Why I'm Leaving Pinkbike

May 10, 2015 at 14:49
by Amanda Batty  
Most of you know that I've been a pretty active member of Pinkbike for a few years now. It's been a great ride with lots of connection, opportunity and information. Because I have enjoyed it so much and have enjoyed so many of you, I want you to know why today is the last day I will be an active or contributing member of Pinkbike.

As usual, it’s a bit of a haul, so your continued patience is appreciated.

Last spring, after a few well-received internet postings and front page features, I received a message from a moderator at Pinkbike referencing my outspoken opinions and offering me a dedicated column on the sizeable bike site. I was floored. I was also a little overwhelmed at the prospect, but excited, despite feeling as though I wasn’t a desirable candidate for the job due to the consistency and volume of negative feedback on the majority of the pieces I wrote. The Pinkbike rep was kind and funny, and told me that they weren’t looking for someone whose opinion was popular but rather, a writer who got responses. I was told that the column would be based around my opinion – that’s what seemed to engage many of the active Pinkbike users, so that’s what we would use. And it made sense to me: Pinkbike thrives off of clicks and they make money by showing these numbers to advertisers and brands, citing engagement and exposure, and my drivel usually received upwards of 300 (or more) comments. I’m kind of an a*shole. They also offered to pay me for my shit opinion, so why the hell not? I was thrilled. I was tickled pink. In fact, I was proud. I had a voice, and it was being recognized and actually sought after. I told my mom. I emailed my brothers. I called my best friend and we laughed until we were blue in the face.

And so I wrote. I wrote funny things and I wrote awful things. I engaged with readers and commenters, with passerby and Creepy Steve. I laughed a lot and I’ll admit: I also cried a lot. I learned quite a bit, too. Mostly how awful humans are, but also about people who can read between the lines, and readers who believe in a writer. I became educated in what buttons to push for maximum reaction, and I figured out what really incensed my audience most (pretty much everything). I wrote more. And every post, I learned more about myself and my voice. I became immune to criticisms in my private life and found myself laughing at the haters who couldn’t believe that I had friends. I wrote a lot about our sport, about my love for it, and about what we need to change. Not everything I wrote got published, but I was given excellent feedback from people invested in my success as to why. I found a lot of answers.

But it wasn’t heaven. Behind the scenes, I was continually admonished for aggressively responding to commenters who would insult everything about me and some of whom actually contacted me outside of PB, going so far as to find my home address and threaten me with it. I was told to ignore them and stop giving the trolls what they wanted. Everyone I spoke with kept telling me how I made it worse and made myself an easy target by fighting back, and that if I stopped reading the comments, I wouldn’t suffer so much. But it didn’t stop. Some of the things I wrote about, I received emailed threats about. I got trolled on Instagram as a ‘feminist bitch’ and told I was a ‘bully’ (even by other women!) for speaking my mind. And so I wrote more about it, about the sexism and the misogyny and the hate and the bullshit, skewed abuse. I wrote about how we need change in the way we see our athletes and the way we treat each other. Again and again and again, I was told that readers didn’t want to read that nonsense. I was too outspoken.

My final indictment was in August of 2014 when I opened a bike review comparison by a male Pinkbike writer who compared the malleability and handling of a bike frame to a ‘girlfriend after too many shots’ in that both would do anything you asked.

I commented in a mild manner about how as a female PB user, I didn’t appreciate the comparison and that maybe, a less sexist sentence could have been used. The immediate response from male commenters was swift, fierce and angry. “Maybe it’s not about you”, one commenter said. And I responded. I responded with logic, with care, and with reasoning as to how sexual violence and coercion are big enough issues in our society that we don’t need to contribute to that culture in the bike industry. About how we should rise above it. And I said ‘rape culture’. Because, in fact, that’s what it was. Under the definition of ‘rape culture’, this sexist, hateful comparison definitely fell smack dab in the middle of it. But still. I said the words ‘rape culture’.

Pinkbike lost their minds. I was vilified in the comments, called 'psychotic' and told I was 'defamatory'. It was joked about by other users that no one had been raped, and how dare I feel this way? I was even emailed by angry users for even thinking to suggest that this beloved reviewer was somehow contributing to our societal breakdown. Worst of all, I was shut down by the Pinkbike editors. Immediately. Repeatedly. Beginning three days later, I stopped having my columns published. I wrote a new one, an opinion piece about Olympic inclusion, and it was rejected because one editor didn’t think I did enough ‘research’. I emailed my contact and my editor, asking why. I was given pedestrian answers and broken excuses; the classic political heave-ho. So I emailed more, insisting on an answer. And then, despite this author’s repeated sexism and misogyny in his bike reviews, I got a call from the head honcho of PB and told that my interactions were again, too aggressive. He agreed with me that there was an issue, but dammit, I was too loud about it. I was too outspoken. I needed to calm down. All the while, every time a disgruntled reader stumbled upon my comment on PB and disagreed with me enough to send an email through my website or Facebook, I would receive threats and abuse. I was told by one classy gentleman that he would “show [me] rape culture” if I didn’t shut my “fat ass feminist bitch face”. Beautiful.

