Friday Link Love

It’s Friday! So you know its time for some link love.

Amazon On A Bicycle posted an awesome article on media coverage of the now infamous Red Hook Crit. So many things I can relate to in this article about women and sports.

You don’t get to ignore us, or belittle us, or take away our agency. For centuries, they told us strong women were freaks, that they were undesirable, and they attempted to breed the fire out of us in favor of our softer qualities. Half a century ago, they thought we’d become infertile– and therefore, useless, in their eyes– if we ran, or pedaled, or swam too hard. For years, we endured the message: women can’t play sports.

On a similar note, A Quick Brown Fox posted ‘Yes I Can! Learning to Believe in Myself’. This falls in with a bunch of articles I’ve read recently about how women internalize society’s low expectations of women in sports, and therefore we’re not setting ourselves up for success. A lot of these articles have inspired me to try to step-up my expectations of myself, and to not give others a reason to not believe in me. For example, I went mountain biking with a friend and texted them ahead of time as we were making plans that it was my first ride of the season and that I’d be pretty rusty. Afterwards I thought to myself – that’s exactly what all these articles have been talking about! Stop it Charlotte!

Do you do that? What are you trying to do to change it?

Friday Link Love

One of the organizers of the forum, Florian Lorenz, wrote up “9 Lessons from the World Bike Forum” – I especially like #4 “Women are Taking the Lead in Bike Advocacy.” This list summarizes a lot of the most salient lessons of the forum for me as well, and definitely worth checking out. Also check out “The European Silence at the World Bike Forum” (you can use google translate to read it) as well – I think it helps to contexualize the forum. I LOVE that the World Bike Forum comes from South America – as Jaime Ortiz would say – we don’t need a world full of Denmarks. Each place is going to address sustainable mobility with place-based solutions.

Machines for Freedom featured a GREAT interview with Ayesha McGowan about her goal of becoming the first African American female professional road cyclist in the US. It is super inspiring, and an important read for any of us who work around equity in biking. After reading her interview, you should also check out her blog ‘A Quick Brown Fox: On a mission to add color and numbers to women’s cycling!

The Femmechanics blog is beginning to host content other than just posting upcoming activities! Woo! Kate posted up some excellent Spring Riding Tips that you should def check out.

I think that’s all folks.

Friday Link Love

It’s been about FOREVER since I wrote a Friday Link Love. So here we go:

My friend, and bike organizing badass, Laura presented at the Women Bike Forum and wrote up a storify about their experience presenting on the panel ‘Advocacy through a Gender Lens‘ presenting on Grease Rag’s work, and especially focusing on trans* inclusion within gendered bike spaces. So rad! Definitely check it out.

Unfortunately there was also some ugly backlash to their comments about trans* inclusion in traditionally defined ‘womens’ bike spaces. Self-identified feminists tweeted that including trans* and non-gender conforming folks voices undermined women’s oppression. But to separate one form of oppression from another only acts as way of trying to divide us, and obscures that all forms of oppression are linked.

In other news, I came across a book from the early 1900s called ‘Bicycling for Ladies‘ with hints as to the art of wheeling – advice to beginners – dress – care of the bicycle-mechanics – training – exercise, etc. etc. THIS IS SO COOL. Badass turn of the century ladies talking about bike mechanics and wrenching! I’ve only briefly looked through it, but you can bet that I will be posting more about this book as I make my way through it.

And lastly, rad video of the women’s track team in Minneapolis Koochella.

Friday Link Love

It’s been a short and busy week, so I didn’t have as much time to mess around reading stuff on the internet. Whoops.

But I did watch this video from Multicultural Communities for Mobility in LA about their Promotores program in Boyle Heights. And it is rad. This video is pretty much a tutorial on how to organize well. It is definitely worth watching.

Friday Link Love

Sorry internet readers, but both articles today are downers. You’ve been warned.

Earlier this week a link got sent around on a list-serv I’m on to report to Facebook a page called ‘Black People with Bikes that Aren’t Theirs.’ It was one of the most enraging things I’ve seen in a long time. The page took photos of people of color with bikes from the internet, and then would put captions on them insinuating that the bike must be stolen. Sahra Sulaiman put a write-up about the page on Streets Blog LA called ‘Filed Under: Ugly Things You Find on the Interwebs.’ Gah. So many enraging things about this. Read the article and get angry.

