1 Question: Where is the Women's MTB Scene Headed?

Mar 8, 2015
by Pinkbike Staff  
Today is International Women's Day, a celebration of women's achievements and a call for greater equality around the world. The theme for this year is ‘Make it Happen’, so with this in mind Pinkbike - in association with geebeebee media - asked a number of key industry professionals and athletes to get their views on the women's scene as it stands, and where it's headed.
1 Question logo
Tracey Hannah - Polygon UR Team
bigquotesI've seen a lot of women getting involved in the sport through their friends in a no-pressure social situation. I think women-only social events and ride days are a great way to get girls out riding their bikes and having fun with their friends at the same time. I believe that women already want to get out there and try, but it can be intimidating and there is sometimes the feeling that it's a man's sport, which translates into 'you have to be strong and fearless to do it'. I think showing women that there are dedicated people out there wanting to encourage and help them shows that it's possible.

Women do things differently, so I think that getting girls to ride together with girls that don't, encourages new riders to get into the sport because no one is looking at those women new to riding and thinking they can't do it. I believe it's on the right track and it's come a long way so far. Women need to know that they are wanted in this sport.

Emilie Siegenthaler - Pivot DH Race Team

bigquotesI feel like there needs to be women-specific teams at a higher level in mountain biking. In mountain biking, or at least gravity, the brands and the industry in general just take women because they want the points or because they look pretty, not because they believe they are equally awesome! Like the Luna or the Liv Giant teams in XC, there needs to be a women-specific structure - and a marketing of those ambassadors - from the brands in downhill. We're all ready to try to represent a sponsor as good as we can, maybe more than male athletes because we know it's a privilege for us ladies to have the support. It is just a matter of time until one company has the guts to throw a big female-only team together. However, I think the solution is in the hands of the industry and not the UCI. Making a rule obligating teams to include a female rider wouldn't be beneficial.

We see that the ladies on the World Cup circuit are made less and less important year after year. For example, our training is mainly in the early morning when photographers who have worked late into the night are still recovering so there are barely any shots of women riders other than those with the top three number boards. Having better coverage of ladies would show to other women that there's bunch of us riders other than those in the top three who take the same risks on the mountain and also do quite well.

Every racer is a character and it should be promoted better, like Eddy and Wyn Master do for the boys, why couldn't a good but not necessarily top female rider also get attention for her character? A good example is Casey Brown. She did some stuff differently with her sponsors and got some good feedback from the fans. If only the best riders would rider their bikes, the sport would die instantly. I fear that this is what is going to happen to the Women's category in downhill if we don't fight back.

I am pleased with what Liv Giant and Juliana are trying to do to get more women into mountain biking. It's nice to see events like the Liv Giant Women's Only A-Line event, and that should be done all over the world. But for that you need icons, you need people that attract the female audience in order to make them participate. Every country needs a national champion, and in South America some of my fellow World Cup racers are superstars! Why doesn't this happen in other continents? I think the supportive structure like Caroline Buchanan has over in BMX is excellent. Take two or three talented riders and create a 'next generation' team. In mountain biking there is a lack of racing opportunities for younger participants and even less for ladies.

Darren Kinnaird - General Manager, Crankworx World Tour

bigquotesIn terms of practical things that could help encourage more female riders, I'd like to see reduced rates for women at coaching clinics, and more entry-level style events like the Enduro Lite races they've had in Italy. I'd like to see bike parks and resorts offering women-specific times for certain trails too. I'm really impressed by what Rachel Atherton is doing with sponsoring the Junior's category at the British Downhill Series this year, it's pretty awesome. For our part, this year we're introducing equal prize money on the podium for women competing at Crankworx, and they'll be equal prize money for the King and Queen of Crankworx at the end of the World Tour.

Karen Eller - Founder, Contessa Team

bigquotesWomen are more into mountain biking as a leisure activity then as a competitive activity. Women want to have fun riding, so they go out with their friends and they don't have to compete with each other. The industry has already done a lot in the past ten years, and became more confident in developing bikes and clothing for female riders, but there is still a lot to do. The industry acknowledges the existence of a growing women's market and takes note of their specific needs and expectations. Now they have another problem which is to really find out their needs and not only assume what they are. The bike industry is a very male dominated industry, in marketing as well as in product developing. The industry needs more women as product managers and also in marketing. If that happens then I could say that industry is really trying to understand the market.

There already exists some women's events and camps, which is a good way to motivate more women to ride, but now we need again to work stronger on the products. The female biker is not just one type of mountain biker, there are so many different types - all mountain, enduro, tour, downhill, bike park - and the media is putting more women in their magazines and on their front covers. The bike scene as a whole is realising that there is more than just one type of female biker. By taking the female biker serious, the market will equalise their approach a bit more. They are developing groups of female bikers and also female biking teams.

There are some female riders or personalities really pushing the market and challenging the bike companies and their product development. When I started to make female biking a subject almost 15 years ago I was pretty alone in the European market. I was very inspired by Candace Shadley who already organised women camps in Canada and Jacquie Phelan, who was the first to emancipate mountain biking for women. I think we all are on a good way and I am very excited in what direction the female biking will develop.

Si Paton - Director, British Downhill Series

bigquotesFor us Brits, 2014 was a really successful year for women in particular on the international race circuit, and in 2015 we need to do more to capitalise on this success with taking credible action to encourage more women to ride and hopefully race. One example of this is what Rachel Atherton is doing to sponsor the Junior category at the British Downhill Series.

As an organisation, we'll also be working to promote women racers front and centre by our having them on our marketing material. That's front page of our Facebook as well as the cover stars on our posters for each round. We hope this will help to encourage more women into the sport because if they see there are women participating - in what is traditionally seen as a male sport - they may consider giving it a go too, and that sort of groundswell is something to be encouraged. We'll also be recognising women's equal status on the podium by giving women equal prize money to men this year.

As for teams themselves, teams like Madison-Saracen took a gamble with giving Manon Carpenter a spot, raising her through the ranks of her peers and onto the World Cup circuit. The gamble paid off and her success has meant the team as a whole has had its ranking boosted. There needs to be encouragement from the UCI to help Elite teams see the value of nurturing and fostering young talented female riders, especially at an early age. Finally, the media has a big role to play. How many people can name the 2014 Junior Female World Champ? It's not because they're not good enough, they're the future of the sport, but they don't get the coverage they deserve and that needs to change.

Anneke Beerten - Specialized Racing Team

bigquotesJust go out there and make it happen! I love to share my passion with other women around the globe and get them hooked on biking just as much as me. It's not always about going fast... it's mostly about enjoying what you're doing and doing it with other people that share the same passion.

Janette Sherman - Global Communication Manager, Liv

bigquotesWhen it comes to attracting more women to the sport on a leisure level, I think the key is providing more access to skills clinics, So many women, myself included, started riding just by following a friend down the trail and just holding on for dear life. By breaking down the skills and providing step-by-step instruction we make not only a feature more approachable and less intimidating, but the sport as a whole. The clinic movement is growing and I always tell any new mountain biker to participate in one.

On a professional level, I support equal prize money and do what I can in my professional capacity to make that happen. The argument that women's fields are less competitive and thus don't deserve equal prize money, doesn't hold water, because it cost a women just as much to get to a race and to maintain her bike.

I feel the growth of the clinic movement is instrumental to growing the sport as well as the breadth of quality mountain bike products from XC to gravity available to women. I see both of those areas growing and more and more companies behind both efforts.

Elayna Caldwell - Director of MTB Brand Marketing, SRAM

bigquotesWe are doing a number of initiatives to promote and encourage women to participate in MTB. We sponsor several world class women's instruction programs - The TREK Dirt Series, Lindsey Voreis Liv Ladies AllRide Program, Leigh Donovan's Ichoosebikes and The Rebecca Rusch SRAM Gold Rusch Tour.

Last year we started along with QBP the Women's Scolarship Program to UBI - United Bicycle Institute and sent two women. This year several more sponsors joined in the program and we sent 10 women. We had over 800 applicants.

SRAM includes women in our advertising both print and online, our sales materials, tradeshow booth graphics etc. I think half of the images at our Interbike booth this year were women. In terms of product, we make components that are adjustable, therefore offering choices that are suitable for women.

Emmeline Ragot - MS Mondraker Team

bigquotesI know there are more and more women riding bikes and it's great to see that. It's always harder for the women to take a space in a team becuase it's a guy's sport. We just have to show everyone that we can ride with style and as fast as they do, and also bring different things to the sport. We just need to enjoy riding and keep our peace. The best thing we could hope for in terms of this year is to see more women riders and for us already in the sport, to encourage them.

Sarah Merminod - Soft Goods Marketing Coordinator, Scott Sports

bigquotesFirst of all, we have to admit that the number of women in the mountain biking community has increased a lot in the past years. Yet, we are still a minority and there are a couple of things that need improvement or change to continue going. For me, the first word that comes into my mind is acknowledgement. For mountain biking as a leisure activity, it means that people from the industry acknowledge the existence of a growing women's market and take note of their specific needs and expectations. It's not only about the design. Bike brands should be able to offer as fun, amazing and high-performance products as they do for men. For mountain biking as a professional capacity, it means for example more women in leading industry positions. Nevertheless, I think that the scene is on the right track, with growing female media presence and growing women specific offer not only in products but also in events and camps.

The landscape is already in an evolution process and stereotypes are slowly disappearing and we can now find women shredding on magazines covers. The education has evolved too and there are always more mountain biking women guides bringing the sport not only to other women but to men too; this is another step towards 'MTB-equality'.

We can also spot more high-end products for women on the market, especially bikes, which means that the industry is listening to this segment. Finally, there is a real emancipation of female mountain bikers, not only riding with their boyfriend, husband or brother any more but getting together to achieve some really cool things. There are a lot of amazing, inspiring women out there, so with people and stakeholders giving them the opportunity to express themselves and inspire other women, it will for sure happen.

Katie Sue Gruener - Global PR Manager, Specialized Bicycle Components

bigquotesIt's all about breaking down intimidation boundaries and providing MTB riding opportunities in a safe, organized, and fun atmosphere. At Specialized we understand the importance of providing the tools for women to feel confident when getting into the sport. There are also a number of women who are leading this from the top at the professional level such as Anneke Beerten, Lea Davison, and Kate Courtney, part of our job is to make sure we also build the bikes and equipment to support the discerning female rider and help them get to the top step of the podium. As with any sport or hobby, it's extremely valuable to start as a kid and it's extremely exciting to see the growing number of high school mountain bike teams through out the country and even more powerful the number of girls on each team. Although the sport of mountain biking has been around for quite awhile it's fairly new on the "mainstream" side and I believe the more we do as an industry to educate and familiarize the world with the sport and variety of riding opportunities mountain biking provides the more it will continue to grow. At Specialized it's always fun to take new ladies out for their first mountain bike ride, get them setup with the bike, work on handling, braking, and just having fun while out on the trail. There's something contagious about mountain bike riding with a bunch of ladies, you laugh, you push each other and support each other to try new things and over come fears, and then you stop and take a group photo for instagram of course!