The bike review was eventually changed to read “your girlfriend (or boyfriend)”, but that didn’t stop the backlash. But I kept writing and submitting, despite the chill of the frigid political exile into which I had been cast. I kept hoping that eventually, logic would prevail and my editor would be able to talk the other editors and the approval board into forgiving m sins and allowing my column to continue. All the while, I still hadn’t received an official notice that my column was suspended or discontinued or even an email acknowledging the entire situation. No answers, just silence. And it sucked. Knowing that I had shoveled myself into a corner, despite the truth in my comments, really, really sucked. It hurt to know that as a member of PB, I was only allowed a certain level of criticism, but that others attacking me was fully reasonable. And no one else stepped in to say "You know, she has a point". It sucked on all levels.

But I began dealing with it. Everybody fails at some point, and this was clearly industry suicide. I convinced myself that it was my fault and that keeping my mouth shut was just a better route altogether. And I actually began to believe it. After six months in contributor purgatory, I submitted a short interview article this last January with a few pros about racing with the full expectation it would again be rejected, but it was not. It made the front page and was received fairly well by readers. I then spoke to my editor, who recommended we sit down at Sea Otter and chat about my articles and renewing my column with a couple of the other members of the editorial staff. I was ecstatic. I thought I was finally free from the vengeful reach of the personally offended – after all, the gatekeepers of the largest bike website in the world have bigger things to worry about than one comment, right?!

And so I wrote another piece and laughed; it was funny! It was well-written, it was informed and it was opinionated. It was about my opinion being just an opinion and that folks shouldn’t drink my water, but how they should form (and voice!) their own opinions. It was half poke at myself and my big mouth and half apology for speaking out. It was encouragement to every reader and watcher and commenter on Pinkbike to create their own strong and funny and engaging sense of selves. And it was rejected, under some guise of ‘sharing it with my followers’. But ever persistent and ever optimistic, I wrote another. And another. And three more after that. I was bubbling over with confidence from selling a few articles to other media outlets and copywriting for one of my favorite companies, and it was a new year! There was so much to talk about and share! But after a the meeting at Sea Otter didn't materialize (and wasn't even brought up in conversations with my editor, with whom I chatted multiple times and who seemed to be happy) and the various article rejections continued, my hope and confidence slowly began to fade once more into the realization that I was still being taxed. I still had penance to pay for taking on Goliath. Clearly, it wasn’t over. And it still isn't.

As I'm currently waiting on a response to a final email I sent my editor a few days ago after being rejected again on the basis of 'not front page material', I can't give you a satisfactory end to this story. I'm still waiting on the single word from the people in charge to tell me that yes, I still have a column but no, it really isn't good enough writing. My confusion is because I haven't received one affirmative word that it's okay to be disappointed and move on. I want to move on. I want to move forward. And that brings us to now. It brings us to the end of a situation that I feel isn’t soluble and it carries the weight of most lessons that are learned the hard way. I’m not leaving because I’ve given up on myself as a writer or as an outspoken feminist. I’m not walking away because of the way I’ve been treated or censored or even threatened. That isn’t enough to get rid of me..

But I'm not dumb. I’m intelligent enough to see the writing on the wall and I know that no matter what I do, how I change or whose asses I kiss and at whose feet I grovel, some things won’t change. I’m also old enough to know when to cut my losses. I’m leaving Pinkbike because Pinkbike won’t change. I'm walking away because Pinkbike (and the leaders and editors there) will continue to promote and revere writers who denigrate women in the hopes that no one notices the misogyny, sexism and hatred sewn into the fabric of this writer's content. I'm going because of the double standard of expected behavior, and the allowance made for the man who writes awful things about women but the allowances not made for the woman expressing displeasure with those awful things. I'm cutting the cord because Pinkbike commenters will continue to turn a blind eye to ‘humor’ and content that promotes the discrimination towards and objectification of women and girls while vilifying or threatening anyone who dares speak out against it. And I’m going because I WILL NOT be part of that, regardless of the cost it may exact on my personal life, my professional career and my reputation.

I refuse to be part of the problem. The world has countless problems already and women struggle enough to shake off dangerous stereotypes, social norms and rampant sexism. I will never add to that burden by politely ignoring the obvious and I will do my all to ease that burden by speaking up, acknowledging the issues and seeking solutions. I will give my everything to leave this place better than I found it, and I will urge those around me to commit to doing the same. Why? Because I can. Because I am able. And because Pinkbike isn’t the only bike site in the world. There are publications that someday, will value the strong voice of a woman, and if I can be even a small part of that process of acceptance, let me be. Let me be the change I want to see in the world.

