5 Findings from Female Pros in the Pinkbike State of the Sport Survey

Jan 24, 2023 at 16:54
by Christie Fitzpatrick  
Welcome to the 2023 Pinkbike State of the Sport Survey. This anonymous survey is designed to help shed light on key issues affecting the professional field and elite competition. We surveyed the best riders in the world to hear their thoughts, ideas, concerns, and criticisms on mountain biking as we go into 2023, all in an anonymous format. To read the introduction to the survey click here, and to see all the other currently published SOTS articles click here.



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Mountain biking is historically a male-dominated sport, and so snapshots of pro riders don't often give a full representation of women's views and opinions. Women's participation in mountain biking has undoubtedly grown significantly over the last several years, however, the women's competitive side of the sport remains less developed than the men's side of things. In this survey, 58.6% of the riders were men, while the remaining 41.4% of those surveyed are women (that’s 2% more than last year - woo!). This article dives into the data that is specific to those 63 female pro riders who gave us their thoughts on the state of the sport.



The Majority of Women Surveyed Feel They've Have Experienced Sexism In The Sport

Giada Specia and Sofie Pedersen lead the back into the first turn.

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Only 25.1% of female professionals would say that they have not experienced sexism in mountain biking. That’s pretty bleak, thought it is approximately 5% higher than last year. The numbers tell us that the majority of female professional mountain bikers feel that have experienced sexism in the sport.


Women Want Female Peers In The Wings

Myriam Nicole lost a lot of time on the lower half of the course. Third place for the outgoing World Champ.

We asked these women what they would like to see in mountain biking to make it more inclusive for female professional mountain bikers. We got a great mix of responses.

Women want to see more of their gender represented not just in the gates, but also in the field as part of the fabric of the industry. Female commentators, female officials, female mechanics, and team staff are desired, as well as women on factory teams and working in the World Cup circuit. Women would like to see their peers as mechanics, team managers, and sponsors. One survey participant also noted that there is a need to educate commentators on how to speak to female athletes, as well as a need to educate brands on how to celebrate female athletes without sexualizing them in their marketing.

For enduro-specific riders, more opportunities are sought after to allow women to run their own program, rather than having to join a team. In general, women feel that the sponsorship money seems to be there for the very top, but doesn’t seem to filter through the ranks. Some women also mentioned that it would be wonderful to see the women's final as the 'grand finale', as opposed to the men's. Women are aware that their events are scheduled early, citing that this gives them much less visibility and spectators compared to the men, thus feeding the cycle of less exposure and lower pay.

Speaking of Which, Female Pros Say There's a Pay Gap (and they’re right)

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More than half of the women surveyed responded ‘strongly agree’ to the statement ‘there is a gender pay gap in mountain biking.’ Another 30.8% responded ‘agree,’ putting the total agree answers at 83.1%. 12.3% were neutral, 3.1% disagreed, and 1.5% strongly disagreed. They estimate to make 30-50% less than their male counterparts, and the comparison chart of responses proves it.

When asked ‘Is mountain biking your sole income or do you have to have another job to support yourself?’, 47.62% reported it was. Yet, for over a third of women surveyed, less than 20% of their salary is guaranteed, with the rest being made up of prize money and other bonuses. Around 24% of males reported approximately 100% of their salary is guaranteed, compared to just 13% amongst women. 18 of the women reported a salary in the 60-80% category, compared to 29 men.


Most Women Want to Race the Same Courses as the Men

Isabeau Cordurier joins the two time champions club with her second EWS title and first since 2019.

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In response to the statement 'The course should be the same, irrespective of gender,' 52.4% strongly agreed, 34.9% agreed, 9.5% responded neutrally, and 3.1% disagreed. None strongly disagreed.

The vast majority of women surveyed think that men and women should race on the same courses. Many of them feel that to promote equality and respect for women, it's important to understand that despite physiological differences from men, professional women in this sport are exceedingly capable and can compete on the same courses as the men. Women's mountain biking is evolving quickly as more opportunities are afforded women and the sport develops further. It seems like big jumps and gnarly courses are here to stay, which is exactly what most of the women want.

Overall, the women we surveyed recognised that changes are being made in the industry for the better. Being able to race the same tracks (86% outwardly voted for men and women to ride the same course) was celebrated for bringing visibility and credibility to women racers. More women's events are desired to bring more women into the sport and racing scene so that the field of competitors grows and justifies an equal payment for professional (and right now probably still semi-professional) racers.

Women Are Fiercely Competitive

Bex Baraona on what will be the Queen Stage come Sunday

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Women are fiercely competitive too, with 41.46% wanting to be not just the best they can be, but the best in the world at their discipline. Ultimately, there are still less women at the startline, leading to smaller fields. 73.3% of women would support legislation to diversify the professional field, such as an elite UCI trade team having at least 2 of the following: a male, a female, and a junior.

It seems that many of the pro women we surveyed would like to be valued based on competitive results, rather than on social media followings or other metrics. We saw similar feedback from the men's side of the survey. It's important to acknowledge that the competitive mountain bike scene is subsidized by brands that want to sell their products, and that racers and brands aren't always motivated by the same things. Brands that hire racers to sell things will always be somewhat at odds with racers who feel their only job is to compete, regardless of gender.

Only 2 women surveyed felt that their sponsors valued their feedback from product testing, and media coverage from events, with consistent results and active social media presence being valued the most.

Women Are In Favour of Unions

Style speed and another tumble for H ll still chasing another win after Snowshoe last season.

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93.5% of women surveyed agree with the idea of a rider’s union, with 81% of women feeling that a union would be beneficial to their interests. 79% of all women also feel that each discipline should have an independent rider's union, and 59% of women agreed or strongly agreed that the rider's union was a direct response to lack of support, communication, and transparency from the UCI and Discovery (37% were neutral, with just 4% disagreeing).

Author Info:
christiefitz avatar

Member since May 21, 2017
109 articles

252 Comments
  • 185 39
 "Women are fiercely competitive" is the conclusion you get when surveying professional mtbers? Was the same question presented to the male riders or was the assumption that men rode to win and women rode for fun? Come on...
  • 90 39
 That's a giant leap to a strange conclusion. Yes, we asked the whole field this question - but to treat women's issues, both societal and in sport, as men's issues would be to miss the point. The fact is that there is a difference in the way that women are treated in the work place, both in wider society and sometimes with what the industry expects of female athletes compared to men.
  • 8 1
 The intention probably wasn't there. Rock on women racers and riders! I yell and scream just as much during the women's race as I do the men's race. I have many favorite riders and other favorite pro athletes that are women.
  • 29 41
flag plustiresaintdead (Jan 27, 2023 at 11:23) (Below Threshold)
 They didn't say the men weren't you whiny little baby
  • 45 2
 @plustiresaintdead: that’s the point he is making. Nobody would ever say ‘men are fiercely competitive’ they just assume it where as in this case it seems like some sort of ‘finding’
  • 19 13
 @henryquinney: Well then the question is, where is the article on pinkbike that says 'men are fiercely competitive' ?
  • 21 4
 @skiandmtbdirtbag: That's coming out on Sunday, along with the rest of the full release.

Everyone was asked the same question, but we can look at the data and break it down to see who felt what, which is what was done here.
  • 12 11
 @skiandmtbdirtbag: I feel like this is the same thing as "uhhh when is international Men's day exactly?!?!"

@henryquinney: well articulated sir, looking forward to these issues tackled more on the site
  • 36 3
 @henryquinney: not a giant leap at all, I think you'll many people interpreted this the same way. Wow! Woman can be competitive just like men! Next they'll be allowed to drive cars and get jobs.