At Specialized we are very excited for the upcoming year and our continued expansion of our women's MTB product line for both the beginner as well as the accomplished discerning rider. Our goal is to provide the optimum bikes and equipment for each rider's desired experience and we are really onto some exciting things this year!

Manon Carpenter - Madison Saracen Team, 2014 DH World Champion

bigquotesOne thing I see helping are more women's specific events and organised rides as they seem to be the best way to get lots of women out riding together, having fun and exploring. From my own experience, the first time my mum went out for a ride without myself or my dad was recently on a local organised women's ride, and women's nights at our local skatepark - although not quite MTB - have been a great way to get women riding together and encouraging each other in a fun, friendly environment. Again, my mum even had a go!

Sometimes being the only girl out amongst a load of guys can be intimidating. I love it when I have other girls to ride with, especially if we are of a similar level so we can encourage/bully each other into trying a new jump or section and try to keep up!

I think everything going on with women's mountain biking at the moment is really encouraging already. With women's specific bike ranges, clothing, events and awards, the industry is getting behind us. There's so much going on. It's great to hear that female entries to the British Downhill Series have doubled this year and I think Rachel Atherton sponsoring and supporting the Junior Women's category is an awesome idea. So hopefully we will see plenty of youngsters signing up!

What do you think? Does the industry need to do more or is the pace for greater equality in our sport good enough as it is? What about you as a rider, is there anything you would like to see change? Let's hear your thoughts on what you think is going to encourage more women riders into mountain biking.

MENTIONS: @SramMedia, @Specialized, @LittleTrace13, @SCOTT-Sports, @si-paton, @officialcrankworx @geebeebee

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  • 153 16
 Huge props to Crankworx for the equal prize money! Definitely a step in the right direction!
  • 63 47
 I kind of agree but I still think it is not fair to the guys that pay their entry fee to a prize purse that they cant win. So I think some percentage of the purse should depend on the field depth. But overall its good that someone is taking the lead!
  • 40 20
 Arent the women also paying the same fees ?
  • 99 33
 Yes but if they are 20 deep and the men are 200 deep you can see who is subsidizing who. And spectactors want to see new crazy stuff that tops last years crazy stuff and women are doing what was crazy one or two decades ago. Thats just how it is. Men usually just push the boundaries to an extent women dosent and that is what draws attention and money.
  • 22 6
 @bigburd his point is that men and women are paying the same entry fees but the men's field is bigger, so they're less likely to win. In other words, both men and women gamble the same amount upon entering, but men are less likely to win the gamble.
  • 51 17
 This is a really weird argument. It's not the bloody lottery. Anyone who has entered has trained and worked hard to have the best chance at winning. Sure part of it is luck but, the payout for the amount of EQUAL work put in by winning athletes should be the same.
  • 34 4
 @SPOKEn I was just using an analogy to help Bigburd understand Johan's argument. Personally I think that regardless of whether you beat a field of 20 or 200, you're the best in your gender and deserve to be paid top dollar.
  • 20 3
 @haallinson Even if it's great, I don't think the fact that women will have the same prize money in Crankworx will help to have more women on our local spots. In my opinion it's not about money, more about mentality.
  • 16 4
 @Eneite You're right, it is more about the mentality but the equal prize money simply demonstrates that the mentality is changing for the better.
  • 9 4
 But @Eneite don't you think rising the prize money to an equal level for both, men and women, is the first step towards changing the mentality?
  • 8 3
 @LexaWe Nope, as it has been stated many times in this article : "women are more into mountain biking as a leisure activity then as a competitive activity"
Increasing women's price money is a good thing but don't you think this avoid the real problem ?
  • 4 1
 @johan90 I see what you're saying - but do you not think it will be good for the sport for the men to 'subsidise' the women for a couple of years giving an equal prize purse so that more women will join the sport in the long run? I know not everything is driven by money, but it has to help...
  • 12 10
 @johan90 with women paying the same entry fee as men, they have been subsidizing the mens prize money for years now!
  • 13 5
 As stated above women usually arent in mtb for competing, neither am I, but money drives the show (usually, Rampage being a strange exception where they litterally jump of cliffs for pennies). The ones that benefit from equal prize purses is the very few women that are in it to compete and want to live of the sport. To further the cause of more women in the sport I personally would rather see that subside go to all female clinics and what not so we get more eye candy that the latest carbon Titanium hard to pronounce suspension link acronym. The fact is that most guys are in it for the exact same reason as most women, just plain and simple fun. We follow Rampage, FMB tour and WC's to be inspired not go to them and try to win.

I can understand how it would be hard for a girl to even know where to begin to get into the sport. It is promoted as super dangerous, expensive and all "yo bro, go big or go home". Especially since generally women are brought up to not get involved in "extreme" activities, entering such male dominated space is going to be hard at best. Add to the fact that its a fairly bumpy road in the start before you begin to get a hang of riding anything but beginner trails and keeping up with what bb and rear hub fit your frame, I think giving somewhat unearned money to an already professional is not the best way to guide in more females.

Grow the female side from the ground up not up to down. The cash is imo better spent on the many rather then a very select few that like Atherton for instance had the priviledge of growing up with to insane brothers. What about others that dont have such a natural way in? I'd rather subsidize them than those who are already in the thick of it earning a living from sponsors that we buy quite expensive gear from.
  • 7 3
 @vhdh666 Math. If 20 women compete and all put in $100 entry fee, that's $2,000. If 200 women compete and all put in $100, that's $20,000. So in this case with no gender subsidizing the other, the women would have a $2,000 total cash win, and the men $20,000. I think this is what most competitions have been doing thus far. This is exaggerated but I was 20 and 200 above so I went with it.
The issue I see would be competitions letting 200 men compete but only 20 women compete. For example, in UCI downhill they let less women into the finals. If there simply aren't 200 women who want to compete that's fine, but if 177 want to they should ideally all be allowed to. At the same time, if I'm being honest with myself I don't think there will ever be as many women who do "extreme sports' as men, based on how we're wired.
  • 3 2
 The 20 is in the finals as far as i know, entry is probably more than enough for the interest. The men however have probably to many as practice seems to get dangerous for the fastest when they almost running over people.
  • 14 2
 Why are we pointing to others to solve the problem.
It's very simple; each one of us, male or female, should encourage a female friend or family member to ride.
When mountain biking sales increase due to demand from women, then there will be more women specific things.
At the same time we all should be fighting for more trail access everywhere.
  • 5 1
 I think it is naive to think that a major operation like Crankworx relies on entry fees to cover the prizes. Maybe at your grassroots local club putting on the event this might be the case, but at the pro level? No.
  • 3 0
 Doesn't matter who is "subsidising" who. At those events the consequences are the same for the "Muy largo" type shit they are hitting for both men and women.
Take the risk, get the reward... Props to the ladies sending it with the fellas..
Anyhow, the sponsors and like folk can afford it.
Oh, and by the way, I don't have it to send any of that stuff... Carry on then
  • 6 2
 If anything the fact that there are so few women in racing is reason alone for equal prize money. Men might have a deeper field, but clearly women have plenty of challenges of their own. Like being told that they shouldn't bother trying because they'll never be as strong and as fast as men. Seriously, if you want to take the "men will always be physically superior" route, then quit bitching about a little competition from your "peers".
  • 2 1
 tossedsalad@ well that is a given but a portion will be, sponsors put in their fair share for sure which might make them feel less inclined to open their purse if they see more and more diminishing ROI.

pedaldragger@ I can see your logic and I would agree, women usually even take more risk than the men since they most likely dont have the same physical bulk to cushion hard impacts but normally price purse is a function of participants that pay for the chance of taking home the dough. So it makes sense that if you have to beat 200 rather than 10 you'll get a bigger check.
  • 4 0
 Price money is purely decided by coverage for sponsors: How much publicity they get for their company by sponsoring the event.

Men's MTB is much much bigger than women's MTB. Thereby more people watch it, follow it, and get influenced (wether they like it or not) by seeing the sponsors everywhere at the events, leading them to buy their products.

It's pure marketing.

This being said, when a scene is much smaller, no company is willing to pay the same ammount for the sponsoring, because they get much less exposure, and it won't be worth their invested money. Sponsorships etc are not a charity. They are purely (cheap) advertisement for companies, which are hoping to get much higher sales in the near future by promoting their company.

