1
 Because they do women in open classes. They don't do the classes like the men. It's not fair for beginner and novice women to be thrown into a class of women who are pros and kick your ass. It makes you feel defeated. It owers your confidence, lie you will never make the podium. Women see that the class for women is open, no age groups, etc... and we get scared and do not enter. There are thousands of women that would race, but will not because we don't have same class groupings as men. And Men have a clydesdale, what about an Athena class for women. over 175 lbs? So many great ideas, and when presented to race promoters, they fall upon deaf ears.
[Reply]
  • + 2
 Female rippers are here and rapidly multiplying!!! This article was kinda lame tho. Nice photos but pointless narrative.
www.vitalmtb.com/videos/member/Dixie-Trix-2012-Women-jumping-fatty-ranchstyle,13325/k-shiz,14
[Reply]
  • + 1
 I remember RC fielding a similar question in an old issue of Mountain Bike Action and referring to the Male Bonehead Factor (MBF) as one significant reason. I took this to mean that we are conditioned to believe that we "have a chance" with any girl/woman who smiles at us for whatever reason, and this tends to govern our actions --- making us do stupid, off-putting things. The moral? A little courtesy, respect and empathy go a long way.

. . . and you never know!!! -------------------- (ironic example of the MBF in action)
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  • + 2
 As a dude MTBer its impossible to introduce girls into the sport.....I dont know thier motives but they tell me they dont want to embarrass them selves or look stupid. :/ Bad times
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  • + 1
 This article is ridiculous. The reason there are few girls in the sport is because girls in a sport with so many MEN (not dudes) become hyper-sexualized to the extent that lesbians are to boys going through puberty. Also, the guy writing this shit needs to take an eng course because he isn't very knowledgeable in the grammatical arts.
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  • + 1
 i see the authors point and the potential benefits, but im going to play devils advocate. Im fine that girls dont bike. I see enough of my better half (love you hun!) that i dont need her involved in this thing thats all mine

Its cool that the girls that are into it are, but in general i think you either grow up around biking or undertake it on your own volition

We all know how impossible it is to show someone the light if they arent willing to go there with thier own two feet and dont have motivation

Its such an involved sport with all the $, injuries, and bike maintenance that it is best left to those willing to endure those drawbacks to taste glory
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  • + 1
 There are some good comments here, however many more terrible ones... I think what this article has really shown is that us dudes are for the most part morons, hahaha. If chicks wanna shred, that's awesome! If they don't wanna shred, well, that's awesome too. Same goes for anybody. Just because a girl doesn't ride MTB doesn't mean she's not badass. Ever seen a roller derby? Absolutely terrifying.... Razz
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  • + 1
 We,ve got a fair amount of Dh worthy chicks,here in the Phoenix area.Theyre all pretty cool.They put up with..and join in on the guy sense of humor on the shuttle bus.Everyone gets treated with the same level of disrespect....and the hot ones that ride with tank tops....they get stared at more.If they dont "ride like a girl"theyre treated like everyone else.Phoenix area dh tends to weed out the timid pretty quick-Guys like looking at girl parts--get over it.Everyone understands how that works.When was the last time youdid DH runs with a tight tank top ?If you're gonna put it out there,I'm probably going to notice it.
[Reply]
  • + 1
 There is hope for the future of parity in mountain biking and its called the National Interscholastic Cycling Association. Twelve states are participating and there are plenty more that should join. Check out a high school mountain bike league near you and if there isn't one, consider starting one in your town or state. The podium goes five deep and girls results' are as important to team scores as the boys'. In my town, the boys and girls train together, travel together and cheer for each other together. It is amazing to watch all the kids, but especially the girls, flourish and build confidence and self-esteem not to mention mtb skills that will last a lifetime.
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  • + 3
 Any comments that are disrespectful are likely posts from teenage boys going through puberty. I would just disregard them all together.
  • + 1
 Depends on what you mean by "respect."

The main pseudo-essay by Mitchell really hasn't earned my respect, because it's insipid and pathetic.

Respect must be earned. It's not something that one deserves without earning. Mitchell hasn't earned it here. Nor has "stikman" with his nonsensical commentary and self-promotion.
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  • + 3
 There are more than teenagers reading Pinkbike, you know? No doubt this article was thought & written for teen dudes (the pictures, the silly analogies). Grew up man.
  • + 1
 That's the size of it.