Is there an example of a type of human being who chooses 'racing' as their profession who is not competitive?
  • 14 0
 @ponyboy24: I race to get in everyone's way and I'm even bad at that as I always start at the back.
  • 2 4
 @FaahkEet: are you are a professional racer and thus being surveyed by pinkbike?
  • 15 1
 @ponyboy24: I'm commenting on a PB article, so obviously.
  • 8 5
 They also didn't ask the men about sexism, a pay gap or riding the same course as the women. lol I know this would be a shitshow as soon as I read the title.
  • 10 4
 @paulhaysom: Not at all. Imagine if there was an article that said 'the men are fiercely competitive' People would, rightly so, be questioning that, as it's pretty obvious the elite racers are going to be...you know, competitive. To single out women as if it's some surprise that they are competitive sounds like the bigotry of soft expectations. @ ponyboy24 says it below me, it smacks of 'wow, women can be competitive, just like men!!
  • 4 10
flag Mtbdialed (Jan 27, 2023 at 17:47) (Below Threshold)
 @skiandmtbdirtbag: yeah sure, it's dumb....but guess what!? women on average are not as competitive as men. at the elite level? likely they are. so it's dumb to ask/be shocked about anyone at the top tier of any athletic endeavour if they are competitive. it's prima facae true.
  • 4 3
 @Mtbdialed: I am not sure if you are argueing with me, because we are in agreeance.
  • 1 6
flag Mtbdialed (Jan 27, 2023 at 17:55) (Below Threshold)
 @skiandmtbdirtbag: was just making a distinction I felt needed to be made, aloud. general women vs elite athlete women.
  • 9 4
 @henryquinney: since when someones feeling is a base to withdraw a solid conclusion on anything? What people feel is irrelevant to what actually happens. What's the purpose of the survey exactly?
  • 7 5
 @henryquinney: maybe the headline of this section could have emphasized this more, something like: "different from what some old white men think, women race to win"
  • 4 1
 To be fair to PB, they already had the subhead written for this one, as they were fishing for the answers they got by only giving respodents a "fiercely competive" answer to choose. "I ride to have fun" and "I know I'm not the best, so I ride hard enough to stay sponsored" were not options they could give.
  • 2 1
 @adespotoskyli: since 2020/2021
  • 5 14
flag Diesel2007 (Jan 28, 2023 at 12:50) (Below Threshold)
 @adespotoskyli: Again we are seeing the latest feminist movement where things are based on " FEELINGS" not facts or logic. And those feelings are based on " right now" as those feelings will change tomorrow. Which is why we see so much hypocrisy coming from this. I just watched a video where a woman said " a girls got to keep her options open" then in several statements later says " I hate when you go out with a guy and looks at another women as if he's keeping his options open". Facepalm ! Society won't thrive on this thinking. It's going to be the collapse of the human species.
  • 1 2
 @henryquinney: I understand what your saying and agree with it. But somehow i miss the connection between how women are treated (coming from the outside in) and whether women themselves are competitive (coming from the inside out). Also, anyone living with women for more than a couple of years knows the answer to this question!
  • 3 15
flag XCplease (Jan 28, 2023 at 14:14) (Below Threshold)
 Women are inherently less competitive than men so it makes sense
  • 5 0
 @XCplease: so the woman interviewed in this survey who all race bikes for a living, why are they doing that if they aren't inherently competitive?
  • 2 17
flag XCplease (Jan 28, 2023 at 16:56) (Below Threshold)
 @ponyboy24: your twisting my words. I said inherently less competitive not Inherently not competitive. Sure Kate Courtney may be competitive but I doubt she is as competitive as that avg top 20 male rider.
  • 9 0
 @XCplease: Why would you doubt that. Such as weird thing to say.
  • 3 0
 @XCplease: it's totally dependent on the topic. Like men, their competitiveness can range from zero to insane.
  • 6 1
 @XCplease: no need to twist your words. You are just digging yourself into a deeper hole.

Should we ask Kate Courtney why she isn't as competitive as a man?
  • 3 2
 @henryquinney: 100% of professional women riders experianced sexisim from this article... "feircly competitive", no chit dude...
  • 8 0
 @stiingya: Firstly, I didn't write the article - but I'm very happy to talk about the methodology behind the survey, which is what I have done. To your point, I think if we ignored pretty engrained historical objectification of women in actions sports, and flatly lived in absolute coo-coo land then your observation would bear merit. As it happens, we live in the real world and in that world, Christie, a woman in the outdoor industry, felt that was a stat that was worth bringing up and thinking about. With a myopic lens you may feel the way you do - but I think the context undermines that thoroughly. If a female journalist wants to explore an idea within women's action sports, who the hell we to say they're doing it wrong?
  • 1 2
 @Mac1987: exceptions don't change the rule
  • 1 4
 @ponyboy24: you are still twisting my words once again
I told you that in general women are less competitive than men
  • 1 4
 @henryquinney: what's this about objectivication?
I don't rlly care about what women do but if you compare women's MTB to men's xc than you are a fool
  • 2 0
 @XCplease: depending on topic, it's the rule instead of the exception, just like with men. We're all more competitive when it comes to things we're passionate about. It's just that that's more often sports with men than women, but the women that are passionate about sports are just as competitive.
  • 1 3
 @Mac1987: yes we will both be competitive but it's more likely that even at the highest level the mental will be more competitive
  • 2 0
 @XCplease: Dude, when I read your original comment, I LOLed, knowing that you wrote a PB-worthy troll post to lure some unsuspecting fellow pinkers in believing you meant it. Sure enough, the first response after that by @ponyboy24 was the perfect woooosh that I was waiting for!
Well done, sir, or so I thought, because I then realized that you *did* in fact mean what you wrote. That's just ridiculous - as others have pointed out. Also, my joke detector needs a reboot ...
  • 107 46
 I may be wrong, but I don't believe there aren't more women in the industry because of those in the industry discriminating against women. I believe it to be that more men are interested in biking especially at the top level competitiveness. And I believe that will always be a thing. In my experience, atleast here in the USA, everyone has been beyond stoked to see more and more women on the trails and at bike parks. They've been met with very open arms. I'm not saying there aren't sins of the past but there will be a point that more men just have a general interest in elite racing than women do. Again, I love seeing women on the trails. I've introduced mtb to my last two girlfriends and they still ride today. But you can't force a group of people into an industry that they just don't want to be in.
  • 79 98
flag ratedgg13 FL (Jan 27, 2023 at 11:15) (Below Threshold)
 But WHY do more men have an interest in biking? Because of social and gender norms. That has resulted in less support for women to become pro riders in various disciplines, making it harder for women to have other female role models to follow into the upper echelons of the sport. That's something that is going to take time (and lots of resources) to change.
  • 41 29
 Yes, I agree that you may be wrong.
  • 63 3
 They are but they aren’t. My wife shreds…but whenever we come up to a group of dudes on a trail or bike park they ask me about her bike and spec build.

It’s one thing to welcome people and it’s another to treat them as peers.
  • 16 21
flag skimgosu (Jan 27, 2023 at 11:44) (Below Threshold)
 Because of social gender norms. -ideologue
  • 40 5
 @Phillyenduro: But you can look to other sports where there is incentive to have woman participate and compete, like golf. There are collegiate golf scholarships for woman that go unused.