A good example of this is the millions of dollars that go into road cycling (huge scene), but a professional mtb street rider (tiny scene) should be happy if he gets a free frame or bike.
  • 7 3
 I don't agree with that generalization. I a female racer and I train just as hard as any guy and want to win every race. I'm competitive even just on local rides. You shouldn't give women less opportunity just because you think all off us are just in it for shits and giggles
  • 3 0
 From the perspective of a company, such as Sram, Fox, etc, the male athletes attract more customers, and thus that is why they have a bigger presence. Now if you had some women who attracted a ton of customers, than that would probably incentive the sponsors to focus more on women only race teams, etc. It all comes down to the bottom line, because 9 out of 10 times, it is large corporations backing these races teams, and they do so, mostly, with returns in mind (ie: they want the best, most consumer friendly, most popular, riders out there, and it just so happens that more men compete than women and have more overall followers). Not saying that is the right thing, or best thing, but that is currently what is dictating the majority of sponsorship/team decisions.
  • 2 6
flag freeride-forever (Mar 9, 2015 at 15:50) (Below Threshold)
 No, not really a step in the right direction. Equal pay for equal performance is a step in the right direction. Equal pay for equal interest is a step in the right direction. This is not the working world here. This is the life of luxury. When a woman can complete a task as satisfactorily as a man can then pay should be equal. In the working world, no one should even be given a job they can't handle. If a woman is given a job as a firefighter, then she needs to be deemed as capable of completing the tasks involved in that job as any of the men. A 183 cm tall, 80 kg woman deserves that job more than a 160 cm tall, 60 kg man because she's arguably more capable.
  • 2 6
flag freeride-forever (Mar 9, 2015 at 15:50) (Below Threshold)
 In most sports, the job is limitless. The fastest, strongest, gnarliest one wins. That's why the athletic world segregates according to sex. It's why most of the time, no one flys a fvck about women's sports. Women aren't as into sports in general & the gnarlier the sport gets, the less women you'll see participating. You don't see as many women watching either, for the same reason, they're just not into it. Even most of the ones that aren't watching because their man dragged them there would probably rather watch the men compete than the women. Only thing I can think of where both seem to be on somewhat equal footing would be dancing, figure skating, gymnastics or anything where a machine actually does most of the work (car racing etc.) but I know fvck all about any of those sports so meh. The payout should be up to the event organizers, but talking about what's fair, johan90 nails it. It should go according to the field. It's 10X harder for a man to place well in that 200 deep field than the woman in the 20 deep field & the woman's field is 10X shallower because the interest just isn't there & that's true from competitor perspective as well as spectator perspective. I'm not sure it's possible to change that. We're built differently. I say be happy there's a women's field at all. You want equal pay, then run the show like the real working world, be equal & compete with the men. There's a good reason why women don't & we all know what it is. Be thankful for what you have 'cuz it's pretty good compared to a lot of other areas where unfairness isn't an arguable issue.
  • 5 4
 Equal prize money sounds great, but is it? Do we like living in a free market? As the competition events stand right now, the competing men draw the crowds, sell the goods that are advertised, increase tv viewership, etc. Therefore, they should be the ones to get paid the most. Should everyone have equal sponsorships too, skill nonwithstanding? Forcing equal prize money is like forcing a company to hire equal numbers of men, women, all races, etc., but with education, skills, and experience being damned (like our federal government does). If you want more women in math and sciences, you start at the grade school level with them. You HAVE to take it from the bottom up and consider how to get more women involved at the recreational level and at younger ages, then it will trickle all the way up to the professional level. It will take longer, but its the right way to do it.
  • 3 3
 biking85@ fully agree the dollars will come but they will then be earned rather than "taken" through entitlement. Equal pay for equal work, the work is bringing in customers to buy stuff, which is either done by being best or being like CG and having more charisma than half the population on earth combined. So I agree the right way is to grow down up and when girls are as a big group of participants and consumers than they should rightfully have the same prize money/sponsorship untill then anything else is a subsidy. Which I dont mind since it furthers a good cause!

It is not always just black and white discrimination, wether one likes it or not but its a really easy card to play if you feel you are on the wrong side of the stick and want more because you see someone else doing what you think is the same. I mean a sales rep gets payed for making sales not showing up to work or knowing the best arguments etc. Greed fueled by envy can make anyone blind, must be hard being a female showing up at a race, win and not get as big a check as the man that won? For in her eyes she has done the same work. Well half of it, on the expense side, the cost was the same for equipment, lodging, transport etc. But her performance results in two more bikes out the door, the mans results in 10. As to why more went out the door is another question but they most certainly didnt deliver the same work to the sponsor.
  • 3 0
 It's like the NFL right now. We always hear about how much this player is making, and we like to complain that it is too much; but, how much are the owners making off of the players? There's a reason they make that much (well, two actually), and it's because the owners are making many more times that off of them (the other reason being that the players union got the players as a collective to get paid like 60% of profits or something like that). All of these ginormous salary figures we see are our fault. If we all watch the games, they will keep getting paid. If you get angry when you hear how much they make, then you're either ignorant to the economics, or you're jealous. If we started watching women's cycling sports more than men's, then the women would get the sponsors, they would have the larger turnouts at the races, etc.
  • 3 1
 @johan90 You are absolutely right. I also think Rachel Atherton is a good example of the CG effect, but in a different way. She has a level of celebrity that no other female racers have, because she's been so dominant, been on TV shows, mtb movies, etc (in some respect, because of her brothers too). She probably sells more merchandise for companies than most of the women's field combined. Interestingly, when I watch race replays, I tend to watch the top 20-30 men's laps, and then I watch Rachel Atherton's and the women's winner, if it wasn't her.
  • 3 0
 I know this is contradictory to what I said earlier, but perhaps a larger purse for women's races/competitions would, in the end, result in more women showing up to those events, and in turn, lead to more female bikers coming in from the "bottom". I know that people, in general, like to see people that are like them (physically, similar monetary circumstances, etc.) succeed. The "if they can do it, so could I" attitude. So, if a female goes to a bike event, sees a bunch of females doing rad stuff, she would be more likely to give it a go herself.
  • 2 2
 Please don't forget that we train as hard as the men
  • 2 0
 @gerifink Not sure where you live, but fortunately here in the US, we have a free (-ish) market. This means that you could start your own business, work harder than any other person in the world, but still fail and go bankrupt. Hard work doesn't necessarily equal high dividends. Point is, you may not get rewarded as much as someone you work just as hard as.
  • 1 2
 LOL! Typical pinkbike.... I dont get why @biking85 & @freeride-forever are being downvoted for voicing their opinions, in a logical and well stated manner? Their comments also seems to be reasonable, fair and correct. Just goes to show some people (the downvoters on some comments here) have the mental and emotional capacity of elementary school kids
  • 87 6
 In order to really get ahead, we as a society have to get rid of the sexual exploitation of women in sports and in the media. Yes, I'm looking at you MONSTER ENERGY. I have three daughters whom I always tell them that they can beat the boys in whatever they choose, not to settle for being a trophy. So when we watch something like supercross and how women are being paraded like objects, while the guys are the ones performing, it just becomes gross to us. My girls watch that and wonder why women are dressing like prostitutes and not participating. They ask me and I can only say its because of marketing and how men are making the decisions that this is appropriate. I tell my girls that they can do anything a man can do and a lot of times better.

We want strong girls who can compete against men, women who are not props there for decoration. Do we want girls who strive to being sex objects? Or, do we want girls who believe they are on equal footing with men?
  • 19 2
 Right now, the world wants subjects, not women. Not whole people, but objects to be ogled over who can then perform amazing feats of athletic heroism while never looking anything less than absolutely amazing. They want trophies who won't talk back, but who are skilled enough to make their lives easier -- be a badass, but marketable. Be a leader, but don't say anything outside of what we tell you is appropriate. It's unfortunate, but there ARE women stepping up who are marketable, but who choose how they will be marketed. There are amazing women who are accomplished because they value their abilities over their aesthetic, and their minds over a physical appearance. Thank you for raising three daughters and, clearly, being an amazing father who teaches them that they are people first, female second. Thank you for giving them the option of seeing themselves as incredible, regardless of what the rest of the world says. Thank you!
  • 15 5
 Thanks! I'm trying! Basically we need more women in power. More women = more peace. I know I'm picking on Monster Energy, but their portrayal of women in action sports (ie eye candy) is just archaic.
  • 19 1
 My daughter is three weeks old, I an glad she has her mother as a role model. Maybe she will be a mountain biker/ skier like me. Maybe she will want to be a ballerina like her mother. Maybe she will be a kick ass business woman like her mom. No matter what she will no that she is not valued for her breasts and buttocks but for her character. Girls need more Rachel Athertons and Venus Williams and less Katy Perrys and kardashians
  • 9 11
 Realistically in this sport, a woman cannot physically keep up with an equally skilled/conditioned male. although I fully support that we want strong girls to not compete against, but compete alongside men.
  • 14 2
 I agree. The sexual representation of women in motorsports, like the Monster girls at supercross events is extremely demeaning. Women may not like to participate in the same sports as men, that's fine, but presenting women as the "prize" for winning men is ridiculous. Thankfully it's not quite as bad in mtb, but there is still some of it going around.

Woman's participation numbers may never be as high as men, but I'm sure a change in marketing wouldn't hurt. I think what needs to especially change is the race reporting around female athletes. We all know that men are more capable in absolute physical terms, but that doesn't excuse all the "she's beautiful AND strong" crap in articles about every female athlete. Right now women who want to be successful athletes in sports need to be pretty to get contracts, and I think that's terrible, especially considering some of the ugly ass dudes who have no problem getting contracts in men's UCI DH.

Personally, i've been seeing more and more women riding DH. In fact last summer I think I saw the same or more women in lift lines than I did on XC trails, but they seem put off by the competitive side of the sport.
  • 9 2
 To me Monster Energy sends a clear message to whom they adress their advertising using predominantly "hot" girls and huge trucks: www.pinkbike.com/photo/11985712

I wonder whether that is really working? It puts me off, that's for sure and I tested myself several times how much catholic guilt is there - NONE. I would like to see a scientific study confirming that this model of advertising for soft wankers actually works over other models, whatever that is. Redbull is way more successful and their marketing is oriented more towards a "smart" client, they really try to stand out.
  • 7 1
 Of course, physical limitations are a given, but its not all black and white. I'm sure there are many top female athletes (or athletes in the making) who are bigger, stronger, tougher than many high caliber male athletes.

@dthomp325 that's a great note about being pretty and getting the contracts. Its so true. We should always champion excellence, not some marketing schtick with underlying sexual overtones.