It's like Pinkbike just went back in time 5 years. Most of the readers who would appreciate this crap article are 12 year old boys who want to buy your 2004 Banshee Scream "as soon as my dad gives me an advance on my next 4 years' allowance."
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  • + 1
 I can't see why this article rubbed so many people the wrong way. Clearly the guy is stating his opinion and it actually doesn't suck. If we women are being honest with ourselves then we can recognize why men are viewed to be more radical. It's true; riding is a male dominated sport, so far. It's up to us girls to change that. We don't have to be agro about it either. You just have to ride, have fun and keep up. I ride with guys often and they wait when i need to be waited for and they take a beatin' like a man when it is rightfully due. But really it's about growing a sport that could be so much more if women were as into as men. I know I am!
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  • + 1
 There's definitely not a 50/50 split, it's true, but they're out there. And we semi-actively recruit to get more women into the sport in my local club by hosting beginner rides with female leaders. Honestly probably 75% of the rides I go on have at least one woman along here in Tucson.
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  • + 1
 Like surfing huh? I have been surfing for 15 year big hoss, and if there was ever a male dominated sport its surfing. Go paddle out in so-cal on a wintery morning and count heads, its mostly a bunch of men out there. Its changing as well, but its mostly guys.
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  • + 1
 Is it just me, or was anyone else wondering... Where did the random storage container come from? Why was it in the woods? Would I have to get my tetanus shot before riding? Who went all the way out into the woods to tag a rusty storage container? Is that a naturally occuring storage container? Do they store their trail building tools in that container? Where's the rest of the train?

Just a few questions that popped into my head before realizing what was actually going on in the photo.
  • + 1
 Dude - how do you not know about this train wreck ?? I'm from England and even I know about it ! Jeeeez.....
  • + 1
 thx yellowdogx.... my questions have been answered.
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  • + 1
 "When it comes to mountain biking, there aren’t too many women around."
Huh??? What kind of statement is that?? 20 years ago I would have agreed with this, but times have changed!!
And only 10% to 30% of all riders are female?? I find that hard to believe too.
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  • + 1
 I only began to see more women on trails when full suspension rigs got much lighter in the last three years. The rise of 29'ers (cue the nonsense) also seemed to help. Most I talk to seem to be bored with long distance road cycling and have moved into mountain biking as opposed to entirely new cycling enthusiasts. More interesting to me is that I see fewer and fewer under 25 riders on the non-ski hill trails these days. The average age seems way up compared to 10-15 years ago. Perhaps the sport has gotten too expensive?
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  • + 1
 stop talking shit about me and go find a girl your own age who would be good for keira you are so selfish jesse and dom dont argue theyre awesome together look at fred and eric they argue and theyre brothers youre using generalizations men argue amongst themselves as well. Youre just pissed off at me and taking it out on the internet like youve done countless times before, im sticking up for myself theres a reason i was nagging at you in whistler, i love riding too but not as much as i love being a family with our daughter.... i guess i was the only one who felt that way. I came up there and we took turns watching keira in the village it was good for all three of us, it drove me crazy sitting at home watching our newborn sleep wondering when you were gonna come home youd be gone for half a week at a time, dont get me wrong youre a good dad when youre around i just missed you and wanted to be a family so bad.
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  • + 1
 women are more sensitive to pain than men, that said, they can be tougher. Also, for childbirth (which is apparently the approximate equivelant of breaking 20 bones) women build up endorphins and other chemicals in their body that helps them get through it. But, like i said, girls can bea lot tougher than guys, and i would not want to try childbirth, so im just gonna thank god im a dude
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  • + 1
 I don`t know if this has been mentioned in one of the comments before but I´ll write it anyway.

One of the barriers into the mountaibiking universe in my opinion is nature - as the surrounding we exercise the sport in.
To my girlfriend, who is a sporty but not athletic type (no group sport or competition background) riding a mountainbike is fun.
And I do enjoy spending bike-riding time with her. Also because I´d do it anyway but also because it´s great to do the things you love but greater to do it with loved ones. No argues there - be it friends or family, boy-/girlfriends or wifes/husbands.