So thank you, my friends, for reading my crazy columns.Thank you so much. Thank you for sharing them and supporting me and clicking and commenting and laughing with (or at) me. It has been a gift to be part of this community and I will be forever grateful for the opportunities I’ve had because of that gift. May your lives be full of excellence and joy, and may you never forget the formative power and pure joy that riding bikes brings.



  • 41 6
 Hmmm, the notion that you were harassed by some faeggots* and called feminist bitch is truly eye opening for me. I hereby apologize for every doubt I had in your fight against objectifying women in the media. It sucks that your articles got rejected. I never found your comments bad in any way, you always did it with class, I never seen you lose it, unlike some of us wankers here. I'll follow you on FB and on your blog because I like your way of thinking and you flowy, delicious writing style Wink I hope our injury is getting better


* - man who considers himself masculine and stands for traditional gender and sexual values.
  • 25 4
 It's truly sad and disappointing that it's come to this for you. I'm absolutely appalled by what you've dealt with on this site, and personally, as a result of you taking a stand for what is morally and ethically right. It's tragic that this community and society in general are so quick to jump to the attack when they are called out for inappropriate/demeaning/insulting. Those who take action should be nothing but applauded for doing what the average coward or ignoramus would not. So @ambatt, I applaud you and commend and encourage you to continue to be yourself, speak your mind, share your thoughts, and stand up for what is right. You'll be missed here, but not forgotten. All the best in your endeavours, keep shredding (trails, and the opinions and attitudes of the small minded)!
  • 28 7
 Hey Amanda,

I read this a couple days ago and wanted to ask everyone internally about all discussions anyone had with you as there are pretty harsh statements and want to find out the issues. I don't quite understand how you're reaching a bunch of conclusions and making some pretty harsh inferences. I would love some clarification.

What do you mean by behind the scenes you were admonished for commenting? Have you ever reached out to anyone at Pinkbike about any abusive comments? Reported any comments? Do you have any examples of discussions you've had with any staff members? No staffer has found anything about you reaching out to report or discuss any of this.

You mention that your final indictment was in August 2014...indictment in what? When did someone at Pinkbike accuse you of doing anything wrong? Did you ever talk with Mike about that comment, or any other staffer? How did you reach any conclusion that anyone at Pinkbike had any issue with it/you?

You again mention that you were shut down, given "pedestrian answers" to your articles. Someone forwarded me discussions you had with editors where they emailed you about potential changes. In multiple cases providing meaningful and thorough justification.

In both instances you ceased the discussion. The discussions ended, because you never wrote back. You said you "emailed more, insisting on an answer". Who did you email? Did you ever email/skype/anything an editor about why something wasn't posted? No editor has received an email from you in over a year besides the examples above. Really perplexed as to what you could be talking about.

When you mention this "As I'm currently waiting on a response to my final email I sent a few days ago". Do you mean the email that you sent Saturday afternoon? and then wrote this blog the day after. It was the first and ONLY email you mention anything about "feeling stonewalled". Besides Saturday, when/where did you ever communicate ANYTHING about being muzzled??

There were several of your articles that ran in the last 6 months, they were good, merited publication. There were several that didn't. Some went up, some didn't. You've never asked anyone why, editors have reached out to you though. You discuss an instance that one editor just told you to do more "research" as if he brushed you aside. This is that discussion, www.pinkbike.com/photo/12230005 It just seems egregiously disingenuous to say you weren't given any explanations.

We are continually increasing the amount of female editors and contributors on Pinkbike, and we're proud that they are helping direct a positive voice for women in cycling through Pinkbike. Their efforts are creating more female content, readers and riders in the sport.

The major issue I take with this is that this is a serious discussion and you've made claims and statements that simply are not true. No one ever takes these things lightly. But you paint a picture that you have been communicating these things, that the editors have been ignoring you, telling you to stop speaking out, make assumptions that you're work wasn't posted because you were a female or were somehow being shut down. I can't find anything that supports that. You can send me a private message at karl@pinkbike.com as well.
  • 19 19
 Karl, thanks for reaching out. I've send you an email now.
  • 32 23
 wait wait wait wait one minute @ambatt

You can lash out against everyone for their opinions in public, and pretty much wrote a novel in response to @jenniferpanda when she shot holes in your argument. But when Karl blows your story out of the water you take it to private email? What do you have to hide? Why not share your response to his comment to the whole community? After all you made some bold statements and spit a bunch of fire here and all over this site, and now that your integrity has truly been questioned you want to hide??

You are a true coward

In light of what Is written above, you should write everyone an apology for your obvious cry for attention and fishing for sympathy at the expense of other peoples reputations. All you are doing is picking yet another fight, which seems to be your MO around this site.