@WAKIdesigns just look at all the douche bags in lifted trucks with Monster stickers in their windows. Other than the sponsored guys, those dudes are buying into the marketing. Lowest common denominator after all.
  • 4 2
 @dthomp325, if I could give you a million positive props, I would. Thank you for telling it like it is. Smile
  • 4 3
 How can you take yourself professionally as a athlete when you jump at the chance for a calendar sexy photo shoot? You see women trying to be taken seriously as a athlete and then acting like a common bimbo in a bathing suit.
Women can make money on talent alone. Think of Ann Caroline or Missy Giove.
  • 6 1
 Mmm be careful with judgments RLEnglish, they hurt you as well. I don't think stuff like cycle passion calendar is just about money for those girls in it. There are fundamental problems with raising males in our culture, boys are bullied to treat women as objects. Thongs like that are always far more complex even though it comes down to, just don't do this and that. We in the West are disfunctional Sexually - from one side the disease has grown out of of Christian heritage where sexuality is penalized and functionalized as shameful necessity to procreate and current "I'm cool cuz I don't believe in God" has functionalized it as a mean of pleasure alone. Let's f*ck is just sexy these days for good and bad. Many men are stuck with double anima disorder, of Holy Mary and Whore bipolarity, where they treat their wives and girlfrieds as ideal women yet in result long for sluts. Spirituality and love are not mentioned too often in relation to sex while schisophrenically pop culture is fixated on monogamy, forever and ever vague pseudo values. As much as it is a fair arrangement, one must get an incentive to get to the core of it, what do certain things mean to him her because in reality each one of us is unique enough that finding people with same genuine inner drives is very difficult while we constantly seek ideas unifying humanity. There's sht loads to clean so that an average man and woman, boy and a girl can see the world and themselves for whom
they are. Until then we will believe in pictures and use them as arousing agents, men fall easily for visuals, it's a pitfall robbing us from experiencing women magic fully Big Grin
  • 5 12
flag jaame (Mar 9, 2015 at 1:24) (Below Threshold)
 I love looking at hot bikini girls. More of them please. I also have a six year old daughter. Guess what? I'm encouraging her to get into things she can compete with boys in outright, without needing male and female categories. There are so many things women can stand shoulder to shoulder with men in. Sport is not one of them, get over it.
  • 11 0
 Ok, I want you to race head to head against Anne Caro, Rach Atherton, or Manon Carpenter and get back to us with the results. Thanks.
  • 2 0
 Well said Wayne I totally agree.
  • 2 0
 jaame - I like some girls in bikini, depends on their appearance and context. But I never need to look more than once... Monster girls appeal to me as much as monster pick up, they are a waste of energy, way too big for the purpose. Same with girls at road races kissing the winner... hmm... honestly, the only way that could impress me would be if they actually went out to shag each other straight from the podium to a Shagvan sponsored by Liquigas. Such performances are as impotent in their lack of realism as most of porn - who on earth withdraws just before ejaculation to wank to womans face - how much dumber can it get?! And teenage boys think that's the dream sex, WTF... I mean I could not care less, they can be as retarded as they want, good for me and my kids future, just stay away from my daughter... oh her boyfriends will have a tough time hahahahah Big Grin
  • 3 2
 some of these comments are ridiculous, like OP "parading women around" you are just as guilty at looking at them as the guys who hire them, dont act like you are better then other men because you think its "gross" you have desires and urges just like EVERY other man, and its obvious by the fact that you have procreated. Here come the neg props....
  • 2 0
 Guilty at looking at them? What? I haven't felt much guilt or remorse since two years, I am a perfectly fine psychopath. I don't kill people nor have sex with various women beside my wife not because it is immoral, but because I find it simply inconvenient.
  • 1 0
 I didn't say anything about the women being ugly. That's a separate thing altogether. The fact that they are dressed like prostitutes and being used as sexual objects is about as fake as the bros who are into that. Having kids totally makes me a perve dude bro, you got me! I gave you a positive prop because I thought you could use it for your ego.
  • 5 11
flag freeride-forever (Mar 9, 2015 at 16:13) (Below Threshold)
 Wayne you're an idiot & you're doing a disservice to your daughters by promoting some kind of fantasy that can never be reality. Do we want girls that "BELIEVE" they're on equal footing with men? Well personally I don't want anyone believing that anymore than I want a society that believes some bearded mulletard walked on water & hung from a cross before floating to La La Land to chill with the all encompassing baws of bawses. I'd rather live amongst people that have a fvcking clue. I'd rather have women that actually perform equally, rather than just "believe" that they do.

You actually think women aren't SXing because the industry forbids it? You'd say the same for slopestyle maybe? Or BMX? Hmmm, what is your reasoning for not seeing any men in bikinis walking around the events? Men are exploited for their willingness & abilities for carcass hucking & women are exploited for their willingness & abilities for bikini wearing. The women aren't out there competing because there aren't enough with the physical & mental qualities to send it & the ones that would be inclined to try can't compete with the bigger, stronger, faster & gnarlier men. Now vote me down like you did jaame for telling the truth. Most girls (probably including your daughters) care way more about looking like & being a super model than a supercross racer & that's because women are what they are & want what they want. Not because men actively try to put them down, you dolt. When FMB has a girl that can ride like Semenuk then I'll guarantee that we'll all wanna see her compete with Semenuk & exploit those abilities the same way he does & win the same money he does. Until then, take your head outta your ass & get some fresh air once in a while huh?
  • 4 0
 Men and women are not equal - they are different... my friend is a DH masters world champ, she trains hard as hell and likes to crush men, yet wanker like me can keep up with her on most occasions. But I totaly dig Wayne's problem with monster girls because thatr is stuff for retards and self induced retardation should not be promoted in any way
  • 3 1
 @WayneParsons original comment: I wish I could thumb up you a hundred times. Spot on.
  • 2 0
 @jaame, I love women in bikinis too, but what they wear doesn't having anything to do with being fast on an mtb, and objectifying "podium girls" sends the wrong message to everyone.
  • 2 2
 I don't share this obsession of trying to get girls into MTB. I'm happy for girls, whom I respect as human beings, to pursue whatever careers they see fit. The reality is women's sport is women's sport. Until the time they are good enough for it to simply be sport, I'm not interested thanks. I'll get behind people of any sex who are awesome at what they do, not just awesome when compared to eleven other people of the same age, gender, weight class and socio-economic status. As for the monster girls, no one forced them to do it and I would imagine they are very well paid.
  • 1 0
 There isanother fact. Not only heterosexual men like to girls in bikini, many of girls also in contrast to opposite situation. So many models in the world, let them earn some money Razz . Exactly like freeride-forever said - when at least few women will compete in slopestyle, like worse fmba athetes, i would watch with pleasure such competition.
It's like women only snowboard video. They ride better than most of us, but at reachable level, what is motivating i think.
  • 1 0
 @WAKIdesigns narcissist much? I clearly said OP, meaning the original poster, meaning WayneParsons, meaning not you....

@WayneParsons And I never said you were a pervert, what I said was dont sit on your pedestal like you are above other "men". Now what you teach your daughters is your prerogative, but @freeride-forever is right in saying its not realistic and practical to teach them that "you can do anything a man can do AND alot of the times, better!" first off you are dead wrong, because women cannot serve in combat roles in the marine corp, but I get what you are trying to tell them, but if you really want to teach your daughters something powerful and useful for the rest of their life, teach them to roll with the punches and at times accept defeat, and that they wont be the best in everything, but that none of that should break their spirits and that they can make it through anything. Teach them to find what they love in life and do that. Those are probably better life lessons...

Equality or not, women will still continue to use their anatomy to get what they want. Not all times, but they still will use it no matter how "equal" it gets. Just like men use our advantages...
  • 1 0
 @ambatt - you said " Right now, the world wants subjects, not women." I would argue that while objectification is a particularly nasty problem for women, in sports, it's not unique to them. The money in professional sports comes from its entertainment value. Sports that reach beyond their actual grassroots participants for their audience (think football, NASCAR, or "extreme sports" that have actually found a wide rather than a niche audience, etc.) are profitable because large numbers of people tune in to be entertained. And for the marketers behind the events, it's a lot easier to sell wish-fulfillment than it is to sell amazing athletic achievement - the former has universal appeal, the latter requires an educated audience. So wish-fulfillment is the lowest common denominator of sports marketing - and for women athletes, that means rather tired and predictable things in terms of how they can get exposure to get sponsorship. It seems that for women athletes in mountain biking, as well as most other sports, it will be key to build larger grassroots (to make the sport more relatable and grow the base) which will in turn lead to a more educated/appreciative public. Looks like that's being recognized in the industry (Liv, Juliana, the riders and event promoters quoted for this article). That gives hope for the sport as a whole, not just for the women in it.
  • 4 0
 @prestonDH Yes women are going to use their anatomy to get what they want. Just like men. While maybe it's not as evident in a male dominated sport like mountain biking, it's definitely there in every other aspect of life.

Many women really want to be viewed as equal to men in sports and they usually accept that they aren't ever going to be as good as the top men, its just a fact of life. We still train just as hard and even harder than the top male athletes. Some female athletes do use their sexuality to their advantage, but many of them do so because it's one of the ways to get as much attention as men do. Not saying that I really agree with it, but sometimes you have to do what you have to do. Until sport stops comparing women to men and ladies are no longer in the huge minority then it's going to happen. The fastest way to cut that part out is to nurture girls and have them push each other, have all ladies events and top mtb teams, because an all womens team or event is not going to be exploiting any kind of sexuality.

For @WayneParsons to want to teach his girls that they can do anything a man can do and do it better, thats a great lesson to teach. There are a lot of ladies out there on the trails every day that could school a good portion of the men. Maybe they won't be better than top FMB, DH, or XC athletes but they can certainly be just as good or better than the men in their own community.
  • 1 0
 @Indiam96, Well effing said. I couldn't agree more. Smile

@g-42, you're right, but there's a certain insidiousness to the demands on women -- like I said in my original comment, we must look good whilst risking our lives, lead but not speak loudly or say things that people don't like, and we have to work our asses off, not say a word and still be available to lounge around in bikinis. A lot has changed since the 1950s, but in athletics, not much of the mentality has come that far.
  • 2 1
 Sexual exploitation does nothing good for anybody other than the men behind the scenes cashing in on it. Getting back to the Supercross comparison, I remember in the not so distant past they actually had track workers (fat ugly men) hold the 30 second board. Those women may be getting paid well, and it may be there choice, but they aren't helping women's equality that's for sure. Just because you can, doesn't mean you should. But, clearly there are men (err, boys) who think its appropriate, as indicated by some of these comments.

So what do men want? Do you want subservient women whom aren't in power, nor earning the same wage, or feeling like they matter as much as men? Or do you want to raise strong girls who are told they don't have to fit any role put forth by society? I would choose the latter. Look at the countries where women are subdued. Do you want that? Remember this, strong men have strong women in their lives. Weak men attract weak women.
  • 2 0
 @WayneParsons - I would actually like to see a study checking if podium girls actually increase sales. I am silently suspecting they don't. The only effect that could bring would be that the drink is getting related with boobs, which in theory is a nice thing blinking in front of mans eyes when he is looking for a refreshment, but in practice I am not so sure. I think they are quite useless to be honest. But I may have a deviated perception of women... waste of dignity, waste of time, waste of money, waste of sperm (marketing idea, not the girls)
  • 1 0
 I would think it does. Think of the type of meat rocket they are marketing it to. Those guys totally buy into that schtick
  • 4 0
 @WayneParsons - meat rocket - interesting term (and very descriptive). Yes, when marketing to troglodytes, lowest common denominator wins. As to your question of what men want - there's a concept called borrowed functioning that explains why some men are drawn to subservient women, and why some women are drawn to emotionally stunted men. Lack of a solid self leads people to find others who are similarly afflicted. They can then prop each other up - she helps him feel like the manly man he would like to be (and knows deep inside he isn't), he helps her feel wanted. A bit of maturity usually leads to wanting more than that. Guys who are reasonably secure in themselves don't need the little lady to prop them up; women who don't buy into the notion that their only worth comes from being desirable don't need to cater to some guy's ego projection. I'd say you sum that up nicely with the riff about strong men and women, and the opposite.