I do think that some sports are not necessarily inclusive, but I also think some do not appeal to woman as much.
It seems like there are more women road cyclists than off-road. And way more woman runners. It could be a whole host of barriers other than sexism that skews the numbers.
  • 14 21
flag ratedgg13 FL (Jan 27, 2023 at 11:55) (Below Threshold)
 @skimgosu: just curious why you think I'm an ideologue for saying there are gender norms. Do you think that there aren't different expectations for men vs women?
  • 38 18
 Less nuance, please. The problem has been identified, and the solution is to throw more money at women. Forget the WC DH racers making close to nothing. Forget that inclusion/equality is always in one direction. Not a single female dominated industry that is demanding men be inserted into CEO positions. Point reality out and get slapped by society.
  • 23 7
 @ratedgg13: There are gender expectations. Are gender expectations and differences bad? Are all norms evils that must be vanquished? There is no long-term good for the sport when we artificially inflate participation by tossing incentives towards disinterested individuals. We should seek to right wrongs we already know instead of ignoring it (not paying WC Racers proper salaries)
  • 21 21
 @skimgosu: I dunno, seems to me like a lot of gender norms/expectations from the past were bad. I for one am stoked that women are allowed to vote, drive, own property, have careers, and do things other than 'housemaking' and 'child-rearing'.
I know a lot of women that would love to have serious careers in MTB but can't because they aren't taken seriously to the same level as their male counterparts, so this is something I'd love to see change.
  • 45 9
 I for one would like to see more women janitors, trash collectors, and plumbers. Kidding aside, we seem to be in a weird place in our culture where we want both sexes to be treated equally in some ways but not in others. It's like the NBA vs WNBA, one simply brings in more money and has far more skill.
  • 15 11
 @skimgosu: what these people fail to realize is that 'gender norms' are downstream of human biology. It shouldn't be surprising to anyone that the vast majority of violent crime is perpetrated by men. The far left and far right finally agree on something; evolution isn't real
  • 41 50
flag caiocrz (Jan 27, 2023 at 12:28) (Below Threshold)
 @ratedgg13: Have you ever thought that maybe women just don't want to ride bikes as much as men? It's because of the same reason less men have an interest in cooking for example. Each sex has different tendencies which is totally normal because men and women are NOT the same. There's absolutely nothing preventing women from competing. "Social and gender norms" is complete BS
  • 22 13
 @caiocrz: Yikes...
  • 17 0
 The Three Stooges. Women have as much access to the 3 Stooges as any man...and I dare you to find a woman that like them.

(full disclosure...stealing this from an episode of Cheers)
  • 40 10
 @caiocrz: seems common sense to me. Why aren't more men being encouraged into sewing circles? Because the majority don't care for it. I don't understand what is so difficult to understand about this.
  • 15 1
 Men may be drawn to extreme sports because of the high levels of risk and adrenaline they provide, as well as the challenge it presents to their physical and mental abilities. Furthermore, societal expectations can also play a role in encouraging men to participate in such sports more than women.
  • 17 13
 @tremeer023: The problem with common sense is that it's not so common. Facts over feelings.
  • 9 3
 youtu.be/I745Ajeq_B8

y'all enjoy some Bill Burr.
  • 37 28
 @caiocrz: Tell me you don't understand nature vs nurture without telling me you don't understand nature vs nurture.

The fact you choose cooking just proves you are out to lunch. You think Women like cooking based on your bias of seeing women at home in the kitchen. That is not because women like to cook. That is due to gender norms pushed on women from a young age. Compare that to a professional cooking setting, where you would think people are doing it because it is what they like to do and are good at. Professional kitchens are very male dominated. If women like to cook and men don't, why is that the case?

The majority of young girls are not put on a bike and encouraged to go off jumps. Boys are. If girls are not told or taught they can do these things then they don't ever get the opportunity to know if they like it or not.

Will all girls want to mountain bike, no of course not, just like not all boys do. But majority of girls don't even get the opportunity to explore whether they want to or not.
  • 30 19
 @tubby1536: Extreme sports require a certain level of physical strength, an adventurous spirit, and a willingness to take risks. While these traits may be nurtured through experience and guidance, they are largely determined by genetic predispositions.
  • 8 9
 @wolftwenty1: this is due to the greater tendency of men to be on the autistic spectrum; its not bias against women, merely benign bias in favor of men.

They ask you, because they know with statistical certainty that you know, and that she probably doesn't (same with my gf)

Women are just less system-obsessed than men in general. Not a bad thing, its part of what I like about them.

We all have to cut corners in social interaction or it becomes impossible
  • 13 17
flag gb8561 (Jan 27, 2023 at 14:46) (Below Threshold)
 @jaydawg69: Can you provide empirical evidence that "adventurous spirit" and "a willingness to take risks" is a genetic predisposition?
  • 20 8
 Ideally, If men and women really had equality, then there would be no designation of gender and everyone would race against everyone else. No "mens" or "womens" race. Just a single race.

In the board room, do we have a men's CEO or a Women's CEO or do we just have a CEO.
In the Fire or Police Department, Do we have a Men's Squad or a Women's Squad? nope just a Squad, force, etc...

True equality is everyone being treated the exact same for doing the same thing. there should be no gender, race , religion, etc taken into account. Everyone is equal or at least we are trying to get to a world where everyone is equal.
It is only in competition where Genders have a split.
  • 8 9
 @gb8561: You can, but it would probably end your career as a genetics researcher due to extreme political bias in the field
  • 41 10
 In the USA, boys and girls in 5th grade (10 years old-ish) enroll in youth sports like soccer at very close to the same rates. By high school, 5 times as many girls no longer participate in sports compared to the boys. No matter how egalitarian, propagandistic, and persuasive you try to be, women simply aren't interested in sports of any kind as much as men are.

And thats ok.

But one of the consequences is that, at the upper most elite levels, you have 1% of 1% competing. 1% of 1% requires at least 10,000 for your starting population to get up to just 1. Unless the female total population increases dramatically, there will never be close to the same number of pro women mountain bikers.
  • 7 5
 @wburnes: I'm not sure that I understand. Are you saying the evidence exists but the researchers are suppressing the data to protect their careers? If so why would they undertake the research in the first place if they knew a potential outcome would be unpublishable due to 'extreme political bias'? Where would they get the funding to do the research?
  • 12 6
 @gb8561: Yes. There is rarely any funding for this research, and there are, to use a kind of loaded term, conspiracies to suppress politically controversial research, originating from the government, research institutions, and media complex.

stuartritchie.substack.com/p/nih-genetics?s=09

www.thecollegefix.com/nih-denies-scientists-access-to-genetic-databases-if-research-deemed-stigmatizing/?s=09
  • 23 16
 “As a man, let me tell you how women should feel about this…” - Men whenever they hear men may be the problem.
  • 10 9
 @wburnes: I'm not sold. You suggest that you can provide the evidence. That means it exists already or you've predetermined the outcome in advance of doing the work which is bad research. Also Bryan Pesta was a hack who published garbage work in low quality journals.
  • 12 8
 @TrailFeatures: so brave! Try writing the inverse Smile
  • 13 6
 @gb8561: Based on this response, I very much doubt you ever will be convinced. Good for you and your career, bad for society, truth, and knowledge.
  • 10 10
 @ratedgg13: because men generally are better at sports and bring more more ney in, it's the exact opposite in porn industry but I don't see women complaining about it.
  • 3 16
flag sonuvagun (Jan 28, 2023 at 1:37) (Below Threshold)
 @wolftwenty1: where I'm from, a man should NEVER talk to a woman first before talking to her man. Some of us were raised that way and it would be seen as disrespectful to do it otherwise
  • 4 3
 @caiocrz: you are correct
  • 5 8
 @ratedgg13: why does it need to change? I want rest until we have equality in ballet. This is classic work BS
  • 4 6
 *woke
  • 9 5
 @jimmythehat: I'm glad you also want to fix the inequality in ballet, where yes, there are plenty of women dancing, but still it's the men who are (by other men) seen worthy of making the artistic decisions and holding the power - and making the money. www.nytimes.com/2022/01/21/arts/dance/gender-gap-ballet.html
  • 8 0
 @sonuvagun: “where I'm from, a man should NEVER talk to a woman first“ but who do you think you are disrespecting? The man, or the woman? And why wouldn’t you talk to a woman first? What makes her worthy of needing a man to “screen” her interaction with another man? Genuinely interested, not just poking for a response. I’ve never heard of this before.
  • 8 1
 @Three6ty: amen. Cut the sh!t and make it a single race. Competition is competition. Remove all barriers and arguments about who's got a what and how/ why it's an advantage or disadvantage. Nobody treated differently or separately. Let's all go to racing together. Change the system from the top so that the rest can stop infighting.
  • 3 15
flag sonuvagun (Jan 28, 2023 at 6:40) (Below Threshold)
 @Cord1: it's disrespectful to the man.
Whether or not she needs him to screen interactions with other men is none of my concern. My first obligation is to make peace with her protector. You may scoff at that, but if and when shtf, a woman's man immediately becomes her security detail. Undermining that announces a stranger's intentions.
  • 10 2
 @sonuvagun: damn, I didn't realize Andrew Tate had internet in Romanian prison.
  • 2 5
 @ratedgg13: it has nothing to do with that character. These norms predate him by a substantial chunk of time.
  • 3 2
 @sonuvagun: "shtf" is such an integral part of your reality that it affects how you introduce yourself to people?
  • 3 9
flag sonuvagun (Jan 28, 2023 at 10:00) (Below Threshold)
 @bocomtb: you've probably lived a sheltered life, you'll figure it out after awhile. But the thing I explained is a simple custom of showing respect, there's no good reason to twist into anything else.
  • 6 2
 @Cord1:

I’ve witnessed bar fights on multiple occasions, where the primary reason was a dude talking a bit too long with another dude’s girlfriend… First there’s a warning, then a push and then fists fly through the air. I’ve never been in such a fight myself (or any other fight), but I also don’t chat up other guy’s girlfriends… So in a way I get where sunofagun is coming from with his comment.
  • 4 3
 @cvoc: I just find it hard to believe this (talking to the man owni... I mean with the woman instead of her) is really the right, best way to address this weird custom of men feeling possessive of their spouses/ sisters/ whatnot. I mean it is a wild suggestion, but maybe getting rid of that idea on the men's side might be something to strive for instead?
  • 4 1
 @donimo: Also BS, no different to the ‘50% of CEO’s should be women’
  • 5 2
 @donimo:
Well, if you date girls of certain other cultural backgrounds, you will find out they can be just as possessive… I do have experience in that area (had an international relationship), and I can tell you it’s not just a male thing… My ex literally would wedge herself in between any conversation I would have with another woman. Personally I thought it was kind of cute and had no problem with it.
  • 5 3
 @cvoc: Yeah well, I do find that problematic as well, but that wasn't the topic here so I didn't go here. Also I'd say one small difference is possessive women can indeed often be seen as cute (by both the "possessed" spouse, but possibly also others, especially physically larger men around them), but possessive men can easily be seen as physically dangerous - both to the outside threat, and the woman in question. Also, I'd say women rarely feel the need to "protect" the men they're with, which I'd say often (wrongly) plays a role the other way around.
  • 5 2
 @sonuvagun: Sheltered lives are great. No bar fight scars, no police record, $$ to buy bikes and suspension upgrades. That was not hard to figure out.

If I needed to "make peace with her protector" on a regular basis, I would be seriously evaluating the situations I am putting myself into. But suit yourself. Sounds fun? Maybe?
  • 3 6
 @bocomtb: It sounds like you have misunderstood two things:
One, making peace with a stranger is a way of being respectful when you approach a group. You present yourself for approval, you trust them to come to their own conclusions. Now, sure there are exceptions, but generally speaking it's a custom one adopts and more or less sticks to.
Two, a sheltered life means you have little to no experience dealing with emergency, tragedy, and events beyond your control. It doesn't mean frequenting with dubious characters or putting yourself in bad situations.
  • 1 2
 btw, any woman in this post? c'mon, rise your hands
  • 3 1
 @iiman: o/ Feeling welcome and equal here and all that, as apparently all women in cycling do, not at all regretting trying to come discuss these things among adults.
  • 3 3
 @hamncheez: one could argue that girls in school don't stick with sports as long as boys do because of the pay gap even in professional sports. as in, what's the point of continuing to dedicate to a sport where they make a fraction of the same paycheck handed to a dude? it's not exactly motivating.
  • 10 5
 @swillett116: There is no pay gap in professional sports. There is no gender pay gap at all, if you use an evidence based approach. I doubt the compensation of Pro Athletes has any affect on 12 year olds.

The WNBA is 26 years old now. It has yet to turn a profit. It is, as someone else here called it, its "welfare for tall women". Its completely financed by philanthropists investors. After two dozen, years, the needle would move a little if there was this big untapped demand for womens sports.
  • 7 2
 @hamncheez: there was a survey carried out here in the UK a couple of years ago by a University on the reasons for the high percentage of teenage girls who drop out of sport.

Lack of interest in sport wasn’t the main reason for the high numbers, rather it was a fear of being judged and compared to boys when it came to standards and performance.
  • 10 3
 @markyp1965: Riding a kinda steep, tech area in Surrey Hills for 4 years I've bumped into 3 women.
The last DH race I went to had 110 guys, 6 women.
Men/women ratio in any climbing gym or crag is not 50/50, but close.
Women as a whole don't give a f*ck about mtb, and that's all right, not everyone has to like everything.

Damn, my non mtber gf watches DH world cup with me, she does not care about the women's race at all, she just tells me to call her for the last 15 guys lol
  • 4 4
 @markyp1965: Facts ^^^^ It was never because women lose interest in the sport....it was the fact that I wouldn't be paid at all......The dream of being a pro in any male sport = $$ the pro in any female sport is.....???

Rolling the dice on not making rent vs making rent pulls you from the sport.......it's called survival lol
  • 1 0
 @tubby1536: I second this.
  • 7 3
 @markyp1965: Survey data is not a predictor of behavior. Study after study shows this- people respond the way they think the questioner wants them to.

Even if that is a primary driver, there is no way to change this reality unless we allow young girls to go on the sauce or end boys sports.


@Hlkave there is no evidence that pro salaries have any affect whatsoever on youth participation in sports. As a father of girls and boys, and a former junior high/high school coach, my personal experience is that girls don't care about sports as much as boys do.
  • 5 0
 Just curious, how many men are still in the sport and know that they won't be paid as a professional?

While money can be a driving factor to engage in something it is most likely not the case here. People ride bikes just to ride bikes. Regardless of chasing a paycheck from it or not
  • 4 2
 @hamncheez: You mean" there is no research conducted to show if pro salaries have any effect on youth participation in sports". If you have the research evidence I am sure pinkbike would love to see it.

I work with professional athletes daily and this is absolutely one of the largest driving factors on if they can even continue to train. It is why Olympic and para are now paid equally.

Firm disagree annnnnnnd I am closing this chapter in my life on this pinkbike thread
  • 3 3
 @TrailFeatures: Thank you for the humor, it was much needed after reading some of these comments.
  • 4 2
 @Hlkave: He wrote specifically about the (lack of) connection to pro salaries and youth participation in sports. You've just written about elite-level athletes continuing on in their discipline. Everyone's free to disagree with anyone, but your "points" are non-sequiturs in relation to his position.
  • 3 3
 You legit never read my first comment then.....
  • 3 3
 @Hlkave: and so what? It's your previous one that I referred to.
  • 4 5
 @hamncheez: .........did you actually just say there's no gender pay gap in professional sports? ahahahahahahahahahahaha that's cute. I can't even speak to any of the rest of your comment because you can't even assess step 1 accurately. My own niece who is now a college freshman was a talented swimmer and stopped pursuing it for the exact reason I mentioned. I've coached many women and girls who say the same.
  • 4 4
 @swillett116: You should try be more open minded, more willing to consider new information.

