This week we take on one of cycling’s thorniest issues: women. Why is it that a sport so loved by women is served by an industry so bad at understanding and serving women? We’re going to dig in. Elden is away this week and in order to keep the mansplaining to a minimum we’ve asked our friend Diane Lees of the Outspoken Cyclist to join us.
One small warning: This episode runs long (1:41, yeow!). This is a one-time thing, but we felt this was something important enough to be justifiable.
As it turns out, once we began digging into the issue and making a list of everyone we wanted to talk to, it became apparent that this is likely to be something of a series we return to periodically. There are just too many bright people making a difference for us to fit them all in a single episode.
First up, we talk to Bill Strickland, editor in chief of Bicycling Magazine. It’s been under Bill’s guidance that Bicycling began hiring a number of women in a gradual overhaul of its staff. Padraig talks with him about the why, the how and most especially the results of that effort.
Our next interview is with pro downhiller Amanda Batty who has been an especially sharp—and insightful—commentator on how women are treated in cycling. Amanda caused quite a stir a couple of years ago when she accused one of the editors of Pinkbike (of which she was a contributor at the time) of writing a review that fostered rape culture. We agreed with her and Padraig wrote this piece in support of her. She has continued to offer an enlightened perspective on women and equality—not just for women, but for everyone. We knew we couldn’t do this episode without her voice.
In our final interview for this episode Padraig interviewed Christine Culver (pictured above, right), former executive director for the Sonoma County Bicycle Coalition. She currently sits on the board for the SCBC as well as the board for REMBA, the Redwood Empire Mountain Bike Alliance. He was interested to hear her perspective on how being a woman has informed her work in advocacy.
We are just going to warn you now that this episode runs long, much longer than usual. And because we didn’t get to half the interviews we want to do on this topic (how do you run out of women to listen to?), this will become a recurring series with new interviews informing and shaping our perspective on a regular basis.
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