And since you always swear at people and tell them to check their facts maybe you should include this article for review as well.


We'd love to hear your remarks to that one too.

Just remember everyone here who jumped to conclusions and was so quick to side up with Miss Batty. There are two sides to every story, and it seems hers is the lopsided one.
  • 19 21
 Wow! Thank you for that. If Karl wants to share the contents of my emails and interactions with the audience (including the one I've sent him) I would be fine with that. What Karl also didn't mention is the number of phone calls I've had with Tyler and Julian, and the emails that suggest such phone calls should take place, rather than discussing it over email.

Feel free to call me whatever you'd like. That's your (and JenniferPanda's) right. But being stonewalled happened, regardless of how PB would like to spin it. I have hour-long phone records I could post, but unfortunately, you cannot screenshot a phone call.

I'm sorry you feel that I've personally wronged you by sharing my experience, but I wish you nothing but the best of luck.
  • 25 15
 pretty sure Karl can share what he wants publicly since you publicly called him, his staff, and his website out for promoting rape culture on multiple public forums. And it seems the accusations are only true in your own head.

It seems you are an amateur writer and a professional troll. You only write one sided articles to insight argument, and PB seems to have stated that they don't want that sot of crap on the home page. You are fishing for attention plain and simple, and they obviously don't wish t be your forum for self expression. Self expression often times laced with anger and hate. Why are you so mad all the time?

You dragged names through the mud and made bold accusations. You put them on twitter, reddit, FB, this site, your blog, mtbr, nsmb and any other place you could find to shout from. You made accusations without full disclosure of facts and you made them publicly. You are are coward if you can't respond in public.

None of this was about anyone being sexist. It is solely about YOU, and the fact that YOU are angry all the time, combative, antagonizing, and write only articles that stem from this. You fail to look at yourself, and have just decided that you deserve to be heard (self entitled much) and if people don't agree with you style they must be sexist and promoting sexist culture. So manufacture a culture and story to try light the building on fire as you run out the door.

Forget gender. Anyone who writes and communicates like you does not deserve to be given a pedestal to stand on just so they can yell even louder. You got stonewalled because your articles were just crap. one sided and argumentative with no substance. Just opinion and completely negative. There is so much being done to promote women in cycling but instead of working to spread that word all your articles do is point fingers at what's wrong with no balance. PB isnt your public forum to kick and scream like a child.

instead of attacking me or anyone who questions you. how about you address Karl's response here so we can read it.
  • 17 14
 Why? Even if she does all you kids who don't like it will negative prop it so it disappears from ready view. What's the point exactly? So you can get your troll jollies off ? Welcome to Pinkgate.

  • 7 3
 I've had good dealings with you in the comments section regarding women (as I have 3 daughters of my own). Best of luck in the future and thanks for taking a stand! We need more people willing to speak their minds.
  • 17 11
 @VTSkier09 Your account is clearly a sock puppet, one you use to attack and criticise others. And you're calling her a coward? You're laughable.
  • 6 9
 Down vote away, it won't change the fact you're fucking weak.
  • 7 5
 I shared the link for her round 2 of this blog below.... where she provides clear proof the admins are lying and trying to do damage control spin doctoring rather than actually deal with the problems constructively. Read it. Educate yourselves. Or don't and just hide your head in the sand.
  • 13 1
 A., I love your personality, sense of humor, and writing. Please let me know where else you are writing, because I don't know how to find it, elsewhere. I love Pinkbike, AND your column. What a loss, you're kickass, and dammit, riders like you! And I won't forget that you said you'd ride with me next time I'm in SLC!! Brian!
  • 10 2
 +1 @ambatt please know that you have many fans of your writing and perspective - we will read your work where ever you land. The type of explicit hate you experienced usually comes from people who feel threatened by skill/talent/whatever and are projecting their own insecurities onto others. Sucks to deal with and there is a learning curve but consider it mental training for dealing with a-holes.
  • 23 12
 A site where a man can write whatever he chooses but a woman will lose a column for speaking out is not one I want to be part of. Thank you all for your extremely kind words and I truly hope to see you at the races or at least interact with you in other forums online. You can always find me on my website, and my blog will be where my new pieces are posted. Cheers and best of luck.
  • 2 1
 I'm sorry to see you go. I enjoy reading your articles and I like your writing style.
  • 3 0
 I liked you and your movement towards women in biking. It was positive and made a difference for me. Thanks for the confidence you have in me and biking as women in general.
  • 3 1
 And I'm sick of reading crap from and riding with misogynistic tech frenzied a-holes. Just ride your bike, have fun, and include everyone, even if they don't have the same skill, or kit as you.
  • 16 6
 Pinkbike admins give no fucks. I'm sorry for your experiences. Perhaps join us in the forums sometime. We're a little more self governed than the main page, no voting bullshit or idiotic mass brigading. I know a ton of users on this site would still love to hear from you. Please don't let pinkbike sweep you aside. Cheers.
  • 11 2
 For folks who wonder which pinkbike staff member left the comment that offended Amanda, it was mike levy, the technical editor in a review that was on the front page for all to read.

