I’ve always thought of mountain biking as a great way for men and women to come together. My wife and I ride together, I’ve had several female riding buddies over the years and, in general, if a girl was willing to show up and get a little dirty, she was welcomed into the group.
Unfortunately, over the last few years I’ve seen the slow creep of the social justice warriors into our sport, which has led to the idea that women would flock to mountain biking if the stinky guys would just get out of the way. Part of this idea is the argument that mountain biking is “gender neutral”. At its heart this is well intentioned – no one should be discouraged from riding based on their gender – but it also ends up harming the same people it is trying to help.
Nothing in nature is “gender neutral” and that includes mountain biking. It is in understanding the differences that we can help each individual find the best path for them. Pretending that there are no differences between men and women means that we can’t have honest discussions about the best path for each to improve.
In this podcast I explore this idea and explain why mountain biking is not gender neutral, why this is alright and what this means for really empowering women riders to take control of their improvement.
Like I say at the beginning of the podcast, my intention with this is not to discourage women from riding but to help them find their own personal path to mastery and enjoyment. Nothing is more discouraging than not knowing how to find that path because people won’t be honest with you, and in the end that will lead to more women quitting riding.
I hope this podcast can help you better understand the differences between the sexes and how you can use that to make better training and riding decisions. We need more people using mountain biking as a tool for self improvement, not as a battleground for ideas that are not based in reality.
Until next time…