But since she started the sport only recently with the age of 27 she is really intimitated by roots and rocks on trails.
And I get it. Other than skiing - where falling obviously results in a dampend impact - falling on rocks undoubtely hurts.
And therefor she is scared even on rocky uphills and I don´t have the patience for long to try to persuade her to do it again, find easy trails and so on.
Because I do the sport for 15 years and in this time I gained skill, confidence and musclepower that can´t be transfered that easily to a beginner in an intimitating surrounding.
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  • + 1
 what the hell is wrong with this guy come girls shred and make a living out of it like that atherton girl you gotta show some respect girls arent only made to work because if we ask you sports are for dudes let them be so what if their not the top racers they just wanna ride btw bikes are built for women too norco and many other company's make female specific bikes
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  • + 1
 I think one reason girls are not so present in riding is because a dude usually doesn't make the invitation. Or? One of the best feelings I had last summer was teaching a girlfriend to flow the airs and not ride them.... she is so stoked this season she's got a few more girls coming along.... looks like I'm going to be busy this summer:-) And I like it. And I think addikted2anal makes the same point.

As for Mitchell.... I think you have to clarify to everyone you live in Nelson but you are not from Nelson. (I've been there a few times and well you are giving the the dudes a bad wrap).
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  • + 3
 ha, my wife introduced me to mountain biking! I regularly ride with one woman who leaves me in the dust too, uphill, downhill, jumps whatever.
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  • + 2
 Gotta admit, the gettin' dirty is fun. The gettin' hurt just happens. Makes you chose faster lines over sketchy ones. BTW I rarely get to ride with other girls. It's always my husband and our guy friends.
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  • + 1
 Cycling is primarily about recreation, not competition. Hedonism versus ego yo. I have a 10 and 12 year old daughter and 36 yr old wife and we take 2 month + mountain bike trips along the west coast from AK every year. They love it as much as I do but for different reasons. Guys like feeling like a badass, cuts and scrapes, barely made-it stories, breaking parts cause you're he-man, all that. My girls, well mostly they like the camaraderie, beautiful vistas (not another vista), seeing wildlife, learning about ecology and enjoying good weather. I ride AK winter including ice biking and fatty. Often temperatures are under -30 f and I'm still having "fun". Why is that fun? It's fun cause I got an ego and I like knowing I'm the badass of the village while the girls do zumba in winter cause its actually fun. If more women are going to get into the sport it will be because it is really fun. Genuine fun, not of the 'I'm better than you variety' but like surfing (good analogy) plain hedonism.
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  • + 1
 Dont know where you guys live, but last sunday, I rode XC all morning with a group of 8 women. Scratches & mud made no gender distinction and everybody had a huge smile in the end (ok, maybe not my girlfriend when I got home...). In our MTB club, we are about 50-50 men/women, so there's hope.
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  • + 1
 my girl shuttles me and goes to all my races, she understands why my bike is worth more then my truck. its fun to shred DH with the fellas but the best thing i ever done was buying my girl a trek lush sl. Now she wants to start racing, i created a monster, now she sleeps,eats,talks bikes. Now on those special days i know what to buy her and it better match her bike. life is so much better when you both pedal.
  • + 2
 Sweet flyr!
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  • + 1
 I want my gf to start riding but i think she thinks mud will not wash off lol. not that i want to see her fly off a cliff or race me down the mountain there is so much more to riding than that. plus its probly one of the best ways to stop gettin fat while having fun.
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  • + 0
 I agree that we need more girls in the sport; the "p" word everyone is always talking about (progression) would be in abundance. Also, if a girl mountain bikes she is instantly hotter. If she's faster than me, that just means I get to look at ass while chasing her down and becoming faster. tup
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  • + 1
 Well said. Only issue is, with the media; women with scars and battle wounds are frounded upon sadly. Nothing wrong with a girl who isn't scared to crash and get dirty!! Ride on.
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  • + 1
 432 comments, never have I seen so many in all my years on Pink bike.. I do not care one way or the other, Male or Female riders are simply just riders to me, just another person enjoying my true PASSION in life..
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  • + 0
 WAAAAAA WAAAAAA IM A GIRL AND I HATE DUDES LIKING GIRLS ON BIKES!!!!!

seriously girls? get over it. men have always liked women...no matter what they are pictured with.

guns! cars! motorbikes! bmx! mountain bikes! even just on their own. funnily enough THAT is what makes the world go round!

though i dont want to make a sweeping generalisation....some people are gay. and dont like girls.
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  • + 4
 all these comments are too long to read.
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  • + 0
 My Room mate can pretty answer this question: She says 3 reasons why she doesn't hit the hills much anymore.