Your personal anecdotes are utterly meaningless
  • 5 5
 @wburnes: and you should try not being a chauvinist
  • 4 4
 @ratedgg13: And you should only use words you know the actual meaning of lmao
  • 3 4
 @swillett116: A bigger audience means more revenue. More revenue allows for higher pay. Why are you not familiar with this concept?
  • 6 4
 @swillett116: There is no gender pay gap in professional sports.

The WNBA has been around for over 26 years, and has yet to turn a profit. It loses money. The women still get paid. Male NBA players generate over ten billion dollars a year of revenue, with a profit of about two billion dollars, AFTER paying the men very high wages.

There is no gender pay gap in professional sports.
  • 8 7
 Imagine being one of the little men who spend their days in the pinkbike comment threads insisting that there isn't a gender pay gap, over and over again.
  • 6 4
 @Phillyenduro: Ad Hominem
  • 2 1
 @Phillyenduro: sounds...insane
  • 5 3
 @wburnes: I was very careful in my choice of words. For instance, I chose not to call you a misogynist despite some evidence supporting such a conclusion.
  • 3 3
 @Phillyenduro: No one but you spends their days on here; for the rest of us it's a place to chime in on a break.
  • 2 2
 @ratedgg13: maybe you can ask your wife's boyfriend to confront me in the comments Smile
  • 1 0
 @iiman: slow hand clap
  • 4 0
 @sonuvagun: did you even read the article? While I am not an elite athlete, I've spectated and watched enough races to observe for myself (as pointed out in the article) that the scheduling and coverage for women's races is dismal. Meaning, there is plenty of potential for a bigger audience, but media companies invest more in just covering the men's race. Audiences have changed over the last decade or two, especially with more women in the sport than ever before, but the way media covers events has not.
  • 1 1
 @swillett116: So does scheduling and coverage enable increased participation, or do event organizers chase good participation and invest their scheduling and coverage where the demand already is?

The answer of course is both- its a positive feedback loop.

That being said, taking the WNBA as an example because basketball is one of the most popular sports in the world, is very insightful. For nearly three decades money has been poured into the League in an attempt to grow its viewership and it has not been a good investment. The audience for Women's basketball has not significantly grown despite the audience for basketball overall growing, and participation in the sport growing. There are many players in the WNBA that weren't even born when the League started, but it has yet to turn a profit.
  • 2 0
 @hamncheez: Bill Burr is right...if women cared about this, they'd support it, and there'd be some viewership of the WMBA. They are half (if not slightly more) of the population. I'd be shocked if there weren't more woman watching NBA than WNBA by a large margin.
Maybe the number of women who actually care about basket - for whatever reason - is very small. I have never seen a girl playing pick up basketball at the local playground or rec center. Ever.
I see plenty of women running, road riding, playing tennis, golf, etc.

There is so much crap vying for our attention / entertainment, that people are selective and want to watch the best, as far as sports. How long is a college basketball season and how many people only give a shit about March Madness? Hell, I love to watch supercross, but 9 out of 10x I am FFWDing to the 450 Main.
  • 1 1
 @ReformedRoadie: So there is an argument against Bill Burrs (excellent) point, to play devils advocate. Yes, probably 70% of NBA viewers are men. However, womens viewership rate shouldn't matter. Even if basketball viewers were 100% men, men should split their time more evenly between the NBA and WNBA. It is discriminatory for men to only watch the NBA. It doesn't have to be 50/50, but it should at least be more fair.

Of course I disagree with this nonsense, social engineering always ends in disaster. But its good to be familiar with all the arguments on all sides.
  • 2 0
 @hamncheez: Someone commented that biology supersedes all of the social engineering or gender norms. That is 100% right.

Why wouldn't women viewership matter? If women aren't supporting a women's league, why is it incumbent on men to not only support it, but split there time to watch it over the NBA?
  • 1 2
 @ReformedRoadie: "Why wouldn't women viewership matter" Hey I agree, I'm just putting forth the other sides point.

Their response would be "sports are male dominated because of society's general encouragement of boys enrolling in sports and the push for girls to do things like dance instead (completely false, BTW). Its therefore the responsibility of men to fix this problem, since they created it. It takes a generation to "fix" the problem of girls being pressured out of sports, so its a quicker fix for men to just stop discriminating against womens sports".

Of course, all this completely files out the window once you accept the idea that trans women are women and should compete against women. How can there be a gender pay gap if the genders are not distinctly defined?
  • 2 1
 @hamncheez: man, I'm a nerd and will watch any DH put in front of me, but lesser nerds and general population want to see the pinnacle of sports, that's the reason my gf doesn't watch the woman's race with me (nor the first 40 men), that's the reason in any racing sport cameras follow the head of the race and not the bottom half. And that's the reason women and mid-low tier men get less sponsorship money than the top dogs. Logic. Racing's advertising after all.
  • 1 2
 @iiman: Counterpoint- If everyone was on the sauce, racing would be even MORE exciting! So lets make a category for anything goes!

The difference in athletic performance between women and men can be increased yet again with natty men vs men on the juice. So if the best way to drive viewership is to focus on "the pinnacle of sports" why restrict ourselves at all? We don't do this because of the dangers of PEDs, and it would be unfair to men who don't want to assume those risks. To bring that analogy to men & womens categories, we shouldn't penalize women nor encourage them to skirt the rules about PEDs just to attempt to compete against the men for viewership. The different categories shouldn't compete against each other, they should work together to grow the sport.


Again, everything above is the devils advocate, not what I actually believe.
  • 1 3
 @swillett116: yes. You raised a nonpoint. The scheduling follows demand/popularity. How do you not know this?
  • 2 1
 @swillett116: there is a pay gap and there's a good reason, female sports don't pay well because they draw little to no attention thus less sponsors. As ronda rousy once boldly said "I think that how much you get paid should have something to do with how much money you bring in. I’m the highest-paid fighter, not because Dana and Lorenzo wanted to do something nice to the ladies.” like it or not thats how money comes in. You disguss payment gap only when two people produce the same turn over but the reward isn't the same, not based on what's in between your legs.
  • 2 1
 @Phillyenduro: pay gap exists, what reasonable people say you can't demand same pay when you offer less, there's a pay gap between good athletes, mediocre athletes and exceptional athletes, that's it. If you draw sponsors and popularity you get paid accordingly. How difficult is that to understand?
  • 1 0
 @iiman: well said. People want to watch the best compete. Some sports - just my opinion of course - seem to be as entertaining whether it's men or women competing: track and field, swimming, tennis, DH skiing (leaving out any judged sports).
But let's be real, watching the top 15 men vs. the bottom of the women's field does not carry the same entertainment value; in addition, there are literally only a very small number of women who can win a WC DH.
  • 43 7
 "as well as a need to educate brands on how to celebrate female athletes without sexualizing them in their marketing"
This is especially problematic on social media
  • 7 20
flag sspiff FL (Jan 27, 2023 at 14:05) (Below Threshold)
 Maybe the dude who said PFP was a badass and beautiful, and his countless defenders, will realize they were out of line. Nah.... Who am I kidding? They won't see shit or change their behavior in the slightest.
  • 28 3
 I’m having a hard time thinking of instances where these female racers have been sexualized in marketing in the last 10-15 years. Any instances I can think of that even comes close are on the athletes’ own Instagram accounts, and even then, it’s a stretch to call it “sexualized.” This is a sincere, open-minded question — can anyone point me to a concrete example of companies sexualizing their female athletes in their marketing? I’m talking ATHLETES specifically. I think it’s fair to say women in general have been sexualized by companies (and even that is mostly a bygone era), but not the today’s female mountain biking athletes.
  • 13 0
 @TheR: The only sexualized mountain bikers I have seen are the Instagram models that pretend to like riding bikes but have almost no videos or pics of them riding and instead have loads of photos of their rear ends sitting on bike seats or posing with the bikes. I don't think many of them are athletes and I don't think they have many sponsors other than Onlyfans maybe.
  • 3 1
 Can you point so some examples ?
  • 10 2
 @sspiff: If I was an elite athlete and some rando woman on pb said I was a badass and very handsome I would be vey much flattered. Others may disagree but personally unless the comment was at all vulgar I would see it as a complement.
  • 1 1
 @skiandmtbdirtbag: the guy who won pinkbike academy
  • 15 1
 Let's address the elephant in the room, there are female racers out there who's sponsorship deals are not backed by up their results... The money simply listens, where the eyes go, the money follows. If I could drive a Porsche and be 30th in the world, you wont hear me complaining.
  • 52 21
 Is it really a "pay gap" or a how much do you bring to the table gap? I love watching the women race but if I ever miss a race it's the womens race. Pinkbike could do a poll about the gender of the people watching these events which will show what we already know, most viewers are men and they would rather watch the men race. Every brand knows this and they aren't stupid to invest money where there will be no return. If women want to earn more then get the women to watch the races.
  • 16 4
 Talking about a pay gap instead a pay/views ratio, is just sensationalism... If the male audience is, say 10x bigger, should the pay really be the same? At the end of the day, audience is what makes this sport (as many others), so maybe this an important question to address?
How much does an athlete like Kate Courtney (500k+ followers on instagram) make, compared to someone like Phil Atwill (100k followers), for example?