"HANDLING - I'd argue that last year's bike was on par for what I expect from a downhill rig in that it's certainly not going to hold any rider back so long as it suits how they ride, but it's also a machine that is quite "lively" compared to some of the recently released DH bikes with longer wheelbases that seem to stick to the ground better when speeds pick up or it gets really rough. That said, Troy Brosnan and Mitch Ropelato both rode 26" wheeled Demos last season with stock geometry and it surely didn't hold them back, did it? The benefit of the 2014 Demo's animated personality is that it will, much like your girlfriend (or boyfriend) after a few shots, do pretty much anything you ask of it. In downhill bike terms, it feels like it's nimble and playful, which is great if that's what you're looking for, but it's in complete contrast to what the 2015 Demo's longer wheelbase and larger wheels offer up"

  • 5 0
 The "(or boyfriend)" was not in the initial published copy.
  • 7 0
 @ambatt ,So sorry to see you go. I truly enjoy your writing style and witty come backs. Bravo for flying you middle finger high and proud to people who refuse to acknowledge that there needs to be basic respect for each other. Written form should not be excluded. Hopefully you will take this experience and make something positive from it. I am appalled at the responses & harassment you have endured. Best of luck in all your future ventures! Cheers!
  • 8 2
 What's happening here is ironically a text book example of what our culture just doesn't get yet out of Feminism 101. Here, a woman's reputation is being questioned simply because she pointed out a misogynistic comment as promoting rape culture. The comment in the bike review should have simpy been removed, and an apology made. But instead Pinkbike chose to leave it there (with an "or woman") next to it, denigrate Amanda Batty's reputation and call into question her professionalism. (See www.dailydot.com/lifestyle/amanda-batty-pinkbike-sexism) It's obviously a greater crime on Pinkbike to speak out against sexist comments than it is to make them. Batty's opinionated tone isn't the issue here. It obviously wasn't a problem until now. All I see are Pinkbike editors and staffers and certain elements withing the trolling community bashing "the uppity woman" for having too strong of an opinion. So she should just shut up and put out, right? Offensive. I never spent much time here because most posters here basically struck me as being immature. Well, that opinion has been completely justified.
  • 7 2
I sometimes wonder if the real reason certain mods/editors kept inquiring if how I knew so much about what was coming down the pipeline of the industry was because I'm actually someone ELSE in the industry using the role of an a*shole to hide my true identity, was actually that they were (and probably still are) worried about which brands had spies among the users and whose products/ad revenue streams might otherwise be in jeopardy for the crap they allow to happen in the comments and forums to other others by all the trolls. Yourself being a prime example... promoting mysogeny and rape culture won't appeal to bicycle companies that cater to the femaly buyer primarily or substantially, especially not those run by women executives. Or at least I like to think so.

This site had two batty's I followed...yourself and @EmilyBatty and I have to wonder if the reason we don't see more of her blogs frontpaged also is because she's going through the exact same crap you are, and that she's then providing feedback up the company food chain to Trek management being one of their highly visible, very feminine looking sponsored pro athletes (that she rides races wearing a string o' pearls on, has to do wonders for their sales to women)... which is why things happen here LAST as far as the users finding out stuff the rest of us in the industry knew about months before, such as Boost hubs which were developed WITH Trek's involvement and plus size tires. The first pinkbike users learned of Boost was just before SOC15, but Bikerumour had reported about it four months earlier with nice unbiased explanations of WHAT, WHY and HOW without trolling. twentynineinches.com had tire testing reviews of plus size tires published in september last year... first they report about it here was about the time SOC15... terrific.. six months late to the party... makes you think that WTB execs don't appreciate the trolling either and saw no point to submit any tires/wheels for testing
  • 3 0
 Interesting point about manufactures avoiding sites with negative reactions.
  • 4 0
 That's shitty! I've always enjoyed reading your post and enjoy whenever you post on here. Wish you well in your future endeavors and if you ever come back I'll follow you again! Not to sound stalkerish or anything like that! Maybe I'll bump into you on the trails someday.
  • 6 2
 Keyboard warriors are one thing, but getting actual threats concering where you live just because you voice an opinion is truly a disgusting low. Some people dont deserve the air they breath! I would like to thank you for writing your articles you have written, I loved the "close to the knuckle" style, makes it seem real rather than some of the censored bull you can read on here. I would specifically like to thank you for the article you wrote about what a race day feels like. Thanks to that perticular one I am now mid way through my second year of racing, and although I'm far from winning any medals, I cross the line with a smile on my face each and every time. Best of luck to whatever you do next, keep living the dream!
  • 5 1
 Personally I am a guy all for equality and equal rights but I hate how politically correct we now have to be. I am a bit a-miss to see other women in a sense biting back, ESPECIALLY one who labels themselves as a feminist, to a woman who is sharing HER experiences and emotions. In a sense aren't you doing "exactly what the man wants". Trying to suffocate and stifle the modern woman?

