Coffee Talk - Increasing Exposure for Professional Women's Cycling

Women's cycling has grown in the past 10 years right? I see and know more women cyclists now than ever before and rides like Venus de Miles and area women's only-ish cycling clubs seem to be exploding around the Front Range but the 2012 Pro Cycling Challenge will not be entertaining a women's field like in the days of the Red Zinger or HP International Cycling Challenge... elite level women's cycling is not matching this growth. The co-founder of Cervelo has an interesting suggestion for raising exposure for women's cycling, Make it mandatory for every WorldTour race to also organize a women’s race. Also on the same article, a commenter going by the name of "Connie" (hey, I think I know a famous cycling Connie) explains the history of women's cycling at the Red Zinger and death of it at the USA Pro Cycling Challenge.

Gauging from comments we got from a similar topic a few months ago on Measuring the Growth of Cycling, many comments stated that it was not role models that drove their passion for cycling but good venues and support from the cycling community. But we ARE influenced by role models, so it begs the question, how do women cycling role models influence our community?

Interview with CyclePassion Models... not the pin-up vid

But other groups are also trying to get more exposure to women's cycling and one of those is Cycle Passion. Cycle Passion is a provocative women's cycling calendar turning 12 of the top women's cyclists into "Cycling Goddesses". In the video above some of the models in the calendar speak of why they signed on to be a model and it's value.

Coffee Talk is my chance to rant and your chance to chime in. What do you think it will take to propel the popularity of professional women's cycling to that of what it was 20-30 years ago? (days of Red Zinger) That sounds weird, has women's cycling improved or gone downhill.... I guess it is how you spin the numbers and your end goal, right?

News Item: 

37 Comments

Or join the Men in

Or join the Men in engineering club ... or attend a male only engineering camp ... or be featured in the Celebrate Boulder boys pages in the paper ... or go on a men only ride in Boulder ... or race in a male only triathlon at Cherry Creek ....

Please don't play the faux lack of opportunities card for women.

Take your daughter to

Take your daughter to Idaho... (Women's only Pro SR, Men are Excluded from racing it.)
http://www.cyclingnews.com/news/exergy-development-group-backs-new-ladie...

Boise-based Exergy Development Group, an industry leader in renewable energy innovation, announced plans on Thursday to introduce a new international ladies pro-cycling race in Idaho on May 24-28, 2012. Titled the Exergy Tour, the race is expected to become one of the most significant international pro cycling events on the ladies' pro cycling calendar.

Are we REALLY using sex to get more women on bikes?

I don't mind the Cyclepassion Calendar, good for you if you look great from riding your bike and want to show it off. It is a part of our society to see sex being used to sell everything from cleaning supplies to travel. But PLEASE don't tell me that creating a sexy calendar of women who race bikes is going to get more women cycling and racing. I think we can do better than that.

Talent/Interest/Progression/Professional

The women's sports that draw the most sponsors/biggest prize money/and the best talent are tennis/golf/running/triathlon. These women are extremely talented and more talented than the majority of the men who play these sports.

Women's cycling suffers from a severe lack of talent. Many cat 3 men are on par with the best female cyclists in the world. Should we start stages races and beg for higher salaries for cat 3 men?

When the talent increases and there is a market for women's professional cycling the money/races/sponsors/salaires will follow.

Sports are entertainment and when we are talking about professional sports, athletes are paid for their ability to perform better than everyone else. The more people who can do a certain skill or go a certain speed the less exclusivity you have and the less interest and pay their will be. We don't want to see race car drivers go slow. There certainly are lower classes of race car drivers but we watch the fastest cars.

There are many athletes men and women who enjoy their sport and don't get paid anything, mostly because they are not fast enough, talented enough to garner enough interest to have someone pay them.

I imagine a lot of people will disagree but I don't think the sport will move forward on the professional level until there is more talent and a much higher level of competition.

You're not on my team

I like watching girls try hard in athlete activities wearing tight clothing and looking hot. Period. I don't care if they are not as fast as you think they should be. The majority of them are probably way hotter than you... at least in my eyes.

Now that I got my sexism is out of the way I like to say that I do worry a bit about the trend that bringing sex to cycling is having. Let them look hot doing their sport but leave it at that. What's next, they women's cycling team that never races but will be around at the Bustop after the ride? Wait that sounds pretty good -;)

Tennis, Golf, Running YES,

Tennis, Golf, Running YES, but take women's triathlon out of the equation. most pro female triathletes simply show up and make money due to small field sizes. The pool of female pro's is paltry, the pool of talent is even lower. I'd add swimming into the mix due to a massive feeder system consistently pumping into quality talent.

Chrissie Wellington is

Chrissie Wellington is potentially the most drugged female athlete of our generation. The drug testing at the highest level of international triathlon pales in comparison to every other endurance sport, and yes I'm referring to Ironman Events and the ITU World Championship Series. I don't want to argue this point with you and take down your delusions of jaw dropping times, but ask any top level pro triathlete "off the record" and they'll expose the sad state of drug testing for endurance level doping [EPO, Blood Doping, Hormone Blocking Agents]

Pages