Not trying to be edgy. Just trying to get some, IMO, important discussion topics on the table
  • 12 16
flag dougsomerville (Jan 27, 2023 at 14:55) (Below Threshold)
 @sadfusde: Support more women racers financially (or in any tangible form), make more positions on teams available to women and increase the entries to the category - then youll get more competition and more idols/role models for young female racers to look up to and more reason (for men and women) to watch the races. You cant expect them to 'bring more to the table' when the opportunities to grow the category aren't there. Chicken egg yadayada
  • 23 5
 One survey participant also noted that there is a need to educate commentators on how to speak to female athletes. wow, this sounds fun. i'd like to see the course content that the mtb media has to take to fulfill this requirement.....
  • 9 2
 So would I. If that complaint came up then that media person is bush league. My wife worked as a civilian in a police agency and the things that men think are ok to say to women is atrocious. You shouldn't need a course, as a media person or a professional, to talk to someone in a courteous and objective manner.
  • 4 8
flag txcx166 (Jan 27, 2023 at 19:33) (Below Threshold)
 @iammarkstewart: it’s Busch league. It’s a NASCAR reference as the Busch (beer) sponsored series was second best compared to whatever the better one was called. I’m no nascar fan, but now you know.
  • 8 0
 @txcx166: No, it’s not. It’s bush league. The origin of the phrase has nothing to do with NASCAR. If Busch League is a thing in NASCAR, it’s a play on the original phrase.
  • 6 0
 @txcx166: Yeah, I think we play different sports. On top of that, the first google result for "bush league" is the actual definition. The informal adjective: "of mediocre quality; second-rate". No mention of beer and cars turning left in a circle.
  • 1 0
 @iammarkstewart: good to know.
  • 2 4
 @iammarkstewart: just because a complaint came up doesn't legitimize it.
  • 24 8
 Inherently? What the hell? Do explain what you mean when you assert, in the first sentence of this piece, that "Mountain biking is an inherently male-dominated sport."
  • 15 1
 Yeah it's a poor choice of wording, but I'd guess they meant something more like "historically".
  • 10 8
 I couldn't read the rest of the article after reading that first flub.

I'm fine with the survey being scientifically meaningless because these are journalists doing a survey, not a real study, but the writing and editing part of journalism is supposed to the bread and butter at Pinkbike/Outside. What editor let that slip through the cracks? Be better Pinkbike.
  • 19 3
 @Fluorinated: I mean, I think we know what Christie was saying - even if the wording could have been slightly clearer. However, if you genuinely couldn't read past it then I don't know what to say. I think, one could argue, that it is inherent - ie. it's been the same for generations and it sadly looks to be for the next (although things have got a shit ton better in the last 10 years or so). It's an uncomfortable truth, but I think that doesn't make it less so. However, I'll amend it for clarity. Thanks
  • 19 7
 Dear God! Can we be more offended? If this is a mistake that can not be overlooked and the article could not be read past it, than for sure we ran out of all the problems in the world.
  • 14 6
 @henryquinney: If I were to describe my leanings at Pinkbike I would say I by and large support the staff because Comments are lord of the flies. However...

There's a ton of stuff in the world that is "inherently" this or that. Since forever many of these things are "in a permanent, essential, or characteristic way" (definition of inherently). I thought the point of trying to move big things like "equal rights" (LGBTQ*, gender, economic, etc) forward is to recognize that though many of us erroneously considered them inherently for some, not others or right when they were wrong, they are actually changeable and can progress to a better standard or understanding or state of being.

As journalists, I consider you (collectively) to be more experienced and better versed in things like word choice and not leaving us to "know what you meant". If I'm to consider you to be journalists, I also (rightly or wrongly) assign greater weight to your word choices. So, even though I'm not going to worry about it past typing this out (because I don't have to because I'm a dude and Ms. Fitzpatrick just told me mtb is my sport #sarcasm), I would suggest that a woman wanting to talk about how the women's mtb pro field thinks of themselves and the sport would steer clear of labelling it the guy's sport.

There's been a few PB staffers mention to us how words matter in other contexts, and I would invite you all to see if it matters in this one at your next staff meeting. There's more than one Pinker who thinks so. And on a personal note, you saying "you'll amend it" after basically saying "get over it" leaves a sour taste.
  • 17 4
 @iammarkstewart: If your response is like yours "this isn't great" or "it could be better" I consider that really fair - and am always grateful for the feedback. If your response is a disproportionate "I couldn't even read it" it makes me question how much genuine interest you have in the thing you're rallying against.

For the record, I agree with you. You are 100% correct, but it also makes it easier to agree with you because you're expressing a nuanced opinion on a complicated matter, not just universally whinging into the void, which is how I interpreted the post I responded to.

So yes, you are right. I agreed and I amended it - and happily. But that's because I want the article to be good, fair, and represent the views of their author and not because somebody posted something needlessly fatalistic about something that I am operating on the assumption was an honest mistake.

I think the idea of inherent can be also a recognition that it needs changing. Am I mad for thinking this? I don't know, somebody could look at me and say "his cornering technique is inherently wrong". That to me would suggest an acknowledgment of fundamental misalignment, and something deep-rooted but changeable.

Also, is it worth considering that Christie lives for her outdoor pursuit, perhaps we should also consider that if a woman in the industry feels that there are inherent issues of sexism then maybe we should at least consider that thought? I genuinely believe that feminism should be what women want it to be based on their observations and not what we tell them it should be, or what we're entitled to give them but maybe that's me just being an utter loon. Like I said, I hope my amendment is to offer better clarity - but if she wants to change it back she's very welcome to.
  • 6 1
 @henryquinney: As I said, I generally support the PB staffers, so while I agreed with @Phillyenduro bringing it up, I am not in the "unreadable" camp as much as @Fluorinated is. I try to pick my battles more and monitor my pedantism as I age but it felt like the soapbox was open for a second.

