Cycling is for Girls

by CycleChick on April 19, 2012

I like to think of cycling as mostly asexual. It’s the great equalizer where I can park the purse and join the androgynous spandex masses and ride until I puke. But lets face it, sometimes girls just want to be girls. Much like guys, sometimes we want to hang out with our own kind to compare bikes, belch loudly and scratch our privates without fear of judgement.

To that end, there are a number of things afoot that may be of interest to my fellow cycle sisters:

April 28th is Women’s Ride Day, something cooked up by Specialized to celebrate women in cycling. This monumental day is being recognized by Alter Ego Sports in the form of a women only ride. It’s open to riders of all skill levels and starts at the shop at 9am. It’s a great time to spend quality time with your better half (your bike) and hang out with some pretty cool chicks. Details are here.Second, our awesome country cousins in Altona, the Athena Bike Club, alerted me to a Women & Cycling Workshop Series taking place at the Bike Dump at 631 Main Street. This bike maintenance series is only open to chicks and uses the 3F model:

– Free
– For all skill Levels
(and my personal favourite)
– Filthy – as in get ready to embrace your dirty girl.

They run every Wednesday starting April 18 (yesterday) until May 30. The series is gets you up close and personal with brakes, hubs and rotational systems, gears and even bike bling. Yes. I said bling.

I many never want to do any hard core maintenance on my bike myself, but I sure would love to be able to describe a problem to the guys at the shop without having to use the word “thingy”.

Check out the schedule and contact information here.

And finally, it’s race season ladies, beginning this weekend with a the WOW Stage Race at Birds Hill Park, hosted by The Women of Woodcock Cycleworks. Boys are welcome. Deets are here.

In the short time I have been racing I’ve noticed there is an astonishing imbalance in the proportion of men to women, as demonstrated in this chart representing the attendance of a race I did last year.

This is not something that is unique to Winnipeg by any stretch, but it sure would be cool to see more of you come out to race. Heck, just think of it as a ride where you get to hang out with a whole bunch of new people. Trust me, they are all just as nervous as you are, and once you go to a couple, you really start to know everyone. They are, for the most part, really nice folks. Even the roadies.But perhaps you need more motivation. Perhaps it’s time to pull out the big guns…

Sigh. Here goes.

You really shouldn’t race. After all, you are just a girl and even though you may have pushed something the size of a watermelon out of your body through a hole the size of a quarter, it will probably be more pain than you can handle.

Everybody knows girls are super weak and dainty. You’ve probably never tried to move a queen size futon up two flights of stairs by yourself, and have certainly never touched anything disgusting like vomit or poo.

You might have to be outside in the sunshine and talk to people, and I know how much you hate that. There are way better things to be doing with your weekends, like laundry, marking papers, and going to Safeway. Those things don’t come along often, so it is important to embrace them.

I double dare you not to race.

Photo of New York bike wrench Susan Lindell by Sarah Lyon, for 2009 Female Mechanics Calendar. Whitemouth roadies photo by Carolyn Campeau.


I am sure we are starting to see more and more women in cycling than ever before. I could say that there was a pretty high ratio of guys to gals in the Penticton Granfondo last summer. (Hey I notice the fairer gender especially when they pass me up a hill!) I also believe woman’s races are far more interesting and exciting than some of the men’s. Just watch “Hell Hath No Fury” by the Sufferfest ( and you will see what I mean. Women are more gutsy and competitive!!

As an avid cyclist who wishes he had more time, I make up the time by taking my 6 year old daughter out for bike rides, exploring the nether regions of our neighborhood. And when there’s a race on tv (rarely) or on the web (always) she will join me to watch that. Hell (can I say that ?) she’s even come to watch me work-out on the spinner to the Sufferfest vids! I am only looking forward to more and more years of cycling with her, where ever that may take her.


by drewm on April 19, 2012 at 12:54 pm. Reply #

Oh lady’s…. I just saw this on twitter.

If Paola can do it, you can too!

by drewm on April 19, 2012 at 12:59 pm. Reply #

WOW (Women of Woodcock cycleworks) Stage race April 21-22, 2012, Birds Hill Park. Be there or be square. We even allow the guys to race in this one.

by AMP on April 19, 2012 at 6:59 pm. Reply #

Thanks Anne-Marie! I’ve added the info and links to the post. See you there!

by CycleChick on April 19, 2012 at 7:34 pm. Reply #

Kudos to Alter Ego for offering this inclusive ride opportunity for the ladies!

by SandraD on April 20, 2012 at 2:58 am. Reply #

Thanks for sharing the details about our ride! We’re really looking forward to it. It should be a fun morning.

On a side note, I love your writing style; entertaining, funny, informative and always relevant…at least to my life!!

by Heather Martin on April 20, 2012 at 4:12 pm. Reply #

Thanks Heather! I’m looking forward to the ride as well, and to meeting more crazy bike ladies.


by CycleChick on April 20, 2012 at 4:18 pm. Reply #

Howdy winnipeg Cycle Chick,

thank you for posting our workshop series! Although the dates you have are misleading as we skip two wednesdays for our monthly meeting and volunteer orientation, specifically they are thus:
Wed April 18
Demystify Your Bike
Wed April 25
Them’s the Brakes
Mon April 30
Hubs & Rotational Systems
Wed May 16
Bike ergonomics & Stretching (forum and discussion)
Wed May 23
Wed May 30
Bling Your Ride

by Rachael on April 21, 2012 at 4:01 pm. Reply #

[...] as much time in the saddle these days as Thomas Voekler spends on his hair.After my impassioned appeal to women everywhere (or at least in my immediate vicinity) to get out there and race some bikes, it became apparent my [...]

by Men, Women and Children « Winnipeg CycleChick on May 1, 2012 at 2:20 pm. Reply #

I just found yr site, and it’s a deliciously timely topic (I’m putting a book together on this gendered bicycle world of ours, well more like a memoir…but i just had to say Your Blog Is Wonderful.
Old me

by jacquiephelan on September 27, 2012 at 2:08 am. Reply #

Thank you! I’m so glad you found me. Keep me posted on the progress of your book!
– Andrea

by CycleChick on September 27, 2012 at 2:51 am. Reply #


Not THE Jaquie Phelan???!!

Well, that’s pretty cool. Made my day. : )

by CycleChick on September 27, 2012 at 2:59 am. Reply #

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