While Huffington post may be a well regarded news publication I don't believe they get to create definitions for the dictionary, this is just MY OPINION, on THEIR OPINION. They are not the end all be all on "rape culture". While cultures have many similarities from region to region, they change This is a perception thing to me and not something any ONE can decide for ALL.

Regardless of what culture/ race/ creed/ sex so on and so on, the degradation of another, IS WRONG. I am not above making lure or vulgar statements though and I bet none of you are either. What separates much of this though is our true actions not off the cuff words, all of us say messed up things we DONT MEAN but that does not mean we live that way.
  • 6 0
 Huffington Post has been thoroughly discredited as an actual news source, and has not been 'well regarded' by anyone outside of a social studies student looking for sources to pad a shit report. The owner of HP is notorious and HP has long been regarded as a partisan and opinion based 'clickbait' site, and should never be used as a source of information much in the same way the Sun should never be used. Not that it has anything to do with your point, but I thought that should be pointed out as awareness of false media outlets is key.
  • 6 0
 Bummed... enjoyed your articles, shocked to hear what was going on that I wasn't aware of.
  • 6 0
 See you on Facebook & Tweaker (Twitter)! I support you in any form I can...
  • 5 2
 Less time writing, more time in PT and training. You dont need the approval of anyone. I know you want to educate, challenge, and engage people, but you do it best in person and you attract those people. Focus on you. Ride harder, Kill it. And win back that $200 you owe me. Oh.... right... only $185 now... Love ya!
  • 6 3
I read one of your posts a while back. Then I posted a comment underneath. Although I would consider what I said relatively inoffensive, I will admit it was spikey at least. Your response was quick, fiery and opinionated.

I respect that. If I am talking to someone, I want to know their opinions. If their opinions differ from mine, even better. Thats how you make an interesting discussion. You were never rude, just assertive. I am sad that there will now be one less rider with real opinions on Pinkbike. Perhaps this isn't the time, but I do find myself wondering if the statement "willing to do whatever you ask, just like your girlfriend after a couple of shots" is actually that sexist or offensive. Weird and indicative of our current societies quite perverse attitudes towards sex yes, mysoginistic, not really. Thing is, I imagine I would really quite enjoy discussing this point of view with you, and because of the bad attitudes of others, I probably won't end up having that discussion. That sucks.

Be happy whatever you do. However personally I would suggest holding your head high, ignoring the opinions of people who you find rude or offensive, and carry on commenting here.
  • 10 7
 It seems like Pinkbike's editors are cowards and part of the problem here. Who stands by and watches a woman harassed on the street? Essentially that is what the editors have done. Do nothing, see nothing, and shut her up.

I'm betting this sort of rapey misogynistic behavior on the forum ends quickly on this site when manufacturers stop sending in product for review and spending advertising dollars at Pinkbike.
  • 3 0
 In this case, until PB responds (they may have) I have to believe what Ambatt says and the conclusions she has drawn. She is sharing her experience and perspective on this, she lived it, witnessed it, the rest of us can only read about it and form OUR opinion.

Regardless of man or woman, we are all entitled to our own opinion, all of us are allowed to share it (not that ANY one of us want to hear the other Razz ) PB was asking for and encouraging a dynamic and out of the box writer (from my point of view) for their site, to help generate clicks, pings, dings, flings, fapping(yes I went there) what have you. One of the things I think PB has forgotten here and maybe didn't think of doing damage control with was, ANY publicity is good publicity(don't believe that, google Floyd Mayweather). Like others have commented its not like PB is the upper echelon of published news, yes there are trolls/groms the like, BUT I want to hear what they have to say too! If not, just like all of you I can go right past it if I don't like it.
  • 3 0
 We (collectively) should applaud the people who have a valid opinion and who are willing to take a stand against something. We should champion free speech and pushing the boundaries of what should be said. In fact, most often when something 'controversial' is said, there is truth in it. We need more people (men and women) who will positively promote women in cycling.
  • 3 1

That IS actually the case though. I know brand owners who I have asked if they'll submit stuff X or component Y here for test/review because it'll increase the exposure for the product and they all say "hell no", because they see it as a waste of their time and resources, and not actually going to reach the audience they want for it... but they'll happilly send stuff to Dirtrag or tell people at bikerumour or velonews, and even talk about it in the mtbr forums because doing it there WILL reach the right maturity/intelligence of audience. Its ok to be an a*shole, but it helps to do it places where they draw the line at the degree of asshatery that is allowed to be there. MTBR in particular has several women editors in charge of whole popular forums as well as bike brand owners/execs posting and most importantly, READING often. Perhaps you can find your voice their without all the crap that came with being here. One major selling point to mtbr is the reputation feature...which unlike the "props" here, isn't anonymous... you instantly know who's positive or negative voting your postings and take actions against them (like blocking their arses so they outright can't contact you).
  • 4 0
 Best of luck to you. Always enjoyed your perspective on the cycling culture. I'm sorry to hear that negative experiences have pushed you to this decision.
  • 2 0
 All of us will often have a change of opinion of something as well, or say something to catch attention, is this wrong? Well thats up to you to decide for yourself and it is also up to PB or any other site or publication decide.