1) Women don't have as much upper body strength as men so taking some weight off the front as to the rear would be nice.

2) The guys act like pigs (That's usually when I step in and smack the shit out of him)

3) Not enough girl colored bikes, Pink and Baby Blue are her favorite colors not black and grey

Some times you have to ask a girl what she wants and unlike other people that's what I just did Smile
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  • + 0
 Where to start...The whole premise that there is some great need or desire to get women into MTB is baseless, pointless and beaten to death. It's like affirmitive action for cycling. I'm so tired of seeing all the special events, attention, prizes, clinics, sponsorship, etc. earmarked for people based on their sex. Think about it, if it were the same for males, the $&*@ would never stop flying. Hey guys, there's a reason there's not more women in MTB, they straight up don't like it and there's nothing wrong with that. Why is everyone so concerned about a non-problem? If a chic really wants to ride, then she'll find a way. If she doesn't, then quit trying to convince her to get on a bike.
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  • + 1
 the girl in the black helmet blue shirt and lip ring is hot. but so photo shopped. i like my girls unphoto shopped. but i mean ether way still a hotty. i want her to show me to do a drop.
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  • + 1
 so many comments... just go ride and everyone stop bitching. Girls riders are cool. so are guys. I would go nuts though if i got to see a lady throw down a back-flip whip at crankworks!!!! just saying...
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  • + 3
 Just gave my old Iron Horse SGS to a lady friend of mine. She expressed interest in DH, who better to give the bike to!?
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  • + 0
 All I see is a campaign to attract more consumers to all those bike manufacturers.... That`s all I see on DH nowadays.... $$$$$$
Even the videos are the same shit... I Just watched kranked 4, guys riding with old bikes that today "wouldn`t last a drop" and having way more fun than videos nowadays...
well, this has nothing to do with the thread, but I just feel that this article has a big financial purpose behind it.... peace
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  • + 1
 I think this topic came up at some point after the NBA had formed .... " Hey why arent there women playing pro ball ?" Then the WNBA happened. Case closed ... Sorry, Ill just have to be that guy I guess.
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  • + 2
 Terrible article. Sorry. All this has done has objectify them in the sport even further. You basically did the exact opposite of what you intended.
  • + 1
 bingo!!!. nice one miff.
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  • + 2
 Give women a chance in the sport. I reckon that all of the pro women in the world of cycling could easily kick the ass of every guy that has commented above.
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  • + 0
 My girl, age 10, absolutely loves to dh. She enjoys the respect she gets and is building her skills at risktaking. She feels she is broadening her horizon. She also now complains about the narrowmindedness of her peers - girls that are stuck in the "princess game" and spoonfed "sense of entitlement" while making each others life hell while going nowhere. Her latest ironic take: Painted fingernails are great - dont see the dirt stuck underneath.

The fault lies with the parents living in Fearville where risktaking (even calculated risk like dh) is frowned upon. So dont expect more women in the sport.

Later on:


The article is quite on the spot. Objectify women is a business deal - nothing more or less - sell your body for dough. Women do it because if you have looks or talents - it is an e co n o m i c a l means of turning talent into money and by nomeans a central thesis of marketable feminism as feminists want you to believe.

Feminism only fosters to fat slob woman to go even slobbier whining endlessly in the process. Selfempowerment is a danger to marketdriven feminism. I am glad this type of female stays of the dh-tracks.
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  • + 1
 I love riding and I love women, it is not sexist of me in any way to want to meet a beautiful woman who rides... now off to Whistler for opening weekend on my brand new TR 450 Wink
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  • + 1
 i think that i talk for some guys, you girls are more than welcome in this sport and i support all the ones that are already in it. bring a few more friends to the trails to show them how good this is
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  • + 2
 I just met a hot girl who used to ride, then her bike got stolen. I have never been in such a hurry to get my old hardtail back in action for her to use haha
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  • + 2
 I would love to ride with females if for nothing else to kill some of the ridiculous macho ego that surrounds pre and post ride.
  • + 1
 Why do you ride with such arrogant ponces? None of that crap happens in my riding group. Ever.
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  • + 1
 im lucky enough to have meet someone in the biking community that shared my same love for the sport and has opened my riding to xc and supports my passion for the sport and she kills is on 2 wheels. RESPECT
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  • + 0
 Mountain biking is a NEWER Sport (compared to skiing) and that does NOT make it A MALE SPORT. It is a NEWER sport and as with all sports, like snow sports, motor sports, climbing and base jumping, women are tearing it up. Some of the people in this forum claim ignorance, but what about what we know of history, the catching on of trends? Also economics. Raw and verified data shows that men still make a lot more money than the ladies, which is why most of us can't start until we are in middle management at age 30+ because we are finally able to afford stuff. Women are GOOD for the industry.

