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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I've heard this twice on the trails this season. I'm sure I've heard it in the past. I only hear it when I'm riding alone.

First experience: I'm riding at a relaxed, decent pace up the mountain. I pass some guys. Think nothing of it. At the top, I turn around to start the ride down. I slow down to yield carefully to an uphill rider. The trail is more like a road here, no need to completely stop. As I pass this guy he says something I don't understand. I say, "What?" He repeats his question. But, I still don't understand. I stop my bike and yell back, "What?" And he yells back to me, "Are you a racer?" Incredulously I yell back, "NO!?" And that's the extent of our conversation.

Second experience: On this day I get stood up for the ride. No big deal. I like riding alone just as much. I decide to ride hard, try to see if I can catch a glimpse of this guy that got a good headstart on me. I, umm, fantasize I'm like some superhero, smashing those "my girlfriend is so painfully slow" gender stereotypes. (Wasn't it sunnyracegirl who admitted to her own hero-type daydreams in her story about the blind female racer? I figure I'm in good company here.) So, I'm riding for all womankind (you're welcome :rolleyes: ) I catch the guy (well, he didn't know I was...) Pass him shortly before the toughest part. And ride as hard as I possibly can to try to drop him. I wait at the top. And the first thing he says to me is, "Are you a racer?"

I guess I can understand the second guy asking me that. But since it has happened to me more than just 2 times, I wonder if there are just a lot of guys that race around here, and maybe guys tend to have racing on their minds? I don't know. Maybe some guys aren't used to being passed by women? What gets me is that I'd never think of saying, "Are you a racer?" to strangers that I meet when I'm out riding. Regardless of their gender. And it's NOT like I never get passed! Maybe it's because I don't get into the race scene that I find this question odd.

I consider myself a fairly strong climber, mediocre rider overall. I feel I've lost a ton of my climbing strength in the last 3 years or so. Maybe that's why the question hits me funny. I wonder if any other mediocre riders get asked this? What about the mediocre guys in the WL? Surely, there's one or two of you here. Maybe only super strong racer guys get the question? Is it always asked by the opposite sex? Is it a question that really only racers will ask someone they see? (I didn't think the guys I passed looked like racers, but...)
 

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Disclaimer: I'm certainly not close to being decently quick and I've never passed a guy, so that comment has never come my way. (I am working on it, though.)

My guess would be the mindset of some men is set so that the only possible way he could be passed/outdone by a woman would be if she was a racer or a pro. I think it works to protect the ego. ;)

And thanks for riding for all of woman kind. :) It does make me smile, at least, to know that somewhere out there women are passing men. They need that every now and then.

Atty
 

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Agree

I agree it could be a case of ego protection- " I was passed by a chic, but she races" Benefit of the doubt , its a compliment or comparision to those women he has seen racing. I'd feel pretty supah- star if a guy asked if I was a racer...It could also be the start of a bit of a pick up line as well..
 

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I think flyhigh has a bit of explanation - a pick up line, or at least a conversation starter. they want to talk to you, don't know how to lead in. that's an easy one to maybe open conversation.

I get the question quite a bit too. i say 'no, not really. just 24 hr races'. that usually ends the conversation pretty quickly.

oh, and thanks for riding for me, i was only on the road this weekend. too much rain lately.
 

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I don't get asked that much, as I'm not fast. I occasionally do beat guys up the hills, but if I do than they are usually not in shape :)

However, I did get asked today if I was a racer. BUT its not what your think. Here's the scenario: I went on a ride, in the mountains today, at altitude, with a couple of guys. As we are getting ready to leave a gal drives up and asks if we are riding - turns out she is from out of state and wanted to do that trail we were doing but was wary of going alone. She looked pretty in shape.... as we are taking off she asked me if I was a racer. I said, no, although I had done a few races I certainly was not a "racer".

Turns out she used to compete a fair amount - and after watching her ride today I must say she still could - she was super fast! - she whupped all our butts today. :) Wish I could ride that fast. I definitely enjoyed the respect she got from the guys, one of which was somewhat chagrined i think :) She nailed all the technical stuff, of which there was a good amount. She was also very nice and gave me some really useful advice.
 

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I have to agree with the masses. Its simply a guys way of justifying being beaten by a girl.
Guys would never say that to another guy.

The next time a guy says to you "Are you a racer?", you should reply, "no, you just suck."
That should finish off their precious ego once and for all! One of the good things about being a girl is that you can say stuff like that and not get your arse kicked.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
little b said:
I think flyhigh has a bit of explanation - a pick up line, or ...
In the 2nd case it was definitely not a pickup line. No doubt there!

He told me how he thought about "throwing in the towel" and just "giving it up right then" after I passed him and then a younger guy passed him too. I thought, "Hey-Seuss, that's not what I'm all about!" I changed my bad ass girly ways, threw off my cape and started acting more like my mom. I mentioned how small and light my bike was, especially the wheelset, how I'm a slacker at work and play all the time -- unlike him who works a full time job AND is remodeling his home... I asked him if he might be interested in riding with me and a buddy of mine. He mentioned his wife twice! :rolleyes:

Atty, little b, no need to thank me. Really! :)

berryman said:
The next time a guy says to you "Are you a racer?", you should reply, "no, you just suck."
That's really funny. :D But, I could NEVER do that! Thanks for the laugh.
 

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You pass two guys and cause they ask you if you're a racer they are obviously painfully trying to excuse their pathetic performance to save some male ego. You're one bad ass girl showing up those pathetic men. :rolleyes:

I don't mean to be rude but every once in a while this 'sisterhood showing men how ridiculous they are' sentiment surfaces and few of you seem to lose all reason and logic. Lets assess this calmly.