We are here to be informed, entertained and to interact. From my perspective they asked for interaction and then stifled interaction, then some interaction in personal contact that went too far then fell on deaf ears, with no recourse, yet others were able to do as they wish, not in private but in public… There is a clear separation of class and to me, that speaks far more volumes for PB to their readers and advertisers as to what you DO NOT want in a large publication than anything.

To me there is a difference, but again, its my opinion.

Sorry to see you go, I hope to read the passion you feel, for the things you love some where else. Whether I like it or agree with it, the love you feel is always oozing out.

  • 2 0
 I found this thru BikeSnobNYC. I never heard of Pinkbike until today. I agree with you, Amanda, that "a bike review comparison by a male Pinkbike writer who compared the malleability and handling of a bike frame to a ‘girlfriend after too many shots’ in that both would do anything you asked" suggests rape culture. The Pinkbike editors need to reeducate themselves, since they apparently are blind to that.

Not only is eliminating sexism in cycling the moral thing to do, but it's also very good for business. With females making up only 1/4 of bike commuters in the US, there's huge growth potential by making cycling more welcoming to women.
  • 7 3
 @ambatt should I screenshot all of this in case it disappears? Pretty revolting tbh...
  • 1 4
 I screenshotted it also.
  • 4 2

Phone Interview with Amanda... anyone who listens and still takes PB's side in this mess needs their heads examined professionally...or to be profiled by the FBI
  • 3 3
None of what drove you away surprises me (or will surprise any actual industry folks who read your blog) as this site has been the joke of the online bicycle world since it was founded, and even attempts to improve it by hiring big names like RC will never change that as long as they still allow wide open unrestricted trolling, and why they have such a hard time actually keeping moderators... I was made one and then unmade one in about six weeks (the unmaking was over threatening a troll with suspension PUBLICALLY, which obviously could cut into click-ad revenue if the trolls were actually removed). I wasn't even being paid in any way for spending six hours a day here trying to keep up with buy-sell section scams and god damned all the swearing at and threatening of other users in the forums.

My suggestion for anyone who threatens you with your address or to rape culture you is to report them to the FBI or your local state troopers immediately. My suggestion for where you go from here is start your own blogspot or youtube channel, and move over to the mtbr forums in the meantime until you build up enough followers to generate your own click-revenue from a company that takes shit more seriously (the fact that you can disable comments / or even better mute commentators is a nice feature of google/youtube... they still think their dribble is being posted and seen when in fact you never ever read it).
  • 1 1
 I know more than a handful of lawyers who would be happy to pursue this issue for you. So employees of pinkbike said to call rather than to email ? This is so there is no written proof of their lack of support and lack of moral, ethical and legal actions that should have been taken.
  • 4 0
 Bye, Amanda Frown
  • 5 2
 great. gamergate but for bikes.
  • 3 12
flag hgrenade (May 12, 2015 at 13:10) (Below Threshold)
 I cannot wait until Anita goes away. If she used any facts at all I would support her, but she just twists the truth to reflect anything that she wants. Reminds me of Sen Joe Lieberman back in the day. Her opinions are like gasoline on a fire - just made to get a "response."
  • 3 0
 Well this is kinda gross...
  • 2 2

Speaking o' mtbr... they've already started talking about this/you

  • 13 15
 Dear Amanda, don’t twist your anger for being kicked off as a writer by hiding behind words and concepts that will get others riled up without actually investigation.

I consider myself a feminist and disagree with all forms of 'rape culture,' but I also don’t think that phrase should be tossed around lightly.

Most people do not know what a feminist is, stands for, or what rape culture is. Much of true rape culture is invisible and deeply embedded in society that we it mostly goes unnoticed. Rape Culture: according to Huffington Post, it is defined as “a culture in which dominant cultural ideologies, media images, social practices and societal institutions support and condone sexual abuse by normalizing, trivializing and eroticizing male violence against women and blaming victims for their own abuse.”

As someone who has been raped and in a toxic and physically/sexually/mentally abusive marriage, I am a loud and passionate voice for ending this systematic societal attitude.