Next, huge props to Colin who wrote ‘US Cyclocross National Travesty Report: Junior Girls.’  I don’t know a ton about cyclocross or how it all works (lapping? pulling people? how you set the time of a course? if someone wants to explain this to me plz help me out), but even I know that what happened to the Junior Girls races at Nationals last week in Austin sounds whack. If you haven’t heard, there were some issues with the race and people who like trees and all the races had to be pushed back and condensed. This meant that the 4 junior races had to be condensed into 2. Here’s the breakdown:

There were three possible solutions to this puzzle, all of which had some problems:

(A) Gender equality!  All Junior Women run at the same time;  all Junior Men run at the same time!
– problem:  this puts 136 Junior Men on course at once
(B) Age equality!  All 15-16 year olds run at the same time;  all 17-18 year olds run at the same time!
– maybe a problem?  this puts 105 15-16 year olds on course at once.
(C) Screw it, let’s just try to minimize how many people are on the course at once.  15-16 men get their own start (84 men) and then everyone else goes later (17-18 M, 17-18 W, 15-16 W :  96 starters)
– problem:  18 year old boys are going to lap the everloving shit outta 15 year old girls

Which solution do you think is the best?  Which do you think the organizers (USA Cycling/Cadence Sports) chose?

Who am I kidding, you already know what happened.  They chose (c), because who gives a shit about the girls’ race!

And guess what happened — 11 out of 18 of the 15-16 year old women got pulled at the end of lap one.  

Colin does a great job going on to explain why this was terrible and a demonstrated pattern of USA Cycling not valuing junior girls and women’s racing.

After reading the article I broke my number 1 rule about the internet: I read the comments. In this case it was all people agreeing with Colin and telling story after story of their experiences getting shit on by USA Cycling in women and junior girls races. To be honest, it was pretty depressing. Earlier this year I had thought about trying cyclocross, now I don’t want to.

After reading the comments, it made me reflect on my experiences in bike polo. I’ve been known to be outspoken about polo and sexism, but woah this article made me feel like we are way ahead of cyclocross. First off, the article and many of the comments, take as basic fact that 1. there are only 2 genders and 2. that women are inherently slower racers than men. Both those premises bother me. Where do gender queer athletes fall in cyclocross? What about kickass women who beat men? The sport is always segregated into two gender categories with an underlying assumption that women can’t compete with men. That is something I love about bike polo, everyone plays together (and yes, podiums at the top tournaments are often filled with cis-men, but everyone competes together).

USA Cycling responded and basically said that their goal at Nationals is to ‘protect the integrity of the podium’ and to make sure the leaders don’t need to go through too much traffic. But clearly what they meant is their goal is to ‘protect the integrity of the boys podium because who gives a shit about the girls race and podium.’

As a co-worker said when we were discussing this – ‘all elite racing is weird.’

Friday Link Love

The benefit of not blogging for a month and a half is that now I’ve accumulated a bunch of links to share with everyone. Sometimes slacking works in your favor.

First up, my friend and polo teammate from GLDTTH Jackie did an interview with Revolutionary Fitness Radio about trans* athletes and equality within sports and athletic communities, and how that relates to her experiences with bike polo. Jackie is an inspiration at all times – and this interview is no exception. Definitely give it a listen. Also this podcast seems rad, and I want to try to listen in to future episodes.

Next one comes from my mom (thanks Mom!) – she sent me a Buzzfeed article ‘18 Badass You Probably Didn’t Hear About in 2014‘. Lots of inspiring folks that I had not heard about. My favorite:

"The Wikipedia Edit-A-Thon @brooklynmuseum is under way! #Art+Feminism #projectcontinua #Readwomen2014 "
“The Wikipedia Edit-A-Thon @brooklynmuseum is under way! #Art+Feminism #projectcontinua #Readwomen2014 “

A cause near and dear to my heart – Ladies Army – annually the largest women’s bike polo tournament in the world, is doing an IndieGoGo campaign. If so inclined, throw them some money and get some cool postcards and art!

I’m going to paraphrase what someone else said about ‘15 REAL Reasons to Date A Woman Mountain Biker‘ – “fucking word.” Finally a not sexualized list of why it’s cool to date women who bike.

For fun – People Who Bike published ‘10 Bike Trends That Should Be Brought Back.’ I don’t agree with all of them, but I am sooooo down with bringing back neon everything (clearly. did you see my new bike?). And really. Any list that contains a picture from Clueless is cool with me.

Lastly – the Washington Post wrote up ‘What Leading Feminists Want to Accomplish this Year.’ Lot’s of awesome things to think about, be inspired by, and work towards this year.

Friday Link Love

This week there is only one article I’m linking to for Friday Link Love because its the best article of the week and I don’t want to distract you from it with any other links. It is written by my friend Laura and it’s called ‘I Killed a Rabbit With My Bicycle. And Then I Ate It.’ It’s their account of hitting a rabbit, skinning and preparing it, and then cooking it. I love everything about it. I love reading badass accounts of WTF cyclists doing rad shit on bikes.

I wrote this because I thought some people might be interested that you can eat city rabbit, and that it is very easy to field dress and prepare small game, if you chose to go that route.  Thank you for reading.  And thank you, Rabbit.

Thanks for sharing Laura!