• Dave Hunt

    Well said.

  • Cilla

    Well, that takes care of misogyny, but you might want to have a look at ageism. Had no idea that Cycling Tips has a cutoff age of 50…

    • We’re privileged to have many readers under 25 and over 50. All I was saying is the most of our readership falls between 25-50.

      • Cilla

        Sorry, missed “predominantly.”

  • xponti

    I just wish these TROLLS would imagine someone else saying their comments to their mother/sister/daughter/grandmother, and how upset and enraged THEY would become. Would THEY like it if their Daughter/Mother/Sister’s addresses and details were posted over the internet, if their daughter/mother/sister was threatened with murder or rape. I am sure they would be the first on the phone to the police crying foul.
    I am saddened (and frankly shocked) to hear that Ella comments have to be moderated. I expected more of the male cycling community on here.
    Guys pull you heads in, if you don’t have anything constructive or positive to say, then don’t bother (either commenting, or coming to the site). In my opinion, you are not welcome.

    • Lachlan Mills

      The thing is, I don’t think the average troll (who may in many case also be an average person, too) thinks at all what it would be like if their comments were directed at someone they care about. And I don’t even think they care that the remarks are hurtful. In many ways, that’s the whole point of the remarks in the first place. So simply pointing out to someone that their remarks are vile, hurtful or disgusting, makes no difference at all to them.

      • AureaTGabriel

        ??????????$89 hourly on internet@mf30//


      • Lachlan you’re spot on. It seems that to troll effectively, a person must completely dehumanise their subject. They have to see them, not as a person, but as an object, a thing. Once we pause long enough to consider that the ‘person’ reading our words is a real person, with family, and with hopes and dreams and desires, it makes it harder to be quite so horrible.

        This is a well-written piece by a UK columnist who was trolled… she was teased about her dead father. The article describes her response to the troll, and the way it humanised her (to him) and led to his apology. http://www.theguardian.com/society/2015/feb/02/what-happened-confronted-cruellest-troll-lindy-west Take a look.

        My wife and I have 6 daughters. I never considered myself a feminist. Things have changed. If our daughters can’t feel safe, we’re doing it wrong as a society and as a community. And every woman who writes on this blog is someone’s daughter.

        Wade, great article. Keep up the discussion. It’s an awareness raising exercise, and it sets the standard. Love your work.

        • Annie.

          Same for me! Thanks a lot for sharing!

    • erin_2503

      That the Ella comments need to be moderated was the most shocking part of this article for me. On this site, I have never thought my gender could be a reason not to add a comment to the non-Ella section but I can appreciate not all women feel the same. I’ve been visiting cyclingtips since I bought my first road bike 6 years ago and it’s just as much the entertaining and informative articles as the intelligent and regularly self-effacing humour of the other commentors that keeps me coming back. Kudos and thank you!

  • stephen salter

    “to someone used to living a life of privilege, equality looks like oppression”
    keep fighting the good fight! Those that have fought for what’s right have always had to withstand a multitude of assaults. I for one think that Ella provides some of the best cycling content on the web. (No offense to the original site). As for Amanda Batty – someone has to say it, someone has to point out when status-quo misogyny and the rape culture that accompanies it is being reiterated. Someone has to rock the boat or else nothing will ever change. I applaud her efforts to the utmost. And also all the upstart women in the peloton who are raising their voices. Chapeau to you all!

  • Rolando Ochoa

    Sad thing is it is not surprising at all that those men “have been getting in the way of the dialogue…” . They have been doing it for centuries. The fact that these happen to ride/like cycling makes no difference at all and this is reflected across all industries. Good luck fighting the good fight though!

  • mt

    Love your support of Women’s Cycling CT/Wade. Mysogyny is alive and well…When cycling mates say ” it’s not my problem” when they KNOW their ‘mate’ abuses women.. ..or..’but he’s such a nice guy’…. or.. they just turn a blind eye ( too hard basket) … I am thankful to know real men that DON’T treat me as an ‘equal’ as I will never be the same as a man… but simply and admirably with respect for the human being that I am. Great communities and fantastic people are also alive and well… It’s all about respect and CT is to be commended on bringing the debate to the fore once again- chapeau ladies and gentlemen alike… (but not)

  • Lounge

    Personally as a male of this species I have no time whatsoever for anyone who puts down a fellow human in the way that some people with access to a keyboard, but without the intelligence and good grace to think, let alone use one properly have done so. The very fact that Wade is talking about implementing a comments policy is a sad reflection of some of CT’s readers. I’ve been loving the content from Ella and long may it live in the manner to which it was created.

  • Dan Wilkins

    “We’ve never had to moderate so many comments in the six years we’ve been around.” Super disappointing, especially in this day and age. Good on you for making a change, hopefully it doesn’t take you all away from your core, which is creating and sourcing great content.