I'ts been my experience that when Girls see that if another girl can do it (because SOME men say we are not strong in the head or body) so often for beginners, these are very important learning experiences. I mostly shred with guys but always love the "Yippee you just hit that 20 footer perfect!" vibe the girls give. We just learn different, get good, then ride with dudes. Let the beginners get into it with the chicks, then they progress. Get it??? BTW, WOMEN'S CLINICS ARE POPULAR BECAUSE WE THINK AND NEED LITTLE COMMANDS TO GET READY TO SET UP, COMMIT AND KILL IT. WE LEARN DIFFERENTLY, WE ARE TOO SMART TO LEARN BY BREAKING BONES, WE GET INSTRUCTION (NOW WE CAN THANKS TO SO MANY GREAT WOMEN LIKE TAMMY, KAT AND LINDSEY AND SO MANY MORE I AM NOT MENTIONING. IF YOU BUILD IT WE WILL COME. Because of this clinic....where with the right verbal instruction, I hit my first real double.

Happy trails, we all love riding, there is just always a bigger picture. Thanks for listening to this free ride girl's side of the story.
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  • + 1
 Considering how much we guys pay for mountain bikes, companies can afford to starting giving away bikes to females for free as long as they will ride them and get more girls into it. I know I wouldnt mind it.
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  • + 0
 I couldn't give less of a shit and i'm sure the same could be said for most women, that's why hardly any of them do it. This isn't a complex issue, women, generally prefer to avoid macho environments and rough sports, that's all it is. The sport will always be male dominated as long as men are generally more competitive and physically able, most women will be put off, some won't and they'll take part. Also i would hate to ride with some women as they would ruin the banter.
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  • + 1
 I think its just all about fasion. Put a pretty girl in men's cloths, prob won't go noticed. Now change it up and put a pretty boy in a dress, there you go lots of notice. Could be good could be bad.
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  • + 2
 We dont have to be PC about making this sport open or not open to women. If they want to ride they will if they dont they will go to Pintrest.
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  • + 4
 Lots of ladies ride where I come from.
  • + 1
 Even more come down to our state from Quebec Provence of Canada to ride. There are usually a good number of women at Highland Bike Park on the big bikes too.
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  • + 3
 I think women's MTB should be shown on tv to put out to all the girls in the world how fun this sport is!
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  • + 1
 Girls if you like to ride then ride. Guys - ditto! Do it cause you love it! PS feel bad for the peeps in the tank tops, one day they will fall and so will their skin, hahahahahahahahahahaha
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  • + 0
 So I didn't read all the comments and don't know if this has been posted previously on PB, I glanced and saw a few comments on respecting women, the girly girls issue and so on. Women want to be looked at and talked about in ways that some of us would call disrespectful, they just don't tell you or anyone else that. Second this video shows that MTB Chicks want to be looked at as HOT, finally show your girlfriend this video and she will surely be with you every time you go riding if this is whats out in the woods with you!