Speaking of pedantism, I just thought the general definition of inherent has, as it's definition includes, a permanent tone about it. Maybe just to me, but "historically" already reads better. And 100%, if Ms. Fitzpatrick was trying to put a strong tone/exclamation point on the situation that's her prerogative; but for me as the reader that's not the picture I put together. Her word choice is not incorrect if that's what she intended, and maybe there's just this small minority who, to varying degrees, didn't jive with it.

Just my perception, but I still see the word "inherent" describing mtb as male and speaking of trying to change the sexism/pay/representation as a paradox. But that's just me. I just hope you and Ms. Fitzpatrick take is as one reader's civil discourse. Thanks for the response, and for Ms. Fitzpatrick's contribution on this portion of the survey. It is nice to see the women's field seemingly aligned on all the issues important to them.
  • 8 0
 @iammarkstewart: All your comments are very fair - thank you for taking the time to post them. Cheers
  • 1 2
 @henryquinney: it's not sadly anything, and not an uncomfortable truth, if a truth at all. perhaps for you, but you may be extraordinarily sensitive if so.
  • 17 0
 I'm sure this comment section will be a rich tapestry of thought provoking discussion
  • 27 13
 We should force everyone to follow women racing equally as men racing, so there will be no pay gap.
  • 6 8
 Funny how you get down-voted for saying true just because it's not nice
  • 4 0
 I haven't missed a women's WC XC race for years. Missed most of the men. Or, didn't reallt 'miss' them, just didn't watch them. Women's XC was one of the best competitions in the world up with MX Supercross and MotoGP.
  • 33 22
 Until the women have views and exposure that is equal to or greater than men. There will always be a pay gap. And if there wasn't, then men are being undervalued so women can be paid equally.
  • 5 30
flag skimgosu (Jan 27, 2023 at 11:47) (Below Threshold)
 How sexist. You don't think the 10th male WC DH racer has the same marketability as a 10th female WC DH racer? You must be crazy in a sane world, or sane in a crazy world!
  • 7 3
 DH finals day: alternate men/women
  • 18 3
 @nanope: f*ck it. one big comp. no gender division. top 50 riders get to race in the finals.


the issue is this would be the death of female racing, or all of sport if it's extrapolated out. This is also why there is a pay gap. less people want to watch lower skilled people compete, if the option to watch higher skilled people is there.

see also: WNBA
  • 1 0
 @nanope: that is a fabulous idea!
  • 10 1
 If they want more eyes on the women's side of things they need to market it more to women. The WNBA is a good example as it's simply riding on the coattails NBA success right now in terms of viewers and revenue. Get sponsors and partnerships from companies/brands that women are interested in. It takes time to organically grow but hopefully it would be more popular if more ladies get interested. Anything artificially inflated doesn't seem to have the staying power that keeps hardcore fans coming back for long periods. Generally men are more interested in sporting events than women so I don't it will be as big as the men's sports. They shouldn't expect the sport to grow just from trying to get more men to watch it.

Not trying to be a dick. I wish them well in their careers and hopefully they can naturally grow their side of the sport.
  • 2 0
 Also hopefully they can improve broadcasting and have less waiting because I get bored watching watching the lads sometimes
  • 2 0
 What they need are women producers for the TV rights to the sports, then you'll probably get content that is more appealing to women in the way it's presented.
  • 2 0
 Honest, also not-trying-to-be-a-dick question, since I haven't gotten my head around this. Am I reading this right to mean that tldr: women are to watch women's sports and men only men's competition? I mean yes, unfortunately it seems to be that while women can enjoy watching a sport they're interested in no matter what gender is on the field, but men seem to prefer watching mostly men. There have been some reasonable comments here favouring either or (some like to watch the men as the competition is more fierce, some prefer watching the women as it's more interesting focusing on tactics instead of pure strength etc.), but simplifying the lack of audience for the female field being due to women not watching is what I don't get. Would there maybe be other ways to attract a larger audience than currently than asking women to watch more of sport X? I mean, for me personally, there are definitely some sports that I'm maybe not into that much where I like to watch men's/ women's stuff more (or only that) because of some clear difference making it more entertaining or interesting, but for the stuff I'm generally really into - here, cycling - I'm into watching anyone do it and like to enjoy the maybe slight differences between.
  • 1 0
 @donimo: If you read what I said as women should only watch women's sports and men to watch men's sports I didn't try to insinuate that. Watch who you want to watch. As a male with no a lot of time on my hands I watch more bits of the men's side of things because I relate more to them. With all these buzzwords going around of growing the sport I think that to get more women on board they should find ways to appeal to that audience. Certain sporting events are especially targeted at men with advertising and sponsors. IDK what women are in to as I am not a woman but I doubt most ladies are interested in Interstate batteries and the latest lineup of American trucks.
  • 11 0
 I thought men and women raced the same courses already?
  • 2 0
 For dh they do. I think xc is different (women typically have a shorter course, not sure about the track itself).
  • 13 2
 @adrennan: I think the xc and short course is done on time so the reason they race a “shorter” course is because they are slower and therefore cover less laps. I can’t think of any other races that the courses are different?
  • 5 0
 @adrennan: They do 1 or 2 less laps, for the most part.
  • 13 3
 @ReformedRoadie: That's because they are slower and the race needs to happen in a certain time frame.
  • 13 6
 It would be interesting to somehow weave the women's and men's finals together. Maybe have the top 10 women drop in between the 11th man and the top 10 men. Thus, we watch the top 10 women and top 10 men back to back?

This would definitely result in longer waits for both top-10s but it could be worth it.

(this is for DH, in case that wasn't obvious. XC can't really be changed and enduro is not much of a spectator sport anyways)
  • 6 0
 What about different track conditions for the rest of women field
  • 7 0
 Then way fewer people would tune in for the whole thing, I guess
  • 8 1
 Regarding starting before the men:
I haven't been on a World Cup race, but at the DH World Champs in Lenzerheide. I also regularly watch the races, XC and DH.
Because of the duration of mens races, i usually watch the full womens DH and XC and skip through the replay of the mens. The mens races are just too long to watch without some friends and beer...
I personally would like to see a way like e.g. the FWT does, where they basically roll the dice which category starts first and then cycle the categorys through. So on one weekend the men are the last category and on the other the women or the junior women etc.
  • 10 0
 I'm pleased I'm not the only one who loses interest half way through the men's race!
  • 2 1
 @korev: the trick is to fast forward to the top 20. lol.

and Fast forward to the top 5 women.

these are the only ones with any shot of winning, respectively
  • 1 0
 @Mtbdialed: I already do that for the men. Also, in the European timezone watching the men go down eats up a lot of riding time so watching it on catchup in the evening with a beer is a good move.

I know one of the women, so I tend to watch all the race to see her run.
  • 16 9
 the results of this poll are hugely contradicting. You have over 40% of the women surveyed saying they "want to be the best in the world, in their discipline"....if you want to get paid like the very best in the world, you need to compete like the very best in the world. no excuses. if you cant qualify to race against the best, you aren't doing the same job.
  • 11 1
 Pay differences will always be in favor of whats more popular to watch.... theres no other way to look at it realistically
  • 7 2
 Blah blah blah blah.

I noticed that the Friday fails videos are primarily men crashing their bikes. I would like to see more equity in this area right away. 50/50 or PINKBIKE IS SEXIST.
  • 4 0
 If you can’t think of a single other strategy to market your products without sexualizing the women associated with your brand, you have no creativity and absolutely need a different career. You don’t need “more education.” Maybe a well intentioned idea, but I can’t facepalm hard enough on marketers needing special education on how NOT to sexualize women in marketing.
- female, marketing director, MTB industry 4 yrs
  • 6 0
 Happy Friday everyone, lets get out and ride this weekend
  • 4 2
 I work in a so-called male dominated industry. Or as I call it "a target rich environment". My 2 favourate riding buddies are female, one's in IT and the other's a horticulturist.
The other day we rode past a young man (we're in our 50s so he was definitely a younger man) on a full enduro rig sporting a full face helmet.
A cheery wave and a hello and we were off. I am sure he took a moment to realise that a couple of middle aged women just rode by him also enjoying the trails.