  • Phoebus

    A measured, thoughtful and welcome response. Another reason to keep coming back here.

  • jules

    it disappoints me to hear blokes discriminate against women, anywhere including in cycling. I love cycling. my wife says I’m obsessed. i think she’s right. as a bloke, no one questions me on that. it would break my heart to have cyclists question my passion, my place in cycling, just because I was a woman (I’m a bloke, but if I were a woman, you know what I mean). the hard part is – some of these blokes really are good blokes – at least otherwise. it takes leadership to change this type of thinking and I’m proud of CT for its/their role in that. chapeau.

    • bee_brooke

      Why is what you just said all too familiar….???? =/

    • david__g

      Sorry, but if a man expresses sexist and misogynistic opinions I couldn’t care less if he is a good bloke otherwise. Sure, educate him (as should be the responsibility of all men who witness asshole behaviour) but don’t excuse them.

  • bc

    Does some of this relate to last week’s CT psychology article about the behaviour of groups? I overheard plenty of ugly stuff spoken very loudly between guys on boy’s trips at the TDU this year.

    • Great point bc. Perhaps our behaviour in bunches is not always impolite… but when a group of guys gets together off the bike this behaviour is all too common. I can only imagine how intimidating it must be to be a woman walking past a bunch of men who are staring, and making offensive comments. The content of the article is entirely relevant to this situation.

  • CB

    I must admit that initially I was of the mind that segregating the site to include the Ella section was placing women’s cycling in a secondary or inferior position, but your reasoning here justifies that decision. That and the increased moderation necessary. As a male I can honestly say I sometimes read the Ella section alone, because the tone often reflects my attitude to Cycling in general. As wonderful as it is to live in this digital age with access to so much information and media, but we are also witness to so much negativity, hatred and intimidation. It is up to us regular readers and commentators to maintain what are great forum discussion standards.

  • David Bonnett

    Thank you for dealing with this straight up – I’m the father of a 14 y/o female racer who is very engaged (and on occasion enraged) by the differences in how men and women cyclists are portrayed. There are lots of great stories appearing on Ella, many of which I have considered commenting on but I am aware that too often men jump in to declare what they think women want to say, rather than letting them speak for themselves. I’m happy to read and listen to others, so keep up the good work – I hope the female riders I know will contribute here.

    • Jessi Braverman

      Feel free to speak up, David. We more than welcome your contributions!

      • David Bonnett

        Thanks Jessi – I will keep my talking minimal (rare for me..) but in exchange, I’ll prod my daughter (and some of her racing friends) to contribute. Hmm, what harm can come from encouraging teenage girls to tell you what they think? ;-)

        • Jessi Braverman

          We would absolutely love (LOVE!) to hear from them – and there’s anything specific that would get them reading Ella, please let us (or have them let us) know.

  • MJ

    Wade, thank you. As a female cyclist and new to the sport, I struggle in all kinds of ways. I have loved reading through everything at Ella and really appreciate the efforts that have been made to create a welcoming space for women. This article reflects some truly powerful understanding and support. I’m not sure if the comments in this article have been moderated but so far the responses from male readers have also really warmed and impressed me. I wish more women were commenting but I think some of us are afraid. It’s important that when one is speaking from a privileged vantage point to use that priviledge to be an ally. This is what helps create change.

    Thank you.

    • Jessi Braverman

      Nope – no moderation necessary. People keep your comments coming! We’ve seen more and more women participating in our discussions over the last two or three weeks, so I definitely think we’re on the right track here.

  • Chris

    Hear hear. I really do wish I could one day in the future take my now young daughter on a group ride and not worry at all about what someone might say to her.

  • Allez Rouleur

    Sports seems to bring out the worst in men. I played college sports in the U.S. and I couldn’t believe how some of my teammates talked about women. It was offensive.

    The reason I’ve stopped following most main stream sports is because they’re all about drama and bring out the dopey “macho man” BS in most guys. Sad that we’re now seeing that in my beloved lifetime sport of cycling.

    Sadly, most men are idiots that think with the wrong head. Many guys never develop and grow out of the mindset they had as a teenager. Women are just objects, men are just cavemen. It’s disturbing.

    • ML

      But this comment is okay?!

      • Chris

        Are you going to be okay? Chin up.

        • ML

          I’m sure I’ll be fine Chris, thanks for the genuine concern. The final sentence in this piece is what I’m referring to and is completely putting the shoe on the other foot. Apparently it’s okay to say that “most men are idiots” and “men are just cavemen”.
          Worth pointing out…that is unless you’re just trolling for a windup and hence I’ve just wasted 2 minutes of my life having to point out this fairly obvious double standard?

