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Wednesday, December 06, 2006

worth it

The YellowBug posted some coolness and got my brainpan sizzlin' a bit.

No, it's not the Vino comment she makes [which I disagree with, btw ... i think Vino attacked so viciously in previous Tours because there was less chance for him to win the overall and he had to make a splash given the chance. The way he commanded the Vuelta last year ... oh my, that boy is golden and I hope he 1) gets to ride the Tour; and 2) wins that bugger.].

Instead, what i've been unable to put aside are her wonderings about what it takes to be a women's pro cyclist in America. VGurl offers her insights as to just how little reward and how much sacrifice and support is needed to "make it."

So true, so true - n'est pas?


And what are those sacrifices? Financial (who makes money at this crap?), emotional (uh, raise your hand if cycling has ever impacted your relationship), societal ("what do you do for a living?" ... oh really?), psychological (pressure, pressure, pressure) ... and then there's the pain.

In the gutter, for an eternity, suffering ... fighting, flames licking at every fiber of your body as you push yourself to not stop, urge yourself to continue, to make it.

The overwhelming fatigue and the bitterly few moments of victory.


yeah ... they deserve our adoration. They deserve fans.

10 comments:

jeff pritchett said...

Hell ya. Perhaps I should be directing my sponsorship money elsewhere instead of local clubs. My daughter is 2-1/2 & she already loves watching bike racing & riding her trike. It'd be nice if there were more opportunities for her in 10-15 years.

Something to think about....

Flandria said...

i agree with vg, support is critical...also priority...

I once went on a cycling touring trip and I overheard a bunch of texan men in the bus talking about how they left their wives at home watching the kids while they ride for 10 days...

they also boasted about strategies on how to not give them the idea that they can come along...why not?

shawndoggy said...

Aren't the same sacrifices made by world chess contenders and competitive spelunkers and collegiate rifle competitors? Or better yet, handcyclists? They all deserve fans too.

Point being that female professional cyclists are competing in the fringe of a fringe sport. If'n yer in it for the glory, and not the love of throwin' down with the best, yer in for disappointment.

X Bunny said...

in my humble cat 4 opinion, i don't think it is harder to be a woman biycle racer than a man

different, like many things, but not harder

well, except for the cramps

Velo Bella said...

Its is a lot harder to work full time and race, which pro women have to do in greater proportion than pro men

bbElf (a.k.a. panda) said...

And the extra-present sponsorship issues, which I think are harder for women's teams than for men's teams. A lot of people seem willing to shell out money for men's teams because that's a "sport" whereas a women's team provides a "hobby".

Sigh. It would just be nice if more dreams had a chance to come true.

Anonymous said...

On the one hand, the less support and sponsorship provided to women's racing makes it financially challenging for us racers, and also emotionally challenging (for example: all the hubbub and starry-eyed-ness over ToC? never gonna happen at a women's race. not even at the SFGP or liberty, it's not the same).

On the other hand, we are fortunate in that there is no room for pretense over why we do it. We do it because we love it, because we get immense personal gratification from racing and being on our bikes. There really is no other benefit, nor pretense of a benefit. We aren't making bank, we aren't on the cover of Sports Illustrated, swimsuit issue or non, and even amongst fellow cyclists it's not quite as big of an accomplishment to say you won the women's race as the men's when 9 times more men race.

Just my two cents. Now I'm off to the gym, with glee, with visions of victories dancing in my head...

PAB said...

wise words from courtenay...

gotta be careful what one wishes for...there is way more money on the mens' side-- but is it better?

FreshOne said...

Very few people be it men or women make any money in this silly sport. Even those men that are making any money would make more working as a night manager at Burger King.
People race bikes not for the money but because they are crazy. Getting up at four in the morning and driving to Fresno yeah that sounds like a blast to me. If you want to make any money in the sport die and be reincarnated as the son of a Belgian brick layer.
If you feel the need to test yourself against others do it for personal reasons and not for financial ones. Girls soccer is where it is at if you are worried about scholarships. Ball sports are what make this country strong.

Anonymous said...

No, the stink was worse on last Tuesday.