We've had some fantastic numbers within our women's categories so far for the 2013 CO Cyclo-cross scene. Larry Grossman posted this pic to facebook from the Louisville (Bowl of Death) Cat 4 race last Saturday. Will this momentum continue for road season? And why are we still so far behind in comparison to women participating in marathons and triathlons?
Check out this great piece from The Competitive Cyclist, written by Dena Eaton, who addresses this very topic. (Nov. 18th)
As someone who’s been involved in the cycling industry, in one way or another, for the better part of 24 years, I’ve heard over and over again that women are not as competitive as men. And while it pains me to hear it, after attempting to start a women’s cycling magazine, and also being party to several surveys aimed at getting more women to ride, I actually feel the weight in the words.
But is it that women aren’t inherently competitive, or is it that they just don’t compete in cycling? If you take a look at triathlon participation, for example, women are routinely 30% of the field. The percentage of women who run marathons is even a bit higher. So, the question begs to be asked, “What’s the difference between triathlon and cycling?
In its own way, triathlon is all about the finishers, not just the first to cross the finish line. In fact, during long course races, the last few finishers that clawed their way to meet the 17-hour cut-off often get the greatest applause. When was the last time you saw anyone cheering for the sag wagon in a road race? When was the last time you were handed a “finisher’s medal” at the end of a Sunday criterium series? So, maybe it’s not that women aren’t competitive, maybe it’s just that they’d rather compete in an atmosphere that’s both supportive and non-exclusive."
*Read the rest of Dena Eaton's article and tell me what you think! Do you agree? Disagree? What about her marathon/triathlon theory? I'm also curious to see what the ladies vs. the gentlemen think. But if you comment, please (as Ms. Eaton writes), "...keep it classy."