          • david__g

            Oh give it a rest. This isn’t about how men feel. Stop turning everything into ‘what about poor men?!?” Part of the problem is that as soon as sexism is addressed, some bright spark, ignoring the fact that men have had it better then women for thousands of years, decides to moan about poor men. Get back to me once men have been systematically oppressed for hundreds of years.

            • ML

              I’m not sure what your agenda is david, but as a female I think I’m still entitled to call out a double standard? The sentence adds nothing to the argument and if we genuinely want men to read and enjoy the Ella articles then we’ve no need for calling them all cavemen.

              • Sean Doyle

                I don’t see Allez as making a comment on what he believed. It was a clarification of his previous sentence of what some teenagers grow up thinking and carry through to adult hood. He even said it was a disturbing thought.

  • Al Storer

    Glad to see you taking this stand. Hopefully not needed, but if you know of people getting severe harassment point them towards this site, run by people who’ve been at the centre of the very ugly “gamergate” storm: http://www.crashoverridenetwork.com/

  • Isaac Wilson

    I am a father and husband of two fantastic and strong cycling women. I am thrilled there are safe communities for them to feel welcome, I selfishly hope to have them continue to love and participate in this sport so I can keep riding with my two favorite people for years to come. Keep up the good work.

    • Jessi Braverman

      I think this is the best comment I’ve read all week!

    • erin_2503


  • Jane Aubrey

    Sadly, misogyny is alive and well in cycling – top to bottom. It’s an industry problem that’s by no means unique. This latest flare up won’t be the last.
    I nod my head to anyone willing to foster a community that is open to all, regardless of gender.
    As I have said many times before that it’s truly time for the UCI to take meaningful action. While it won’t fix the problem, it will send a very powerful message.

  • Wuz

    “We are fortunate that CyclingTips is made up of educated, intelligent readers…”
    I come here as much for the comments as the articles. I find the comments to be balanced, enlightening, well-reasoned and rarely descend into the chaos and vilification that ruins good discussions on other parts of the Internet. I have a young daughter who rides/races and several female friends who ride. The work CT/Ella have done to raise the profile of women in cycling will have a positive knock-on effect for them, and female cyclists of the future.
    Wade, you should be very proud of what you’ve created here, chapeau!

  • Thanks for the work CT is putting in to attempting to create a safe space for discussion about and by women in cycling. It’s great to see.

    I assume that the idea behind making Ella a separate part of the site was in part towards that end, but I do wonder about the message that doing so sends, however: It’s that bit over there with the women’s cycling, while all the men’s cycling continues under the main banner. This in effect “others” women’s cycling, while keeping men’s cycling normalised. If having a separate women’s section is in fact useful in creating that safe space for conversation, then by all means keep it, but also keep it equal by creating a separate men’s section as well, and reserve the main part of the site for highlights from both, giving both men and women equal time under the main banner.

    • Lisa

      I understand where you’re coming from but I think CT need to be careful about how they would do something like this. The key would be to describe the sections as being ‘about men’s cycling’ or ‘about women’s cycling’ rather than being ‘for men’ or ‘for women’. Men can be interested in men’s and/or women’s cycling and women can be interested in women’s and/or men’s cycling, but it shouldn’t be intimated in any way that either are restricted.

      For me, the separation is useful because I can click on one link and find all of the women’s stuff together, and that’s primarily what I visit the site for. Since it is a minority of the content, it would be much harder to find if it wasn’t separate. A bit like searching via tags but more user friendly in the way it is laid out.

      I, too, cringe when I see the separation, but it serves a really practical purpose. I agree it would be great to see it ‘at the same level’ in terms of site navigation but accept that, in the world of cycling, it is more like a ‘special interest’ hence it’s place in the sub-menus of a site that is about cycling as a whole. The obvious question is, would it survive as a stand alone site? Like women’s racing, I think piggy-backing off the existing infrastructure is still the way forward at this time (but I would be lying if I didn’t admit the dream state is one where both women’s racing and websites are able to be independent – interdependent would be even better).

      • Thanks for your thoughts guys. The separation between Ella and the rest of the site was not a decision taken lightly and we put a lot of thought into it. It had nothing to do with it being a side-project or “less than”. As you say, there were many practical considerations that needed to be made so that this can be sustainable for the longterm.

      • I totally agree with you about the labelling, I was just being sloppy in saying e.g. “women’s section” instead of “women’s cycling section”.

        I also take your point about Ella making it easier to find the articles about women’s cycling, but that wouldn’t go away if there was also a distinct men’s cycling section as well. It would actually be an advantage since if someone is only interested in one or the other, they can click through or bookmark whichever they prefer and not have to worry about it. The front page is then free to give equal representation to both men’s cycling and women’s cycling, which I think is the right message to be sending, as well as being convenient for those who want to see both.

