What you need to know about riding with “the boys”

by Anne-Marije Rook


Whether it’s a gran fondo, your local mid-week race or the bike commute to work, there are many times in which you may be riding with or against male cyclists.

I love riding with dudes. And after numerous rides, and regularly being outnumbered 20 to 1 in terms of male to female riders at my local mid-week criterium, I have learned a thing or two about the male cyclist. Here’s what you should know about riding with the boys:

– They’re not usually this slow. They’re just … on a “recovery day”, “coming back from an injury”, “hungover”, “tapering”, “taking it easy”.

– They will do a double-take or remind you that you are, in fact, a woman.

– They will bury themselves to beat you in the sprint … for 65th place.

– Hairy legs and a high bib number? Best stay out of the way of this one.

– Watch out for the snot rockets.

– They’re not a chatty bunch. And you’re on your own for spotting pot holes, rough pavement, etc.

– They must win. Always. The race, the charity ride, the sprint for the city limit sign, even the bike commute. It’s on.

– As mentioned above: they must win the commute. If you find yourself passing a boy, be prepared for the inevitable and aggressive shifting. They will die before letting you reach the top of the hill or the next stoplight first.

– Things will get mansplained to you. You are a woman, and therefore you need help.

– After sucking your wheel for miles on end, they will give you a compliment but it usually sounds something like this: “You’re fast…for a woman” or “So, are you like peaking right now?”

– Boys often underestimate the talents of women on bikes. Take advantage of this fact. There is nothing better than proving them wrong.

– Do it. Riding and racing with men is a great way to get stronger and make new friends. Just try to go easy on them.

 
*This is all in jest, of course

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