As to what this all means for MTB - this sport is part of this world. In general, groups tend to do better when they're not fully male or female dominated. Men and women bringing out the best in each other. What a concept. So why should that be any different in MTB than it is in the wider world/society. I say bring it on - we all have much to gain by everybody bringing it, no matter their gender, orientation, ethnicity, nationality, whatever. As a species, we have much to gain from socially evolving, and everything to lose from refusing to do so.
  • 2 1
 I can't believe I said "there" instead of "their".

*hangs head in shame...
  • 2 0
 @WayneParsons and @g-42, I LOVE you both right now. Elevated thinking on a beautiful level, and G, I love your comment about 'solid self'. I've generally found that folks who feel pretty secure don't need much validation from other people, and that includes both men and women. MTB doesn't need a bunch of half-assed personalities who depend on energy drink companies' exploitation of sexuality (or any company) to make them feel better about themselves. Like someone said above and as I've said before -- catering to the lowest common denominator will only get us false growth and create a damaging, unsustainable bubble. Mountain biking deserves more than that, and we have some really amazing people in this community who definitely deserve more than the lowest common denominator will ever demand. Smile
  • 1 0
 Wayne and G - In my latest existential ponderings I find it hard to just label people as undeveloped because environmental factor is a very powerful one. I personally felt bullied from one side into treating women as trophees (at school) and as untouchable virgins from the other side (in Church). We are also born preprogrammed to certain behaviors and "likes". I spent my late puberty thinking that a girl that can be took out in a club or would allow me to shag her after first date is not worthy of being my wife... (which now I find f*cking retarded!) Therefore since being like 18 or so I found podium girls to be repulsive, so I was born this way to be very honest. As humans we are all obliged to navigate between those powerful forces shaping our perception of the world and the way we want to act on it. I feel fortunate to be conscious of those forces, but that comes straight from my interest in spirituality and psychology, so I'm no hollier than though... some are wankers because they get wet by looking at Monster girls, some are wankers because they write tons of crap on internet and draw stupid sht... masturbation has many faces.
  • 1 0
 @WAKIdesigns - I think the process you're describing as having gone through from late teens to today is actually precisely what I'm talking about - outgrowing programming (like the madonna/whore archetype BS you're referring to) and developing as a human being.
  • 1 1
 yea @g-42 but still, I see it among some men in their 50s, that they are still on whore level. Again I do not judge Monster girls by any means, I found great deal of peace and self satisfaction in understanding the ill power of shallow judgment, in fact one of main reasons that I became aware of this brain trick was guys in BMWs and SUVs. The trick manifests itself that you may think that "Nascar" guy or "Football" guy or "Electric MTB" guy is unhappy due to his inability to see how dumb his choice is, the trick is theat we assume that this one behaviour or posession tells a lot about him, so we stick more labels to him in result making him into a scapegoat archetype - a point of reference according to which we may feel better. To me, everything is a matter of a compromise, in my interpretation of common reality, the creation of "podium girl" function creates more negatives than positives. At the same time (I am messed up with duality - sorry, working on it) we must be aware that if we completely condemn such fascination with whore archetype, (instead of trying to adjust it slowly) we are giving too much power to "demoralisation" rendering people more stupid than they are, downgrading humanity as a whole. The hint of "internal lie" in such condemnation is that we think of our peers as people totaly resistant to this demoralisation and everyone in between us greats and them bads, as infintile enough to fall for boobs. In this way we see women as helpless victims (which I guess is a role none of them would like to see themselves in) and "neutral guys that have not yet gone bad" as vulnerable subjects, able to change into "wankers" - shortly - it's not entirely about the good of women men care about when they shout for womens rights too loudly. Anyways - because viewing women as something more than Madonna/whore is much more beneficial even on individual level, we may try to carefully raise awareness just like this article does or ambatt do through her articles.
  • 40 1
 To expand on the above the BDS Facebook page will have a female athlete in header picture for the rest of this year. The posters that we produce to distribute in the local area will also have a female athlete featured. Last but not least we will open entries for female athletes a week earlier next year. Ensuring they don't miss entries into the BDS. Then add in Rachel Athertons support and I predict a strong representation in female DH over the next ten years from the Brits!
  • 3 0
 It's awesome to see the BDS being so proactive, and running a combined programme of initiatives. I feel that what some of the other initiatives are lacking slightly is an overall sense of direction - the whole movement towards getting women into cycling feels a bit disjointed and uncoordinated at the moment. Left hand doesn't know what the right hand's doing, sort of thing.
  • 11 3
 its positive discrimination.
  • 3 6
 i will get hate for this...but a lot of women settle for being the Local champs, thats sufficient for them. So what the women above propose is a good step as well as thw equal prize size in CW. This will potentially entice woman to crave for more not just being the local comunity champs
  • 4 2
 @Narro2 I don't want to seem confrontational, but do you have evidence that Woman settle for being the local champ?
Personally I think it's the same as in the Men. Some are happy with the level they are at and others want to be the best.
  • 1 5
flag Narro2 (Mar 8, 2015 at 16:08) (Below Threshold)
 Read the comment again buddy. It mentions ''a lot'' not all of them. So it is not a generalizing comment. Regarding evidence, waht i have is experience. I've been a ridder in 3 different countries. And yes most women i've met settle for local champs. Theres still a few that dont, but the majority does. If that problem didnt exist this article wouldnt even have been written, right?
  • 2 0
 I think the article was more about the sport in general than just racing. I used to race (sadly can't really afford it any more, but hopefully will be back racing soon) just because it was a great weekend. If girls who all ready ride start racing for that same reason then the depth of field will increase and some real talent will rise to the top. If @si-paton keeps going the way he's going other countries are going to struggle to keep up with the British girls, even more so than it is just now.
  • 2 0
 I agree with that.
  • 37 4
 We need more women at rampage.
  • 60 2
 Just more women at my local would be nice !
  • 29 5
 everywhere more women, in parties too
  • 22 67
flag VPPFREEDOM (Mar 8, 2015 at 3:15) (Below Threshold)
 nothing would make me smile more than watching a women try and navigate a top to bottom run at rampage, not a single person has a spare 15 minutes to watch a "pro" women suffer down that course and cry at the bottom. If they wan equal prize money maybe they should actually have to earn it for a change....
  • 6 2
 Definitely. Its a shame that Rachel Atherton remains the only woman to compete at Rampage. She said herself the injury wasn't worth competing, probably not good advertising for others to follow in her footsteps.
  • 35 3
 Women have too much good sense to compete in the Rampage.
  • 15 2
 Personally, I feel like a lot of women have different ways of portraying their strength, and although I would love to see some ladies throw down, it's not about ego or whoever can go the biggest, which Rampage is really based around. For a lot of women who compete at elite levels, it's about self-development, pushing ourselves and the community as much as it is about winning, and often even more.

Progression is awesome and well and good (believe me!), but I personally would love to see us progress and push the limits as a community. Individual fame or notoriety is far less valuable than an entire discipline stepping up and throwing down.

You also have to take into consideration that a lot of women are expert risk assessors -- we tend to think big picture and eye up potential consequences versus reward, and right now, there's not a whole lot of reward in Rampage. We're genetically programmed to recognize risk for the continuation and health of ourselves and offspring. Can we physically kick ass at a venue like Rampage? Absolutely. Would it be amazing to be the woman who throws down at Rampage? Completely. But is it worth it, and the highly likely time off the bike when our efforts could be put somewhere else? Doubtful. But not all women are cautious, and not all men are like Zink.

Equality isn't about pretending we're all the same. Equality is about valuing everyone's different qualities (strengths and weaknesses) on the same playing field. We're all human, and it isn't about trying to be better than someone else at everything -- it's about being the best us and doing what we're best at. For Cam Zink, that's him being his best. For Rachel Atherton, that's her being her best. They both have different, amazing skills that aren't gender-specific, and they do what they're best at, which makes them great. End of story.
  • 5 0
 Amanda, agreed. I'm a little tired of people making comparisons between the sexes. There is a woeful lack of equipment and clothing built around the needs of female riders, my wife does not like pink! It's the same with competition, the men and women have separate comps and that's how it should stay, what there needs to be is more equality with the marketing, setup and support of those events. Women need to be able to compete as athletes in their own right, those that win knowing they've earnt it, that's it's not the result of an after thought or some half-assed attempt at equality.
  • 4 14
flag RedBurn (Mar 8, 2015 at 12:55) (Below Threshold)
 tits on Virgin(UTAH)'s dirt
  • 4 0
 i mean there already are.. guys have tits too, we aren't some different animal. but tits shouldn't be the reason you want to see females out at Rampage
  • 2 1
 Jimeg has it right. Most women don't have the same level of dopamine and other drugs released by their brain to convince them that risking their lives jump after jump is a good idea. There are a ton of women in mountain biking, i see lots of female riders on the trails. Just not so many competing at the extreme end of the sport. What's the turnout like for womens XC racing?
  • 4 0
 I'm getting really sick of both men and women making disparaging comments about women having little to no competitive interest in mountainbiking nor the drive to succeed by taking necessary risks. We might be few and far between but we exist, and while ever women hold themselves, and allow others to hold them to a lower standard than men, our ability to succeed will be stifled.
  • 1 0
 The only comment was that when you look at competitions like freeride world tour, hoff fest, and to a lesser extent DH racing, there are far more men out there that possess the poor decision making required to huck yourself off a 40 foot jump. It's in no way a question of skill or talent, but more so willingness to do things that can get you killed. Men are chemically wired to take chances even when it seems like a poor decision, more so than women are. I don't find that disparaging at all. And any other comments about competitiveness were said by female racers in the sport. To say girls are the same as boys is misguided. On average girls build relationships and are competitive in different ways than boys are.
  • 1 0
 @friendlyfoe I can't speak for "XC" (as in, short track, world cup style XCO/XCE) but I see more women racers at endurance, 24hr style races than any other format I can think of.