Are we outliers or the new societal norm? I hope it's the latter. Every one wins.
  • 2 0
 The mens race always being the "grand finale" is a good point and fairly easy to solve.
At the begining of the season when dates are being announced, a coin toss or random generator could decide the program for each round amd publish in the event schedules.
Giving all riders the potential to have their race as the finale, not just a given that its always the men.
  • 7 3
 The last I checked, 100-(37.5+23.4)= 39.1% not 25.1%
Don't try to skew results
  • 9 4
 Bill burr has said it the best.
  • 13 11
 There is a pay gap, because there is a skill/ability gap, and a revenue generation gap.


can we have 2023 be the year we all take off the SJW tinfoil hat and look at reality?
  • 5 8
 Shut the fuck up
  • 3 2
 @GotchaJimmy: erudite of you.

what do you have to say on the topic of Modern Monetary Theory and how it intersects with the idea of a Central Digital Currency?
  • 2 4
 @Mtbdialed: You can shove both of those unrelated things up your ass
  • 3 1
 @GotchaJimmy: LOL. keeping true to your scholarly ways!

Rhodes is going to be calling soon if you keep it up, genius.
  • 15 14
 Ahhh, classic PB.... A bunch of dudes in the comments mansplaining what they think women need for their side of the sport. With a solid dose of not so covert misogyny tossed in for good measure. You're a bunch of dudes, and your opinion on this subject means literally shit.
  • 6 7
 Yup. Reading these wise thoughts has repeatedly brought to mind the now classic phrase that “the comments on any article about feminism justify feminism”. It seems to also apply to comments on an article about gender differences in sport, even when the views and numbers in the article are about the experiences of the people polled in a very specific environment, not about the experiences of the people in the comments somewhat related to the same sport. Thanks to PB for trying to look into these things, less thanks to the commentators explaining how some women living a completely different life to them are indeed completely wrong about what they say they have personally experienced.
  • 4 4
 It appears you're a man. Is this really a good place for you to be speaking? Maybe it would be best for you to stay out of this conversation..
  • 3 5
 @DylanH93: As a woman, I have a sneaky feeling most of the people here in this conversation are men and indeed, it would be better for most of them to stay out of it. (@OlSkoolJake not being one of them.)
  • 3 2
 @donimo: I'd wager a hefty sum that you do not urge women to avoid commenting on men's thoughts and opinions.
  • 3 2
 @sonuvagun: Commenting on someone's thoughts and opinions is one thing. Repeatedly saying someone's personal experiences are wrong and not true is another. Anyone should be allowed to do the first, no-one should be doing the latter, no matter the gender. Unfortunately a lot (not all, but A LOT) of the comments here are indeed the latter, with men "knowing better" how things actually are for the women in professional biking and how to fix any issues not affecting them (the men). It's weird to see this confidence from not women not in pro cycling - I myself would feel comfortable only commenting on the "woman cyclist" part, as I definitely have no experience of the pro athlete part.
  • 2 2
 @donimo: People are commenting on other people's claims. It's as simple as that.
  • 1 0
 And how many men on the UCI DH roster have part time or off season jobs to support their "hobby".... I mean "Professional Athletic Career".

People need to accept that this is a niche sport with very few making a "living off of it". You want to make a living working in the industry go work for SRAM or Shimano or a frame company, don't be a racer its just shit aweful odds even for those in the .001% of riders and I for one start to get pretty judgy around the children athletes lamenting their "not being paid enough".
  • 5 4
 I know what would help, let men with long hair ride with the women! Just kidding, I think it’s a bad idea and a horribly confusing thing. Seeing lady rippers makes me happy, and my young daughters lite up!
  • 3 0
 What do you mean by this
  • 1 1
 @GotchaJimmy: just a distasteful joke I guess. Transgender athletes.. sorry I know it’s a sensitive subject these days.
Something that seems so obvious to some and confusing to others. A joke usually hits on reality a bit. I should have said athletes not lady rippers. But my daughters don’t care to watch the male athletes.
  • 3 3
 Of course, let the girls run after the men so I can finish the live stream earlier. I used to watch the women's race to get the stoke level up before the men's race. But having the more interesting race earlier won't lead me to watch the less interesting race afterwards.
  • 2 2
 I would know the ''sexism" definition used for this pool, some things need to be showed to understand answers based in the questions to obtain information for a poll. About pay gaps this is used all the time but the answer is the same and people don't like to read it. Business are for make profit, if there is a business where the big part of buyers are women they will have a better pay if there is a small part of men, men will receive less pay. For example in a make up company where the 90% of buyers are women and advertises are made by women for women products and that company have 10% of men buying products, who do you think will have a better pay?. So as soon the company start to see a growing of men users reaching margins almost the same than the women users the thing will start to compensate. But I'm 100% sure that even in that moment the company will stay paying more to the women because they know that their products are focused for women and at some point the use for men will remain same or start to decrease.
  • 5 1
 Women fashion models make way more than male fashion models.
  • 4 4
 They shouldn't be paid the same as men they are in a much less competitive field
Point 1: Kate Courtney started when she was 16
Point 2: women are inherently less competitive than men whether it be thru nature or nurture
Point 3: there a much less women in the sport so the field with lese people has to be less competitive
  • 4 0
 Would love to know the % of men and woman subscribed to Pinkbike.
  • 2 0
 90/10.....at best
  • 5 5
 Given that there are male and female race categories, objectively, all riders have experienced sexism Smile

I would be interesting to know the details on what they experienced, and if or how they felt it affected them.
  • 3 1
 Went to a PRO-GRT a year or two ago. There were 8 pro women and 38 pro men. Both had the same purse. . . . .
  • 6 5
 The majority of PB commenters ( and editors apparently) ignore minor spelling and grammar errors.
  • 6 0
 is that because there are less commenters, or fewer editors?
  • 3 0
 @nanope: you sneaky devil
  • 7 4
 Woke garbage article..
  • 1 0
 Is mountain biking your sole income? It was
  • 1 0
 Few surprised but still a great article.
  • 1 0
 How many women are actually in this comments section???
  • 7 7
 Well, the comments here affirm that misogyny is alive and well in MTB...
  • 25 28
 A male-dominated website gets offended when it's insinuated that a male-dominated sport might just not be welcoming or inclusive to females. Square-pedaling snowflakes.
  • 19 7
 Do you really think the sport isn't welcoming or inclusive to women? Now you'll always be able to find a few a*sholes but most don't care one bit about your identity. If you can ride you're welcome. Race, sex, etc isn't something most are even paying attention to in the first place. It's understandable that may trigger some people. If I walked into your home and started making accusations about your family/friends, you may just get a bit defensive and I wouldn't blame you.
  • 4 7
 @DylanH93: You and every single other one of the thousands that have made this very same comment are missing the point. Re-evaluate.
  • 3 4
 @GotchaJimmy: maybe it's just you
  • 2 4
 @GotchaJimmy: I understand the point, things aren't equal in mtb or life between the genders. What I'm saying is most don't actually desire true equality. People want to air their grievances and that's fine, others will get defensive and that's fine too.
  • 2 2
 @DylanH93: No. You do not get the point.
  • 2 3
 @GotchaJimmy: speak for yourself
  • 5 8
 Every single time a post regarding gender in cycling is made, the comment section becomes a perfect example of the societal sexism said comments insist does not exist.
  • 3 2
 shut the f*ck up!




Big Grin
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