vimeo.com/35413040
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  • + 0
 One other point.... the ratio of men to women riding may be 2:1, but when it comes to saying stupid stuff, I have to say us guys truly dominate. It's a special gift to sound like an idiot when you think you're being funny (I can tell whenever my GF gives me that LOOK). 'nuff said.
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  • + 1
 wow looks like my comment got a lot of hate , was only joking around though , ive got a lot of respect for women , would be amazing to see more get into riding!
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  • + 1
 I got passed by a woman the other day! this is the only sport I participate in that women can kick my ass its rare, but very strange.
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  • - 1
 there not as dum as us bottom line not too many girls get hurt and think the way we do most girls and yes i realize im generalizing but most girls get hurt and think well im not guna do that again where as us (male bikers) get hurt and think f*ck when can i bike again for example 24 hours ago i rashed hard on a one man trail (some kid was walking up the trail -.-swerved to avoid him shouolda hit him:P) i gashed the entire left side off my face broke my nose and im in a neck brace and all im thinking is if i could turn my head to the left my eye wasnt swollen shut i could totally bike right now NO GIRLS THINK LIKE THAT and that is why its a male dominated sport not saying thats the only reason obviously theres girls who dont mind getting hurt and obviously there males who are pussies but im sure that has ALOT to do with it especially in downhill/freeride but on a side note not riding downhill without a full face anymore Razz
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  • + 0
 If it's too hot then they could start by riding in bikini's? here's my Google Plus Cycling Page - plus.google.com/u/0/b/103077182273393839443/103077182273393839443/posts
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  • + 3
 Anyone of those girls would 110% destroy me on the trail.
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  • + 3
 I only looked at the pictures of this artical......
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  • + 1
 maybe flatwater kayaking has equal amount of girls . my brother is class 5 creek boater in norcal and not to many girls want to kayak off waterfalls
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  • + 1
 id love to ride with girls.....they would probably beat my ass! there just arnt that many women that want to get out on a bike n ride without worrying about how they look!
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  • + 2
 my little sister has been downhilling with me and my friends at mountsnow since she was 9. and she shreds.
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  • + 3
 all those pics look like funny kitchens
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  • + 1
 i was quite into reading this article until i saw how hot the girl with the lip ring looks then i got distracted. typical male eh
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  • + 2
 Every female riders looks fantastic to me, I think they are all Awesome...especially the Extreme ones
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  • + 3
 Dude, f I had a dollar for every time he used the word "dude"
  • + 6
 Then you'd have $19
  • + 2
 you should have chosen "girl" you'd be a lot wealthier
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  • + 2
 hey, that's Brittany (adictedtoanal) on the whistler shot.Fast woman she is.
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  • + 1
 man...thats a lot of reading. i love my bike iv been ridng for ever, i always ride with guys and can keep up 9 times out of ten, although not so great at huge hucks.
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  • + 2
 I'm going to do my part and build some trails in and around my kitchen. Who's with me?
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  • + 2
 For any women based in the UK, there is a growing group on Facebook: www.facebook.com/groups/311665708907350
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  • + 1
 I thought that I was riding only with males, more frequently all by myself, because I am not a good rider, and I work at inconvenient times.
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  • + 1
 I skipped out on putting a ring on her finger. Put a bike between her legs instead. 20 years later she is still riding with me.
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  • + 1
 I'd love to see more girls in mountain biking and all.. But did you see that photo of the trail overlooking the canyon? Ridiculous!
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  • + 1
 There's nothing wrong with being a rarity. It's a great feeling to exceed someone's expectations, regardless of why they have them. EMBRACE IT.
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  • + 2
 Second photo...my new background.
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  • + 1
 Its a fact... More and more girls like mountain biking...
vimeo.com/41988048
This is a good thing! Smile
[Reply]
  • + 1
 the article was written with a predisposed bias in the way the author was portraying females ie. not our equals
  • + 1
 Women and Men are not equal.
  • + 1
 they aren't equal, but they each have there own strengths and weaknesses
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  • + 2
 try trapping ya cock in ya zip.
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  • + 1
 My highschool XC team is more than half girls... I dont think theres really a problem getting enough women to bike
  • + 0
 Can you post some pictures of them !!??!!??!!??
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 I like to tuck&tape my junk whenever i ride, I also insist on being called miss greasy...
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 haha I meant to say NOT all G/Fs whine while riding bikes. Wow it's been a long day.
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 Clearly you don't ride the Whistler Bike Park. Girls DO ride. Go tomorrow and count, if it make u feel better!
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 Never mind Ian...Just saw the comment about the picture and how it was out of focus not PS'd
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 now many of your girlfriends has no hobby? that is the main problem I see around me, they just don´t sport and only like chill and shopping etc.
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 you should come to LA - there are plenty of dudes that only chill and go shopping.
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 Until their race times can match that of the male field then all shall stay the same towards them. Gotta step it up
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 My wife runs renthal grips.. coz she's cool.... (But neither has she rode her bike since they were fitted! Dammit.)
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 Great read and some great points made. That is all.
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 nice pierced girl... nice riding, if one of them whants to ride tropical trails in Brazil send my email...
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 Seems like women dont like wearing knee or elbow pads..
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 Thanks for writing this article.
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 maybe because you dont see dh girly bikes...
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 haha the one with the rockstar helmet is fit Wink
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 You girls are absolutely right! July 26 we can talk in Whistler Smile
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 Were there even words in that article?
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 4th picture down, i would..... drooool
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 Off topic, but where's pic. 5 shot at?
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 yeah nice pics what was the article abt?
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 well played pinkbike, well played.
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 Everyone just go ride already!
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 Great last line. The Dude does still abide.
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 get yourself a kidney stone thats right up there with pain and suffering
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 id lick her pussy
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 female riders Big Grin !!!!!!
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  • + 0
 I also fail at spelling today *four and *two! HA
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 Sucks when you wanna hang with your rider buddies and your G/f or this chick is following you around ,I prefer not seeing arguments before and durring a ride ,lots of my buddies do not even call me cause of drama queen whinning and wanting attention.Warning you do not want a g/f that rides. my other buddy at whistler is always inviting his girl to ride and she constantly ruins the tempo of the ride. Im not slagging on groups of girls that ride together,just girls trying to hang with fast guys.
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 ya u know it buddy, keep her out of the bro rides.....hahahaha. love u si.
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 No all G/Fs whine while riding bikes. Just sayin haha.
  • + 11
 wheeldrop...I can guarantee that girls riding with guys don't ever want to ruin the tempo of your ride. It's often my worst fear when I ride with the guys. Luckily, they're wonderful and they reassure me that that's not their concern and they just want me to get out and learn! They're patient with me and they want me to get better, and they know the only way for that to happen is for me to get out and ride.

