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  • StevoRacing

    Good article Alison, that essentially reiterates the maxim of ‘Quality over Quantity’.
    Without becoming a hipster tragic – actually training on a singlespeed bike (as opposed to riding one in skinny jeans) is also a great way of eliminating wasted pedal strokes. Just make it one with a freewheel, if you are riding around others, ok?

    • Alison Powers

      Thank you! I agree on the fixie- I had one for several years. Worked wonders for my leg speed and mental freshness during training.

  • David Bonnett

    Guilty as charged! Reading this and thinking back on my recent training sessions makes me realise how much of the time on the bike isn’t helping me progress.

    • Nancy Johson

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  • ummm…

    I wonder if having this under “Womens Cycling” is accurate. Also, what is up with “womens” cycling? How is cycling different from a female’s perspective? I won’t pretend to be the editor of such a successful cycling blog, and one that I appreciate, but this feels a bit alienating. This push for womens voices in cycling seems to be best done by not making a special interest category. Equality isn’t “separate but equal”. Maybe I’m reacting to a special interest turning its gaze to cycling and censuring i.e. the recent Colnago incident. Nonetheless, great article and I appreciate the expert knowledge and perspective.

    • Peter

      Well said ummm

    • Derek Maher

      I guess this article covers both genders ummm, Of course a lot of women’s cycling issues are related to women only when it comes to some bike equipment and cycle apparel, diet and recovery from training, Building strength and power in muscles while lacking testosterone. Hormone imbalance during the month. The ladies probably have a higher mountain to climb than the guys to get to their peak potential and need all the support they can get in the cycle world.

      • Ruthie Gibson

        .?my neighbor’s mom is making $98 HOURLY on the internet?….A few days ago new McLaren F1 subsequent after earning 18,512$,,,this was my previous month’s paycheck ,and-a little over, $17k Last month ..3-5 h/r of work a day ..with extra open doors & weekly paychecks.. it’s realy the easiest work I have ever Do.. I Joined This 7 months ago and now making over $87, p/h..Learn More right Here….
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      • ummm…

        What you say sounds very reasonable to me. The female body and the male body are different. I only question why this can’t be done under the general cycling category. There are so many ways to break up a cycling website, it is just peculiar that women is a special catagory, but not African cycling or Colombian cycling etc. Also, what does an article about female friendly bike shops have anything to do with what you have just listed?

    • A part of the audience we are trying to cater to through Ella will find this content useful. With the historical CyclingTips section of the site, we have already attracted a large readership and cater to them differently. Ella content is not exclusively about women’s specific racing, issues and needs. Many of the topics we write about span across any gender, but we try to approach these things to a specific audience who are going through a different part of their cycling journey than the rest of the site.

      • ummm…

        Thanks for the response; it is not necessary to respond to this latest comment of mine as I don’t think you taking up some of the issues I elude to will directly enrich the core goals of your site. However, I’ll expand if only to let you know what ONE of your very thankful readers has on their mind.

        I hesitated to post my original comment because I didn’t want to misdirect away from the article, or the great work that is done on this site. Not everything has to be for me as a man, however it isn’t lost on me that in order to include we have to differentiate. And for who’s benefit – womens? Possibly my ignorance is showing as I can’t imagine much difference that a women’s “journey” in cycling could be from a man’s, apart from any that are entailed by a biological imperative. For example, the article about women friendly bike shops- what does this mean and what does it really achieve; while the article about womens menstrual cycles and, well, cycling makes perfect sense to me. If a majority of womens results or interviews are under a different heading then do we care if men stop and read? Additionally, there have been female journalists in cycling for some time (well read ones) but now we feel that they need a separate space?

        It is as if we are creating two parallel cycling communities, and not one. That seems antithetical to gender equality, but seems like more of a parody/”separate but equal”. We should have a section for African/Asian riders as well or any other marginalized demographic. This might seem petty and out of step with current market forces, but it can be very disheartening, given our current culture wars, to come to a cycling site and find that another sub-narrative is being pushed. Please, keep in mind that I am in my early 30s, a child of a mixed marriage, a professional, living in NYC, a cyclist for years etc.; so I’m not some old codger with an ax to grind. I’m part of the conversation, and take time to attend lectures and do research on gender specific issues. To show you my whole deck, I am increasingly finding myself very upset with the state of the gender equality movement and the actors that pull the strings.

        I understand that media wants to capture all voices, but the methods it sometimes choose may actually highlight the “difference” in voices in a very manufactured way. The industry has interests in promoting womens PRO cycling – and the argument that women are the largest growing demographic in sport also doesn’t fall short on me (although I haven’t fact checked that). To this end it makes sense that the media and industry on the whole would have an interest in having a “space” for women.