That said, I'd say the field in those races is still tilted pretty far towards sausage. Razz
  • 2 8
flag freeride-forever (Mar 9, 2015 at 15:16) (Below Threshold)
 @ambatt, you're either delusional, or you think we all are, or both. Get real. :/

Same goes for friendlyfoe. "Not a question of skill or talent"? Maybe to someone who thinks a 40' jump is big. Do you drive a car? Fly on a plane? Do very many women do those things? Men fly big jumps because MEN can handle it. That's why. That's what makes it not necessarily a "poor" decision. Accidents happen, but they're not often fatal or even permanently damaging because of the way decisions are made. Man's willingness to do physically risky things is certainly different (greater) than women's. Which one leads to further progress I wonder? Blank Stare You're fvcked if you think women are any better at making decisions than men are. If men are chemically wired to take chances even when it seems like a poor decision" & the same is not true for women, then what must be true for women is that when they make poor decisions, they must not have known it was poor in the first place. Women are just a different kind of stupid than men are. How many broads will spend themselves into oblivion, or marry an a*shole for money or sell their slut holes on the streets? Women take their own dumb risks within the social complex that governs them. Between men & women, which one is usually considered to decide with logic & which one with emotions? We all do what we like to do for fun & maybe the reason men get away with all those big airs is not only a physical advantage but a better understanding of physical laws as well. Same reason there are more male mathematicians & scientists. Don't be a dumbass. :/ Women don't take the physical chances men do because they already know they're almost certainly gonna fail. The man takes the chance, because he knows he CAN do it & that he'll likely walk away from it. Both have a roughly equal sense of what their abilities & limitations are & men are generally just tougher, not any dumber.
  • 9 0
 @freeride-forever After checking out your profile and reading your horrendously sexist, ignorant and uninformed opinions, I really have zero desire to interact with you. However, I will say this: I'm so sorry you're intimidated by women to the point that you have nothing better to do with your time than repeatedly troll an article about some awesome female riding and a different side of a great sport. Maybe if you hung out with us more often, you'd realize that cooties don't exist and that we're pretty good at throwing down.

But dude... I feel ya. It must be difficult for you when your only interaction with women is insulting them on a bike forum, and I feel your pain, man! It's a goddamn dilemma and a rising issue around the world for keyboard jockeys who don't leave their basements. I'm sorry that you feel so inferior that every word and every sentence out of your mouth serves only to justify your sexist views and compensate for your lack of social bearing, and I'm sorry that it's all our fault. If you want a shoulder to cry on, I'm here for you... Just give me a call -- mine are really strong. Wink
  • 2 0
 @ambatt "It's about ethics in cycling journalism." Wink
  • 3 0
 What do you even say to someone thinks that's the reason we have more male scientists?

I'll say this much, for every guy who can consistently ride a pro jump track, there's 10 guys who ate it and ended up in the hospital. Not that long ago there was a PB article about some guys who came from iirc poland, and on the last day the one guy broke his back or neck or whatever it was. That dude is probably 10x a better rider than i'll ever be, and look where it got him.

Arguments like this are the same sort of nonsense you hear from left wingers who think scrapping welfare and cutting taxes on big business as a way to create jobs. Getting answers by only looking at 2% of the problem.
  • 3 0
 That's the right wing actually, you got your wing handedness wrong. Razz It is one thing I do like about climbing: I show up to gym, & there's at least as many women as men, if not more, & at the sharp end women are sending routes right up with the toughest stuff men are doing.
  • 3 0
 oh right my bad, lefty loosey righty tighty. Hey that works for politics too!
  • 23 0
 Anyone who races deserves respect, especially at world cup/champs level. Having been a spectator at numerous wc races I can honestly say all the senior (and most of the junior) women are way faster than me!!! I'm sure this applies to most blokes in this sport too. This inspires me as a man to get faster. (not because I cant handle them being faster than me, because they are professional athletes) As for women being put off trying what is considered a mans sport, I'm sure most of us will have stood on a dh track, watching riders come down, not really knowing their gender until the full face helmet is removed!
  • 8 0
 WELL SAID AND I COULDNT AGREE MORE djm !!!! there will ALWAYS be those guys that DONT like a woman being faster than them,
but they get TOTAL RESPECT from me...theres nothing better than to see a woman who kicks ass on a bike...( and getting mine kicked at the same time !!!)
  • 3 0
 couldn't of said it better my self metalmike68, I've seen some pissed off mens faces when my 13yr old son kicks there ass never mind a girl doing it, the thing is some men are just to full of them selves to take it, then I have also met loads of guys that are just the opposite and are full of encouragement for kids and females, these are the sort of guys i like best
  • 14 0
 I co-founded an all womens race team last year and now where 16 women strong. We used to have one woman or no women at all showing up to race events now were have full podiums at the Alberta and BC cups. Women want to try bike and try racing they just don't have the support and the outlets to do it. Luckily there are a ton of sponsors that are willing to help change this. Girls just have to ask. Things are changing in the women's world. It's just going to take a little time to get there.
  • 12 0
 Great article with lots of informitive perspective. Though to be honest I felt Katie Sue's response was more of a marketing pitch than a personal response to the question with the "we here at Specialized" pitch.
  • 4 0
 I was just going to say the same thing. All the responses were heartfelt and honest...except one. One sounded a little more....corporate.
  • 9 0
 Honestly, one thing no one mentioned is the lack of well edited videos of women riding. Seeing a sweet video gets you amped, and... they're like 95% men. If someone could coral some of the top female UCI riders and make a great film of great riding with great music, I bet it would encourage a lot of women who are already riding, to get out and ride harder.

I'd be pretty stoked if Pinkbike could feature more good women's clips as they come up. I don't want to see not-great videos posted just because they are women, but there's certainly to be some high quality stuff out there.
  • 8 0
 Annekke Beerten has a great attitude, don't over think it, just get out there and ride. From a non competitive view guys could do a lot to get girls involved more as well. Nothings more rewarding that showing/teaching/introducing someone to mountain biking - wether that be a guy or girl.
  • 2 10
flag russthedog (Mar 8, 2015 at 4:30) (Below Threshold)
 Honestly I thought that was a pretty shallow comment, compare it to all the over racers that posted - there was actually some substance.just get out and ride is a cop out - if you've never ridden a mtb before why would you?
  • 3 0
 Because it looks like fun.
Isn't that why anyone tries anything new?
  • 2 8
flag russthedog (Mar 8, 2015 at 5:38) (Below Threshold)
 If you've never seen it how do you know it looks like fun?
  • 4 0
 @russthedog I guess you're right
Annekes comment was rather thin and superficial
  • 12 5
 MTB is not an equality sport. it's an equal entry skill and strength sport. apologies to people that want positive discrimination, but that is a huge fail. the girls that succeed or persevere with the sport "get" MTB and get past that mindset. way too many liberals and socialists in this sport. girls - just ride your bike. if you don't enjoy it or it's not for you, move on. sex equality in MTB is just another industry fad. my wife rides DH with me and she laughs at these articles. MTB is what it is, too many people with vested interests trying to change it for their own benefit
  • 1 2
 Bloody right mate. The whole push is not about equality, it's about shifting more units.
  • 7 1
 It's all great said, but there are two things mixed up. First is really getting women into MTB, which is something great. We're missing ladies in our sport, so every initiative to improve it is welcome. Second thing is companies trying to improve their sales by inventing "Women specific brands". It has also some effect on attracting girls with MTB, but should be considered as a seconday action. First thing is to try and get the bug. Only then a woman can spend 8k$ on a bike instead of new clothes. Happy trails to all the Ladies!!!
  • 2 19
flag GetMounted (Mar 8, 2015 at 4:45) (Below Threshold)
 You sir are a buffoon!
  • 6 1
 Lol nice counter argument @getmounted dick head.
  • 2 7
flag GetMounted (Mar 8, 2015 at 21:34) (Below Threshold)
 Thanks Troll. Save your profanity for the bedroom.
  • 1 2
 @ol751, you sir are uncouth. If humanity was a parade of fools you'd be at the front, twirling a baton.
  • 1 1
 Shut up, you belend.
  • 1 0
 Clearly you were home schooled.
  • 8 0
 Being a women, watching Rachel Atherton was enough to get me on a downhill bike, and then having my younger sister race gave me even more confidents.
  • 5 0
 Companies will sponsor what there is demand for, and put money where there is demand for it, doesn't mean the industry can't make a start. Forcing the point will just mean it's pushed back against. As Anneke said, just get out there and do it. If you're scared or intimidated, stop being so it's mountain biking not the marines.
  • 7 2
 The hard truth is that our sport relies on spectators and advertising to pay the bills. If you have a group of people riding at 70% the speed of the top competitors, they will make less money. There's no way around it unless the top pays for the bottom. Unfortunately money drives everything. I love watching women's DH races for the record, it just doesn't pull the money that the opposite sex does.
  • 16 0
 I always wonder if better prize purses/ more women in competition actually gets more girls into the sport.
Sure, it gets the girls doing it more into racing etc, but how many non-riding girls are actually more likely to enter the sport because Manon Carpenter got paid $50k sponsorship in a year? ( I have no idea how much Manon gets paid)

If you're looking to improve the female field of riders that'll do the job, but I question how many will want to ride because of that - which raises the question of whether we want more girls or more girls in competition - the recurring theme among many of the top women riders in the article was that the majority of girls are not as competitive as men.

Sincerely, an 18 year old male rider who doesn't know any female riders and really doesn't know what he's talking about.
  • 1 0
 Is this because we don't want to watch? or is it because it hasn't been as promoted?
  • 9 0
 @SPOKEn It's because the "we" you're talking about refers to people who already ride, whether male or female.

In terms of the goal of getting more girls onto bikes whether "we" watch pro women's downhill is kind of irrelevant to my way of thinking because "we" already ride.

I doubt many girls get into mountainbiking because they watch Emmeline Ragot pin a WC race run - to me they're more likely to get into it through a chilled woman's day, female friend or boyfriend/brother/dad that doesn't push them too hard and alienate them. This is why I referred to the pro women talking about how girls are less competitive. While I started riding because I saw rampage/ other pro footage when I was 10, most girls I know would just get freaked out by it.

I wonder if this is what some of the girls meant by the mtb industry being geared towards and run by men - my entire argument is hypothesis because I don't actually know what makes girls tick.

  • 5 0
 Yes, peer pressure, intimidation, other-rider's-impatience all thieve too many participants from MTB. Especially female, but male too.
  • 8 0
 Except ultimately most people don't really care what speed a particular rider is descending at, all sporting rivalries are ultimately about the personalities involved and the competition. Do you really care whether someone hit 40 rather than 45 through a speed gun? The Ratboy/Atherton/whoever rivalry and approaches are what it's all about right?

Personally, I don't really care about the pro side of the sport getting bigger, I just like the riding, but it's undeniable that a lack of women in the top events doesn't help getting half the population out on a bike. If you want an bigger/better/cooler scene then you want women in too. It's called investment.
  • 12 4
 So wait, companies can use women to sell product and push a sexual agenda and that actually works, but when it comes time to watch us in action, you're saying that no one will tune in? I'm sorry, but that's incorrect.