But, the real deal is me being a girl isn't really what's swaying the tempo on them, it's because I'm new to the sport...as is often the case with girls simply because we don't learn about this awesome sport when we're young like the guys do. We're often not exposed to it until we get a chance to hang around with guys who bike...oftentimes the guys who bike happen to be our boyfriends. What about the guys that come into your group that are new to biking? Don't they mess with your ride tempo too?

I guess what I'm saying is, give us girls (and guys new to biking) a chance. We see how great biking is and we want in. We just need the guys who actually know what they're doing to help us with the learning process. Sure, it may mean you'll have to sacrifice a good flow in your ride every once and a while...but isn't it worth it when it means you get to have more people involved in the sport?
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 Very true... so many of the girls I meet started biking because of a boyfriend ... There must be so many other ways to introduce this sport to more women!
  • + 1
  This is wheeldrops gf of 7 years, im the chick on the chair, we fell in love riding the trails of whistler and having such an amazing rider for a boyfriend has been an awesome experience we would get stoked for one another when wed do sick lines watching my man fly through the boneyard was inspirational and it pushed me to advance my riding, yeah i dont get along with some of your friends wheeldrop despite that we still managed to have a good time... theres nothing id rather do with my man than rip the trails. I can keep up thats not what hes referring to when he says i ruin the tempo its my confrontational atitude and imaturity
that has caused drama but i was 16 so no shit all your 40 year old friends and i dont get along. And i ride pretty serious for a girl how many of you guys have done the goats gully bridge line, with no armour. Im a stripper dont need tan lines!
  • + 0
 ^^ I'm not as blond as you dumb I am.
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 wheeldrop, I know girls who could probably hand 90% of the guys posting here's asses to them on a silver platter. Not all girls are holding back the tempo. I understand when it comes to cross country that you want someone who can keep up, but in that case it's just as likely there is going to be a guy that is holding up the group versus a girl. Downhilling, part of the community is taking pitstops and waiting for everyone to catch up, grabbing a beer at the bottom of the trail, etc. So who cares if someones a bit slower.
  • + 0
 I showed some of my newer bike homies a good trail last summer. One day when I was working they decided to ride so they invited this chick they know, and she brought her cat, for real. Thankfully they clowned her. Don't think they ever asked her to ride again, only when they needed her for a bachelor party. Attention and money is much better than just attention.
  • + 1
 I've been riding with guys ever since I started since one of my buddies got me into it. Don't bash girls because you think one girl is whiney and complains, most girls can keep up and are just there to enjoy the trails and learn new techniques. If you're one of those jerks who doesn't like riding with people outside your group or doesn't like teaching or encouraging others to learn, that's entirely your preference. But don't be discouraging about those who only wish to further their skill level.
  • + 1
 So you should probably take this argument off the internet..
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