        • Jessi Braverman

          I think it’s worth noting that every single one of our articles does feature on the CyclingTips homepage – whether that’s in the women’s cycling section only (where all Ella articles go) or also in the news section (for race reports and other news) or featured at the top (the collarbone article most recently got top billing), etc. So while we do collate all our Ella content into one place (Ella!), we also make sure that all this content is represented on the CyclingTips homepage.

  • Dale Smith

    Well said Wade. I’m struck by the number of people that felt inspired to comment on this. And the number that are posting under their actual names!!! Bravo!! (Oops, I mean chapeau! Forgot where I was.) Good intelligent, thoughtful and passionate opinions. I reckon this issue is as much about online bullying as it is about mysoginy, imho. By this I mean people posting things anonymously without a concern for the human beings those words hurt (or for grammar and punctuation for that matter). I have to admit I shy away from posting when the comments get negative. After all, why would I stick my neck out when it’s likely to get bitten off? But no more!!! It’s time for us good people to stand up, get online, and put forth our opinions. Let’s drown out the haters. “The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing.” er, good women too. Umm, good people? Persons? ;0)

  • Juan

    My only suggestion is that this article shouldn’t just be in the Ella / Women’s Cycling section!

    It’s an issue for all of us and male cyclists should 1. be aware of the issue (not all are – some through lack of awareness e.g. racing in a men’s team with a male DS, teammates, competitors, and some through lack of engagement e.g. my 70 year old father rides around country roads on his own and is not logging on to read blogs) and 2. should act, even if that is just adding a positive and welcoming comment against the tide of ignorant bullshit that is often in these comments (and Wade I say ‘these comments’ generally, not specifically in CT).

    Gents – let’s do better.

  • Oli Brooke-White

    Well said, Wade. And bloody good on you. The men making these sexist and pathetic comments make the rest of us look bad, and there should be no place for them if they can’t moderate themselves. What is this, the 1950s?

  • david__g

    This whole thing is supremely depressing. I’d like to say I am surprised that it’s been necessary to moderate Ella comments, but I’d be lying. Every single day it’s not difficult to find, in parts of the internet you frequent daily, a man with what he thinks is a super important opinion that serves zero use except to display his anger/resentment/hatred towards women.

    And it feels like it’s getting worse. I’m not even sure if a lot of these comments can be even classed as trolls – I honestly feel that many of the comments I read (usually in the realms of cycling or music or tech, my key interests) are not trying to illicit a response via their unsavouriness, but actually the genuine opinions of these people. They aren’t putting on an act – this is them (albeit usually through the anonymity of the internet) and this is how they really feel.

    Calling them trolls almost gives them a pass – but as men we need to take some responsibility and weed out the assholes who think they can continuously get away with this bullshit. I’m embarrassed to read this stuff, and I know it affects women a whole magnitude of times more than my poxy embarrassment.

    Reading a statement from the publisher of PinkBike, he said his staff “felt the unapologetic feminism of Batty’s columns was too much, too soon for a site whose readership is 90 percent male”. If that doesn’t tell you everything you need to know…I’m just amazed he didn’t suggest she get back in the kitchen and stop bothering the men while they do important things…

    Depressing. Completely and utterly depressing.

  • Thanks everyone for the constructive comments. If there’s any good that’s come out of this, it’s that this whole debacle has prompted our own internal discussions about our views towards this topic and our editorial policy. Hopefully it does the same with other media organisations, teams, clubs, etc. Fortunately Amanda is standing up for a lot of people who are understandably quiet on the topic.

    A very good interview with Amanda here (audio) at the beginning: http://www.wjcu.org/files/2015/05/wjcu-the_outspoken_cyclist_2015_05_16.mp3

  • Annie.

    Somehow, I used to be completely ignorant about the subject when I first stumbled into cycling. Later, I experienced strange things now and then showing me women were treated differently in some cases. So, in the meantime, I’m kind of sensitive towards the subject and try to encourage other women to start cycling, give a try to racing, I try to foster womens’ cycling even if there’s not a lot I can do in my small world.

    As there’s nothing alike existing over here in Europe, I really enjoy being able to read Ella on the internet. I’m not surprised to read about mean comments and ignorant readers as that’s exactly the kind of people I have to deal with once in a while and somehow, to me it seems a good proof of the neccessity of female-specific work to be done: Please, treat every single one of these ignorant sentences as further confirmation of what you’re doing to be the right and good thing!

    Best regards from Germany,

    • Jessi Braverman

      Hi Annie – there are a few women’s only or women’s specific resources here in Europe (I’m based out of Spain). I would love to share them with you if you’re interested. Just let me know!

  • cdee

    Good to see Cyclingtips being proactive in promoting women cycling. I wish my club would do the same.


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