Even in 2023, with the world seemingly becoming more open and accepting, so much oppression and suppression still occurs. Women, specifically with the Roe versus Wade turnover last year, gay and trans individuals, and members of various ethnicities continue to be marginalized.
That is why it is crucial to recognize International Women’s Day. This is a day to focus not just on women’s rights but also on human rights.
Cycling is definitely one of the sports that has practiced male domination. Women athletes have struggled to be recognized for their accomplishments, which is especially true for women who race bikes professionally. Their events were shorter, lacked media coverage, and the prizes paltry in addition to being paid much smaller salaries.
So, today, I’m directing my lens to the Cyclist website. The website features three of its female writers who are making their mark in the world of cycling and cycling journalism.
Women and the Cycling Industry
Although women have been a presence since the beginning of cycling in the 19th century, their place and recognition by the cycling industry has been slow. Brands like Terry and Liv awoke the cycling industry to the number of women interested in the sport of cycling.
Today, there are many cycling brands that specifically make women’s apparel, gear, and bikes. And some cycling brands that were once geared toward just men are now producing women’s riding apparel alongside their men’s offerings. Here are the top 5 brands that are not only making women’s cycling apparel but creating it at the highest level.
And as Cyclist mentions in its feature article, it (along with other cycling media outlets) also focuses on women’s mental health, cycling while pregnant, training while on your period, etc.
Women’s Amateur and Pro Events
Susan B. Anthony, a major proponent of the women’s suffrage movement of the 19th century, said about women on bikes, “… I think it has done more to emancipate women than anything else in the world. It gives women a feeling of freedom and self-reliance. I stand and rejoice every time I see a woman ride by on a wheel.”
Yet, women have had to fight every step of the way for equality in labor, voting rights, and, yes, in sports. Women pro cyclists, who are as dedicated to the sport and train just as hard, didn’t even have their first pro events until the mid-1980’s. Women got the chance to participate in a road race at the Olympics in 1984, even though as pros they were hardly given any notice.
Today, women are getting the respect and recognition they deserve as cyclists with events like the Paris Roubaix Femmes, the Tour de France Femmes, and others.
And while you’re reading about these three women from the Cyclist website who talk about their love affair with the sport, take time to admire the women in your own life: your mother, grandmother, girlfriend, or even a former teacher. These are the women who have shaped our lives on an individual level.
Additionally, stand up and applaud those women who have worked so hard to be seen as equals in a male-dominated society. Those women who became scientists, astronauts, artists, and athletes. Remember also their rights are human rights and no entity should have control over them.