Just since the USAC ProGRT announced broadcasting and advertising plans, there has been a surge of support not just for the men, but for us women -- athlete sponsors have actually offered monetary compensation this year for placing or winning (as opposed to last year), just because of the increased broadcast and exposure. It's not that people aren't watching; it's that the little screen time racers are given isn't well planned, and there is little to no advertising from anyone outside of RedBull. Does the UCI require sponsors to advertise on international TV weeks beforehand? Nope. Do they even ask? Nope. When was the last time you saw a vehicle sponsor the ICU tour in a profitable way (a la Audi sponsoring the U.S. Ski Team)? When was the last time you saw the UCI seek out major sponsorships? Or USAC, for that matter? Governing and sanctioning bodies, race organizers, broadcasters, event coordinators and location vendors HAVE TO get money from somewhere, and right now, they count on the factory teams and solo riders' entries far more than they should.

If we marketed the women's racing (and the men's) more effectively, you can bet your ass people would watch. When was the last time you watched a men's tennis match? What about a men's volleyball match? Anyone? People aren't watching DH (men's OR women's) because it's not marketed appropriately or correctly. Advertising is about selling the story and catching a viewer's interest -- it's about engaging them enough to make them want to trade some of their time to another area. And right now, we don't do that, plain and simple.
  • 1 5
flag xCri (Mar 8, 2015 at 21:05) (Below Threshold)
 ever heard of it referred to as an egg and spoon race?
it looks like that.
  • 3 1
 Ever watch womens motocross? No? Why?
Because it sucks to watch people not be able to do half the jumps on the track.
Womens wc dh sking? Different story.
It still looks badass.
  • 12 3
 women's day = one day on a year
men's day = the 364 other days
  • 1 10
flag pimpin-gimp (Mar 8, 2015 at 5:53) (Below Threshold)
 Yeah man, men rule the world so we can happily give it to the chicks for one day a year... Smile
  • 5 0
 Once again @si-paton steps up and proactively implements the changes we all want to see. Equal prize money and equal marketing.....brilliant !! It follows up perfectly from Tracy's comment of " Women need to know that they are wanted in this sport." I also realise, that as the owner of a new facility, I need to carry on in the same spirit as we've started here.
  • 3 2
 Agreed! It's not just about equal prize money, equal marketing... But it is. It's about equality and being welcomed into the sport. You can't snub someone and expect them to want to be a positive part of a community.
  • 5 0
 This is a great progressive article/discussion for pinkbike considering the click-bait plastic women from the 'Loron Invitational' page. What a dichotomy or is it hypocrisy? How can women be seen as equals and also seen as objects? One step forward and two steps back...nobody gets too far like that.
  • 7 2
 We won't be seen as equal until 'female' stops being synonymous with 'object' and 'ownership'. We are humans, and unless we start treating everyone as individual human personalities, we will never break the walls down. Human first, gender second... But clearly, we're still figuring that one out.
  • 5 0
 Less prize money results in fewer women being able to afford what it takes to compete at an elite level which results in fewer elite female competitors, hence the lower prize money. The math seems pretty simple to me. More money, more competitors. Many elite female cyclists also maintain a job which results in less time to dedicate to their sport.
  • 2 2
 Agreed, but it also shows value; a race organizer who goes out and gets more sponsors so that they can offer equal payout clearly has a vested interest in getting women to the races -- they truly want us there, and they've shown it but putting in the extra work. Not only am I more motivated to show up at that point, but I invite my lady friends, spread the word and those organizers and events get WAY more coverage from me on a social media standpoint. Investing is investing, and smart organizations are starting to understand that. Equal payout is worth it.
  • 7 2
 Women shred hard. Female pro riders work just as hard as the men in an unequal playing field, get paid less, get less media coverage, and don't have as many sponsorship opportunities, but they still shred hard nonetheless. I'm a huge proponent of women in the sport, especially DH. Starting with Missy Giovi, women in DH have been pushing the limits for many years. Keep it going Ladies, this sport needs more of you!!!
  • 4 0
 The industry has definitely changed in a good way since I started. There's more women on the trails these days, which great! And more companies emerging with products women want, less pink flowers! With mountain biking these days I can sometimes feel speed is a main focal point with the likes of Strava and racing. I race so I admit I just want to ride fast sometimes! But riders just need to appreciate new riders won't have speed straight away and just enjoy being on the bike and encouraging the riders around them. More fun can't go a miss!
  • 3 0
 Yes, ride it first. Enjoy. Ride more. Enjoy more. Race it many months/years later, only when comfortable to take the plunge on the risks involved. If not comfortable with said risks.............Ride it. Enjoy. You'll still be buying the products from suppliers that sponsor racers - sometimes male or female-specific - so you'll still be contributing to MTB racing's success and profile, female or male.
  • 4 0
 I really think it comes down to the local level and little to do with the professional level here in Ontario anyways I see maybe 5-10 female riders riding down hill, when I went out to Ferrnie and Whistler I was blown away and stoked by how many woman were riding. My girlfriend started riding DH this past year and she loves it she has been riding a little bit of xc before hand with me but has made the leap into doing dh. There just needs to be accessible programs for woman to get into and try out the sport without any pressure. For my girlfriend we got her private lessons on the weekend a couple of times because the woman's clinic was during the week and she couldn't make it due to work so if they did something on weekends I think that would help encourage woman to try it out. This goes for any other discipline.
  • 4 0
 My wife is trying to set up a women's ride group in the Utah valley area via Facebook. She loves riding but feels isolated because she can't find many women to ride with. She meets women who are afraid and tries to get them off the paves path, but their husbands aren't supportive and they don't feel like enough people are doing it. Hopefully she gets the group off the ground this year.
  • 9 0
 Tell her to call me. 801-381-3208. There are lots of us here, but we're fairly segmented, so it can be really hard to get a grasp on who rides what and where. Smile I'd love to ride with her, and we'll be doing group rides once a month starting at the end of March!
  • 2 0
 I gave her your message. Maybe the moderator can pull your number now so you don't get trolled Wink
  • 5 0
 Ha ha, well, any lady that wants to ride is welcome to text me. Smile
  • 6 0
 Yes yes yes I got her number!
  • 2 0
 arent you married wanki?
  • 2 0
 Yes, but since my latest enlightenment... nevermind...
  • 1 0
 I hear the Muddbunnies are opening new chapters in the US maybe she should reach out to them Smile www.muddbunnies.com/contact
  • 6 3
 TBH I don't get the whole get more woman in to the sport thing ( or any other activity or job in life). Its not like there isn't information out there if someone wants to start cycling which doesn't matter if you are male or female. The fact is that more boys want to mountain bike than girls and no amount of putting girls pictures on websites or pandering to the female ego is going to change that. Having woman only rides etc is only going to secularise things even more and can you imagine if you had male only rides?????? The sooner you loose the tags of male and female the more equal people will become.
  • 4 0
 Eeee... that is pretty normal and expected that a minority tries to stick together and feels more comfortable in presence of alikes? I'm sure there's plenty of scientificaly legit research confirming that. Male only rides? I thought they already happen and it's like 99,9999965278% of all MTB rides in the world and they would be announced this way if not political correction
  • 1 0
 except the likeness is only down to genitals, people tend to ride with those of similar skill levels rather than sexual organ type. The rides I go on are a mix of male and female.
  • 7 0
 There's quite a big difference in heads of women and men... let's take this one: if a man said something in the middle of the forest and no woman would hear it, would he still be wrong?
  • 2 1
 there isn't really any difference between male and female mountain bikers
  • 1 1
 Just don't tell me you are sex blind please... there are major differences between us, like the way a man or a woman loses it after stumbling too many times, it takes a some real training keep up with an average guy, which is 99% - At least on a longer ride. Some people don't like to wait for girls, fk them, but still, they exist and they are more likely to be men. Men are more competitive and have a pack hierarchy among them, from which women are excluded to a great extent, hence a girl may ride slow but a slow guy sucks, hence good girl/woman is treated like a goddess while the guy must always be at least next to best to be respected. You have to be able to challenge male alpha to get similar respect as a girl who keeps up and bites from time to time. Off course all that disappears if one chooses to ride in a large group on an easy trail, because his/hers physical and mental strength won't get challenged enough so that others could spot the true character of his/hers under pressure - this is where our differences come out and we learn a lot about ourselves and others. Comfort distorts reality, anyone can be gentle on his own couch. We men and women are totaly different animals under pressure, it doesn't matter if it is riding bikes, driving, managing a project or changing diapers.
  • 2 2
 sorry I couldn't be arsed to read your drivel again, can you condense it please.
  • 3 0
 ahh ok - I thought you were a scientist who backs up his arguments ok then: there are major differences between male and female mountain bikers and in everything we do - tits and cocks, testosterone and estrogen levels for a start, figure it out, you are married for fks sake.
  • 2 1
 I'm not married to a female mountain biker though. The girl mountain bikers I ride with are just the same as the blokes when we ride. They have different skill levels, they share the same humour, they get the same pleasure. There is no difference. I also have a 10 day old new born to take care of so I can't be arsed to read big waffling posts
  • 1 0
 more women in the sport= more talented riders that rides instead of doing "girl things" = more good videos to watch on pinkbike = everyone is happy. If there is no girl there is 50% less good videos. Think about it. I want videos!
  • 5 2
 To me problem no1 is the mentioned in interviews labeling of Downhill and Freeride as extreme sports. I personally find them nowhere more extreme as road riding, car driving, skiing or snowboarding, especially in the era of more and more popular off-piste skiing. I will never get how can people moan on extremity of MTB at the same time treating ski jumping as a "classic" discipline of sport?! And the problem with that problem is that this particular perception of MTB plays in favor to many for whom riding a DH bike is a cheap thrill and a recipe to be social media heroes in whatever low standard peer group they find themselves. the stigma of needing balls to do it is at the very center of the problem, in all sorts of meanings. I like to ride with girls and I wish there were more of them on trails, particularly strong ones, acting on my testosterone levels making me push a bit harder in a different way than men Big Grin
  • 3 0
 Influence the girls at a young age and there will be more potential for girls to rock up to clinics later in life. The only way to get past nature is nurture. Rachel Atherton is unsurprisingly (considering her up bringing) on the money. My GF is similar in that she was allowed (and wanted to) hang out with the boys and now rides DH. She's endured the taunts of society that come with women doing things considered out of the norm, shrugging it off because she was having fun.
The industry can affect patents by investing in junior clinics, and by making bikes more affordable. Whether the comparison is fair or not, no parent interested in buying a bike for themselves and their child (so they can go out riding together) is going to buy a bike worth at least 1/3 of their car. The industry needs to work out how to make bikes more affordable across the board. Cheaper yet quality entry is the way forward. Maybe less marketing trying to differentiate between all the other brands which more or less do the same thing, and more investment into ease of life for the every day rider? Even 2.5k for an entry level dual suspension bike is too much for those looking to enter the sport and we shouldn't be relying on the second hand market to pick up the slack because there is more scope for the first time buyer to get ripped off and leave the sport forever.
  • 3 0
 girl's bike camps and clinics
more support for high school teams
more legal and accessable single track
more women working in the bike industry
women's specific bikes that are good quality and more affordable especially for beginners
more girls in media; photos, advertisements, videos, etc...
more clinics and group ride opportunities for adult women
  • 2 0
 im part of a race team for this season and w have one girl ! i wish we had more but the truth is , i know 2 ladies that ride .. its helpful she was a bookworma dn an accountant at the moment , made it real easy for the rest of us to get organized !
  • 5 0
 Nice to read different suggestions and opinions from like minders , that will lead to a coordinated change Smile finally
  • 9 3
 Fun fact : Katie SUE is working at specialized
  • 5 0
 Manon Carpenter : "especially if we are of a similar level"
So this last year....who is that?
  • 7 1
 One of the best article I have read on PB, all points of view are good.
  • 5 1
 As more women cycle...our community becomes healthier, safer and more accepted. more trails built, more places to ride... inclusion is the path forward.
  • 2 0
 Emilie Siegenthaler . Looking forward to seeing a lot more coverage about Emilie here in the states now that she's racing for Pivot. Really appreciate the depth of insight and awareness in her comments.