        I do also believe that my original comment may have been unclear, and somewhat more controversial than it is on face value. I was tippy-toeing around my recent frustration with the knock on effect of having a special “space” for women in a sport/recreation that straddles all socio-economic, ethnic, international boarders etc. The recent outrage re: the Colnago incident (which appeared to be disingenuous outrage) makes me feel like the media is trading on the monetary value of “Womens Cycling” and its “issues” (i.e. running click bait articles – not CT – that attempt to make female sexuality a form of oppression) and not on the value of women IN cycling. It feels as if there is an embedded ideology behind this that has nothing to do with cycling; an ideology that more and more women are rejecting. In fact, the percentage of women that call themselves feminists has fallen, while more are content to call themselves humanists or equality feminists, if anything at all. The culture wars in many ways has money at the center. Lest I sound naive, I understand that CT has to generate revenue. I’ll cast a vote for women and men in cycling. I’ll cast a vote for a lack of censuring what certain people may find distasteful. I’ll cast the final vote for cyclingtips to produce the website that they feel reflect them and their cycling community.


        • Dave

          The whole rationale for women’s specific marketing (the other side of the coin is labelled ‘sexism’) is that offering the perception of ‘special treatment’ (even if it’s not actually special treatment) is a more effective strategy for marketing to the majority of female consumers than equality. It’s not a good thing, but it is what it is and CT isn’t big enough to be a leader rather than a follower.

          In a further hit to actual equality, employing men’s specific marketing is brand suicide even if it is complemented by a women’s brand. That would be why we’ve ended up with CT (General) and Ella-CT, not CT (Men) and Ella-CT. There are still plenty of stories about women’s races in the Daily News Digest published under the General CT section, for example.

          Hopefully it’s working well enough that CT can rationalise it as providing enough positives to outweigh such negatives like the burying of some very good articles of general interest in the Ella section (CT – PLEASE take note for the next time you do a round up of national/world championships!) or the occasional female noses getting out of joint when people like me comment on general-interest-but-buried-in-Ella articles.

          • ummm…

            Dave, thanks for the reasoned response. I could expand upon my original comments further, but that would move us further away from why we come here – cycling. Maybe that is partly my point – that recognizing trends or interests that overlap with cycling can distract from our shared interest. I would have loved to see the article about cleaning a bike etc. on the general feed – maybe I missed it.

            Nonetheless, I haven’t ventured much into Ella and can’t speak to any antagonism you may receive over here, but I’d imagine it is very minimal; nonetheless is indicative of what may happen when a safe space is designated and therefore policed. Ironically, it perpetuates the same sort of division that a female “unfriendly” bike shop may have. However, we are here on ELLA discussing and there doesn’t appear to be anybody who objects, lol.

            As you have said, CT is almost inconsequential in the discussion that we are having – or at least me – as we are speaking about something much bigger. I wonder if this is what CT really wants to induce in their readers, or only in their female readers. I’ll continue to scroll past the Women’s Cycling sections for many reasons unrelated to cycling, and I’m not sure how that helps anybody.

            • Anne-Marije Rook

              Of course we don’t object! We encourage discussion. We are trying to create a friendly and welcoming space here at Ella but that doesn’t mean we shy away from constructive criticism.

              We thought long and hard how to give space to and elevate women’s cycling and whether to incorporate “women’s content” on our regular content or give it its own section. We decided that we wanted to make it easy for readers to find all women’s cycling content and women’s voices in one place. It’s a decision we have been criticised for by some ever since we launched Ella. We still stand by that decision however.

              We want to foster a community where women can come and feel welcome to openly discuss cycling on their own terms, without it being mixed in with what can become an overbearing discussion amongst men.

              That doesn’t mean that the Ella content is exclusive to women. There is a lot of overlap and cross-promotion between Ella and CT. And you’ll often find similar stories on both ends on the site.

              You can read about who won the women’s world championship road race on both sides of the site. Same goes with coaching advice and riding tips. The difference? On Ella we do purposely give space to women’s voices – female riders
              and female experts –and the advice often takes into account the physiological and cultural difference between male and female riders.

              Is this the right approach? We are still finding that out. But we are seeing more comments on our articles and receive mostly positive feedback.

              Again, we take your feedback to heart and do very much appreciate you as a reader.

              • ummm…

                While I am curious about the notion of “overbearing discussion amongst men” or “cultural difference between male and female riders” Ella is obviously not directed towards me by definition, however welcoming it may appear. If a woman feels unwelcome in an all male bike shop, then I should feel unwelcome in an all womens forum – however irrational both viewpoints may be. I can only hope that any perceived exclusionism that women may face in cycling (all forms) slowly abates, and we move towards inclusivity – just as you kindly offered me on Ella; however difficult that may be for me to comprehend.

                I question the value of promoting an atmosphere where women are differentiated, but it is effective marketing. I’d hope that we don’t promote further divisions in our “cultures”, or highlight a perceived domination of males amongst cyclists across the globe. I don’t think big “C” Cycling is a male pursuit just as driving is not exclusively male. It is unfortunate that we sometimes see the opposite gender as an adversary to be overcome, and not a compliment; or possibly no difference at all.

                Nonetheless, I appreciate your thoughtful and authoritative answer re: the editorial decisions – and I recognize the complexity of the issue. Thank you, and Wade, for taking time to address a concern, when many others would have either expected me to accept the product or not. I’m not sure I would have made a different decision from a business standpoint, but from a purely ideological standpoint I find it hard to wrap my head around.

                If women feel more comfortable in their own space and that promotes their enjoyment in cycling, then 100% win! But, what ideals do we sacrifice or muddy in the process?


      • ummm…

        In hindsight I see the irony of my own interest in silencing a voice that deems itself necessary


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