women's movement road bike

Frauenbewegung Rennrad

Sexist shit. We are all sitting completely satisfied with our first issue of the "Women's Movement Rennrad" under the canopy of the chic cap and this expletive, which Theresa had printed on a large, bright sticker, sums up my emotional state exactly. He has something of the "Nevertheless!" I've known from my childhood days, when I'd run out of arguments but really wanted something. 

Women's movement racing bikes is an affair of the heart. That much is certain.

And I'm not alone in that. Theresa and Sandra (Wild Women Wuppertal), the "incredible" Heike and Miriam, they are there when we decide to revive the women's rides of the Chic Hat. Susi also participates, with whom I launched the mare training camp in 2015, which we held monthly with great approval until we both had to take a break for different reasons. A lot of people were bothered by the title Stutenbeiken - apparently not everyone understands our sense of humor - but many still like to remember the trips and we were constantly receiving inquiries as to whether we would still do them. We gained a wealth of experience from them, which we are now taking with us to the women's movement. 

For example, that we do not subject ourselves to the self-imposed compulsion to be at the start every month. But also that we can spread the burden on more shoulders. We are more now. And we just take turns at the top – just like racing bikes.

In general, we think that the network of road bike (and gravel and MTB and fixie and...) riding women could be strengthened. We think women's movement pretty big. And that includes all possible actors. I'm not specifically writing about female actors, although I only mean women by that, because my sensitivities to the topic of equality between women and men (and everyone who can't be divided into any of these categories) lie elsewhere.

A lot is happening in our immediate vicinity in Düsseldorf alone. For example, there is Jule – Jule is cycling . Or Maren - i hate running Women refreshingly blogging about their cycling. They let us share their experiences, their happiness, their struggles and their failures. We rejoice and suffer with them and let ourselves be motivated. I also count the many Facebook groups for women among the actors, through which people exchange information on technology, clothes and also “real” women’s topics. I don't want to forget the work of the clubs in which women are members. Anyone who is really serious about racing bikes and wants to ride bike races will not be able to avoid a club in the long run. But non-club members can also take part in the CCD outings in Düsseldorf - for example in the Wednesday women's round, which has already taken place a few times. There is not yet a purely women's association, but it is said that it is in the process of being founded.

So far so good, right? So why this "sexist shit" and the exclusion of men from our rides when, conversely, women are allowed to ride everywhere? Isn't that a step backwards?

I already mentioned that I have my own sensitivities. I think it's great and it makes me proud when I, as a woman, can keep up with men - no matter in which area - where you don't actually think I'm capable of doing it as a woman. That can perhaps be compared to the feeling of a 60-year-old who can still easily pass the 30- to 40-year-olds, because it often has to do with the basic physical requirements. One of my favorite T-shirts says, "Don't compare yourself." But I do. And at the same time try to keep reminding myself not to do it. It's actually stupid that that's the case, but it has to do with the fact that certain playing fields are mainly occupied by men.

To look away from me again, let's take a look at women who bring real sporting excellence: The women of the Donnons-des-elles-au-vélo all stages of the Tour de France left one day before the peloton of the tour. Not as fast as the men's pros, of course, but ultimately under different conditions - in everyday traffic. A stretch that probably 95% of the population would claim could only be mastered with the help of systematic doping. Look, women can do such “inhuman” achievements too. They deserved more attention and their own Tour de France for it. With their group action they have managed to get noticed. 

We are many.

Women's Movement Rennrad - Vol. 01 from Chic Hat on Vimeo .

That's the feeling women's rides convey. Not just the women themselves. The reactions of passers-by we drive past are always nice: "They're all women!" It's enough to trigger such sentences if there are six of you on the route. In contrast, the jaws dropping in a group of forty or more women riding on the “International Women's Day” of women cyclists, which Rapha established with the Women's 100, is indescribable. Is it any wonder we're back? Since the first edition in 2013, we have offered an event every year. In 2017 I couldn't drive myself, but Miriam, Daniela, Ellen, Nicole and Susi did a great job as guides. This year it falls on September 15, a Saturday. You can find our exit on the Rapha site as well as on Facebook and up Strava .

Many women ask about women's outings because they don't feel as pressured to perform there. Because they expect more consideration and are looking for a more relaxed, testosterone-free ride overall. And that's okay too. Although considerate passengers who like to take it easy themselves are not only to be found among women. You just have to find the right group, regardless of whether they are men or women. The only way to find out if you can handle the pace and mood in a group is to try. A little tip: Chic hat rides are generally not training races in last-man-standing mode, but sporty but relaxed.

In the women's movement, we certainly have an additional level of consideration for the weaker, but we also expect consideration from them. This means that you have to deal with group riding itself and not look for a group experience for the first test ride on the racing bike. Anyone who notices that their own shape doesn't really match that of the others is big enough, even as a woman, to let the others go and to finish their own round in a good mood. That's no shame. As a rule, however, we will finish with the group that we started with.

Sandra, Theresa, Heike, Susi, Miriam and I have a few ideas for the near future and are looking forward to expanding the network of racing cyclists.


The link to the new club at Strava: women's movement

And for the current exit at: Facebook

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