I agree totally with her. Racing creates Heros/Heroines that inspire people to get into the sport
Racers and their sponsors create the engaging mythology to inspire us all to dig in get serious about riding. After the incredible 2014 WC DH season, its high time to see some alot more coverage of the Womens race scene.
  • 2 0
 I think it's really important to note that the intended purpose of this article is to discuss the future of women's mountain biking. The future, not the now. Not the past. Women's UCI DH racing has progressed rapidly. The top five women consistently finish within the top seventy-five men's times. Rachel Atherton has finished with times which would place her within the top 50 men. That makes her faster than most of you. There are more women racing today than there ever have been before and there is absolutely nothing to suggest that these trends won't continue. We're catching up. It's time to start talking turkey about treating women's mountain biking with the respect it is quickly earning.
  • 4 0
 I like women ,,, I like bikes ,,,, women on bikes is perfect for me ,,,,need I say more !!!!
  • 2 1
 There needs to be more stand alone womens events, starting with the world cup. Women race on saturday and men on Sunday for example. If not, it will not gain traction to grow as its own. I know people may not agree but look at every other action sport. Motocross especially as it translates well to mtb. Womens events cannot be a "sideshow" from both a spectator and participant standpoint. Here is a good example..Suppose NBC Sports / Red Bull had a Womens only 4x or Dh event? Think of how that would focus the sponsors, spectators, and racers energy and results. Also, it cant be all competition events within the cycling industry. Where are the "200 women showing up for just a group ride? Road or mountain bike? THAT is what needs to take place! I live in Colorado and have raced road, track, mtb all at the world cup level. I have never seen an organized all women ride like informal training races in the Colorado area. It NEEDS to happen. Maybe 6pm on Tuesdays an all womens ride somewhere! Watch what happens to the 'category' if this takes place! You will get new riders willing to get involved and the intimidation factor will drop. Just ask women, in general, if they would at least TRY riding in a big womens group where they could make new riding buddies on their level. Quit thinking prize money and start thing GETTING INVOLVED and the dynamic will drastically change.
  • 1 0
 I actually agree with you here -- not with the segregation, per se, but the different advertising focus points. They don't hold a female MMA fight the same night as the men's, do they? No. however, from a financial standpoint, it's difficult and labor/money/time intensive to separate the two. Without the proper marketing stance, we'll never get equal coverage anyway, so changing the date or putting on an all-women's event without improving other aspects would just be fruitless. It's a great perspective, though, and a very good point. Smile
  • 5 0
 Rock on ladies. Rock the fuck on.
  • 1 0
 Excuseme bro, isn't MTB it's BMX and Mariana Pajon is a great example to follow, she just trained a few years ago with the guys just because wasn't enough all womens available to train with. Actually we see more females on the BMX national starting grip, hope to see a few more everyday.
  • 1 0
 I'm going to get killed for saying this and I really wish I didn't feel this way, but the women downhill and enduro races are so freaking boring to watch. I don't care which pro racer is racing, you can tell from a mile away that its a female rider coming down the mountain, they look like they're little kids in slow motion after watching the guys race. Now XC, road and Track races is another story and I actually like watching the women race these events, but downhill and enduro its like someone is scratching their fingernails down a chalkboard when the women race, all I want to do is fall asleep.
  • 2 2
 Where's it going? Probably nowhere. Sad but, women & sports are almost like oil & water. Changing the environment probably isn't enough to change genetic predispositions when it comes to this. Like does the ballet or yoga website ask the same question about men?
  • 4 3
 dissaponted that a few prominant woman names were not included in this article. I love watching the womans races, much more then the mens stuff.
  • 1 1
 All this talk about women and riding and nothing about Stephanie Nychka or her take on the sport of downhill and how its evolved over a decade and a halfl??........Hmmmmm just sayin.........
  • 3 1
 Women are awesome! Props to all the ones working to get more women on bikes!
  • 3 1
 Mud bunnies latest video made it to monday movies. What a shame the video should have been front page.
  • 2 0
 Im a white,male who lives in America. Im deeply sorry to everyone male,female,black, white, future and past. Sincerely.
  • 2 1
 Pay same top places Just pay deeper placing for men Mail out cheque All we want to see is who's standing on podium male and female
  • 3 4
 I am still wondering why the female pro riders in downhill are that much slower than the male riders. There is always one race run i think of, that proofs you don't need that strength that, from a biological standpoint, men have a advantage over women. It often is reality, that the slowest men, being streamed to the www by redbull, during competition are faster than the fastest girls. So women, give me a reason to watch your race runs before whining about not getting the same attention as men. I believe that in the near future, there will be a junior girl destroying all the other female pro riders who are saying now "we are working just as hard as the men and we ride on an equal level." I know this does not really help the discussion but I needed to get this of my mind.
  • 2 1
 More videos with female riders! Claire Buchar, Casey Brown, Britney White, Vali Holl - these were all really inspiring. We want to see more!
  • 1 2
 Just like any other sport women do, no one wants to watch it unless its beach volley ball. Women sports do not draw the crowds that are willing to shell out the dollars That is why women in professional sports get paid way less then men do. I do love watching women MMA though something about it. Women want to be treated as equal, but in my experience they want there own little group away from men because the feel intimidated, but want the same respect. To me all sexual harassment is, is a way for a female to call time out when the going gets rough. Men and women are different period. Men are built for combat women are not. I wish pinkbike and everyone one else would quit beating the dead horse. When I mountain bike I don't care who I ride with male or female all are welcome I treat females no differently then any other gender.
  • 2 3
 More needs to be done!! I don't know about other places, but at my local trails, 85% of riders you meet are male. I think that more needs to be done to get those numbers to even out to 65-70% AS A STARTING POINT, everywhere.
  • 7 1
 why does it need to be evened out?
  • 1 3
 Why not?
  • 8 1
 because it doesn't actually matter
  • 3 2
 You should try and pass some riding equality laws and try to get some new taxes involved to subsidize mtb's for women. First world problems are getting really ridiculous!
  • 3 1
 Are there going to be trail police up on the hills - " I'm sorry Sir, but we have a perfect 50/50 male/female split on the hills today and you riding here would tip the scales in favour of the men, we cannot allow this. You must leave NOW." Jokes of course, but if more women wanna ride then go ahead.
We don't need to balance anything out, we should encourage everyone with an interest in MTB to get into it but the sport will always be male heavy in numbers as in Football, Rugby, Cricket, Golf, Rally Car, Moto, Road/TT etc etc etc.. Males are just more genetically wired to desire going fast and risk a bit of rough and tumble.
  • 2 1
 Feliz dia a todas a mulheres, principalmente as que pedalam muito, Parabens !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
  • 1 0
 Half the people mentioned Rachel Atherton, but you couldn't get a quote from her?
  • 11 5
 she's probably busy riding her bike like most people should be, not babbling about equality, life/sport/gender unfairness boo-hoo's, and such and such
  • 4 9
flag unleash (Mar 8, 2015 at 12:21) (Below Threshold)
 thank fuck someone who isn't talking whining, pc mamby pamby ,bollocks
  • 4 0
 I think they're off to NZ to ride bikes.
  • 7 8
 Or maybe she's so busy giving the other women in her sport the chance and support to race that she hasn't quite caught up on emails. Or maybe she wasn't approached at all. It must be nice to be A: a dude and have the privilege of ignoring the inequality around you and B: omniscient.

Just because someone doesn't make a quote for an article doesn't mean they're not making a statement... Read the press from earlier this week, smart guy.
  • 4 3
 inequality my arse
  • 2 0
 Enduro...that is where its heading
  • 4 3
 Real equality would see women alongside men in the same race ... no ? Just a thought ...
  • 2 1
 Yep, where all women then get paid no money at all, 'cuz, well we all know why. Blank Stare
  • 1 1
 Yea Janette! LIV is going strong and providing great opportunities for more women to get on, and feel comfortable on mountain bikes. Let see what ladies can do in 2015!
  • 8 11
 watch what you say the feminists are lurking ,your not allowed to say that women are attractive ,that is seen as objectification of women .if there is one thing I find more annoying than feminists its male feminists all this pc shite has no place in mtb .just ride ya bikes and keep the politics for other websites ,all that discussing shit like this does is create a divide amongst riders female and male . when all is said and done its natural for males to find females sexually attractive and vice versa get over it .more marketing is aimed at men cos more men ride simples ,prize money thing stinks but it probably will change soon ,but all the moaning in the world about women being seen as objects will never change the fact that fellas like looking at girls. Does my swede in,fuck sake
  • 5 5
 Oh thank god. Somebody still has balls,here.
  • 1 2
 Some men like looking at women. Some men like riding bikes.

Can you explain how those two statements are in any way linked?
  • 4 5
 Somewhere slow and boring thats for sure
  • 2 2
 I assure you that youve never ridden in Arizona,then. Bring pads and two helmets,big guy.
  • 4 6
 Are you trying to convince me that you're super badass. And you're a girl. So I should take girls trying to be equal with guys on a sporting level seriously?
  • 1 1
 Yeah.....so no,neither. As these stupid comments appear, it looked as if you were respondind to me. Pinkbike is stupid like that
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