The quote she attacks from an article in August 2014 is: “The benefit of the 2014 Demo's animated personality is that it will, much like your girlfriend (or boyfriend) after a few shots, do pretty much anything you ask of it.”

Summed up nicely by a Reddit user, “The implications of the comment, namely that women like to have consensual sex, and alcohol reduces inhibitions, are not sexist.”

Again, I completely disagree with allegations of sexism, misogyny, or ‘rape culture’ being used lightly. If we want to see systemic changes, we need to start at the top and we need to be accurate and sensitive to what we want to pinpoint. Simply put, labeling something ‘rape culture’ without taking the time to open up a conversation is irresponsible.

The issue of equality is two-sided and to eradicate rape culture, rape, sexism, and misogyny off the face of the planet, we have to bring women up and not put men down.

  • 12 11
 To me, Amanda’s anger and article about leaving PB seems like retaliation because PB didn’t like her column/writing. I am an editor and I have the authority to tweak or all together nix someone's article. If I feel their writing isn't up to par, don’t like their writing style, or really any other reason, I can choose not to publish. It is my right and it is PB's right. It is also Amanda’s right what and where she wants to publish her content. She can choose to write for another site or even her own online magazine.

I’m not here to attack Amanda the person—she seems like a badass on a bike and an all-around cool lady—I’m here to say hear her argument and opinion and then form your own.

When Amanda writes on the site “MuddBunnies Riding,” with a column titled, “Ladies Do It Best,” I find that this is hypocritical and promotes inequality. She herself wrote an article on PB about how she would love to kill the “ever-righteous ‘Barbie bike,’” which includes pink streamers, pink frames, a ‘girly’ look, womens-specific anything, etc. Yes, women are underrepresented in mountain biking, many other sports, hobbies, careers, etc. I love watching and playing football, but I refuse to participate in leagues like powderpuff because that doesn’t do anything to change the dialogue about misogyny, sexism or hatred towards women.

I empathize with the harassment and threats that Amanda has encountered. That is uncalled for and hateful. She doesn’t deserve that. Comments sections on most sites can be terrible places at times.

Real change can only occur when we engage others with differing ideals, perspectives and backgrounds in meaningful, centered, and realistic discussion.

Let’s change the world (for the better) together.

  • 17 18
 Jennifer, I find it hilarious and ironic that not only are you unfamiliar with my writing or my history on the website over the last year, but that you are guilty of the same conjecture and ignorance that you so crudely accuse me of. I wasn't 'kicked off' of anywhere. As of January, I cashed a check PB wrote me for an article I wrote them. This blog post is about me leaving due to the sexist double standard and the, yes, rape culture that pervades the echelon's of Pinkbike's staff.

To accuse someone else of hiding behind words and terms when you yourself claim to be a 'feminist'? Yet you have no history on this site and clearly have no idea of what a pervasive rape culture really is. Pervasive rape culture is where people are silenced for speaking out, punished for expecting fairness and hidden in a political process that would most likely see them give up before getting answers... And yes, that is what has happened here, as the publisher of this site admitted yesterday in a lengthy (and tearful) phone call with yours truly.
  • 17 16
 Do not, for one moment, assume that I am not sad or heartbroken about walking away from this community. There is so much to be done and yes, I wish that I had never clicked on that review or made those comments last summer. Believe me. Because right now, looking down the very long tunnel of bullshit that PB has perpetuated within their working culture, I know that my career will be the one to take the hit.

I'm not angry about being 'fired' because I never was. Clearly, you don't understand the meaning of that word, either. I wish my publisher and my friends here at Pinkbike nothing but the best, but I will not stand by and allow the spread of outright lies (the Muddbunnies page is a video from a contest 3 years ago summing up 'doing it best', so thanks for taking that out of context in an obvious attempt to smear me) from someone who has zero history or links on 'her' page.

But hey. Nice try. Obviously, some site users agree with you. Bravo.
  • 12 10
 Also: to anyone interested in actually reading my post about Barbie Bikes, here you go: www.pinkbike.com/u/ambatt/blog/bitches-brew-barbie-bikes-vs-real-bikes.html
  • 14 11
 The gals over on mtbr's women's lounge would love to hear from you. Also I too found it suspicious that someone who joined five weeks ago somehow found this blog (which isn't front page or likely to ever be on the front page unless some editor grows a spine and opens it up to discussion of a REAL problem on this site) and had SOOOO much to post in response.
  • 12 11
 I see the trolls are out in force today...negative Amanda's replies and positive the mystery new attacker.
  • 10 2
 @jenniferpanda Wow! Another sock puppet account. Are you and @VTSkier09 one and the same?
  • 1 0
 marry x mass happy new year miss your pics ridding wish u all best in life
  • 1 1
 It's hilarious how many simple grammar mistakes were made in this article, not to mention how poor of a writer you are. Keep trying with your blog, though!
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