I obviously wasn't present in those two instances but it would seem logical to conclude that those men were simply trying to make some chit chat with grand hidden male agenda of (drumroll).....being social.

Whenever I ride on trails and come across other riders I make effort to say hi and have a bit of a yak with them. Almost always everyone's friendly and genuine and, after all, we're just happy to come across some fellow MTBers.

If I got passed by anyone, girl or guy, one of the immediate things I'd want to ask them is if they race. Just like I would ask them what their name is, if they ride here often, if they live far away and how bloody nice their bike is... all great conversation starters. I race and this may turn out to be some thing we have in common, maybe we've raced together sometime, maybe he/she trains on these trails......etc etc.... a million directions in which conversation may take direction. No hidden male ego agendas, just plain interesting conversation with fellow MTBer.

In your original post you said:

I decide to ride hard, try to see if I can catch a glimpse of this guy that got a good headstart on me. I, umm, fantasize I'm like some superhero, smashing those "my girlfriend is so painfully slow" gender stereotypes. (Wasn't it sunnyracegirl who admitted to her own hero-type daydreams in her story about the blind female racer? I figure I'm in good company here.) So, I'm riding for all womankind (you're welcome ) I catch the guy (well, he didn't know I was...) Pass him shortly before the toughest part. And ride as hard as I possibly can to try to drop him. I wait at the top.
and in your second post:

He told me how he thought about "throwing in the towel" and just "giving it up right then" after I passed him and then a younger guy passed him too. I thought, "Hey-Seuss, that's not what I'm all about!"
It seems to me that's exactly what you're about - you fantasize about smashing him up the hill and ride like mad trying to drop him. You love racing him up the hill and he loves racing you - what the helI is wrong with that and why does it have to be some male/female gender issue if he wins or you or if he asks you if you race?
 

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Boj said:
It seems to me that's exactly what you're about - you fantasize about smashing him up the hill and ride like mad trying to drop him. You love racing him up the hill and he loves racing you - what the helI is wrong with that and why does it have to be some male/female gender issue if he wins or you or if he asks you if you race?
You know, sometimes gals see it as a gender issue, and sometimes it is and sometimes it isn't. But do also bear in mind that we all participate in a sport that actaully has a term for when a girl passes you - getting "chicked" - and its something that guys in general make a point of "Ha, you got chicked". There is no equivalent for getting passed by a guy.

Girls are all pretty aware of when we pass guys and I'd venture to say, all guys are pretty aware of when they get passed by girls.
 

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This thread just brings up a funny story that happened to me last year. I was riding my road bike and about 6-7 miles out. I notice on this long easy climb that I am gaining on this lady riding a road bike and will be passing her shortly, a rather shocking experience (Impy can testify, I am not a fast rider/good climber). So I am just about to pull around and pass this lady, not believing that I am actually stronger than someone and going to be passing. All of a sudden she says bye, hangs up and reaches back and puts her phone back in her jersey. I never even came close to making that pass as she just pedaled away, completely unaware of the rider behind her who's hopes she had just destroyed.
 

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I sometimes wonder about this....

You know, it honestly seems to me like the women I have ridden with bring this up more than the men. Cases in point:

1) A friend of mine briefly dated a woman who was a pretty fast road rider. During dinner one night she was recounting a story about a road ride when she and a small group of people had gotten caught at a red light at the start of the ride. According to her the main group had consciouly sped away. She organized a pace line and caught up with the main group. She mentioned that all of the guys she passed were amazed and upset that a woman had caught up and passed them. This normally wouldn't have sounded funny to me, but I happened to be one of the guys she caught up to, passed and dropped. At the point she caught me I was just thrilled to have somebody to draft off of; I could have cared less what gender they were. It made me wonder if the rest of the guys were really upset or if she was just imagining it?

2) I rode MTB w/ a woman this weekend. She was recounting a tale about how this guy she rode with sucked and how she would taunt him by saying "How can you let a girl beat you" whenever she cleaned something he didn't. Could a guy get away with this? I doubt it.

It just seems to me that women enjoy perpetuating this attitude as much or more than the men do. Of course my wife is easily a better rider than 80% of the guys we ride with, so perhaps that accounts for some of their attitude when it comes to women riders. If I was riding w/ a group of testosterone impared single guys perhaps my viewpoint would be different. :)

Dave
 

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MightySchmoePong said:
2) I rode MTB w/ a woman this weekend. She was recounting a tale about how this guy she rode with sucked and how she would taunt him by saying "How can you let a girl beat you" whenever she cleaned something he didn't. Could a guy get away with this? I doubt it.
One of the friends I rode with this weekend teased me for being the youngest yet the slowest in the group. He got away with it. He also constantly teases another friend of ours, whose time I beat at Sea Otter, by teasing him that he got beat by a girl.

As a slowish person I never tease anyone, I think its cruel and misses the point of biking.

MightySchmoePong said:
It just seems to me that women enjoy perpetuating this attitude as much or more than the men do.
Dave
I guess. As someone who is usually the slowest in a group ride, and particularly if its all men, I can't really say that I perpetuate any attitude. I wish I could go faster. Mainly because people DO seem to care about how fast people go. I'm not sure why that is, although I have to say I think its a waste to fly past spectacular scenery and not stop to appreciate it because "someone might pass you". There is plenty of that in this sport, with men as well as women.
 

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Various reasons for that question

Maybe you look like a racer (lightweight xc type bike? lycra shorts & fitted jersey?)

Maybe they race and you resemble someone they've seen at the races and are wondering if you're her. This would be a conversation starter, or they want your autograph. ;)

Maybe they are impressed with your riding ability and instead of saying, "hey, you're a great rider," they ask if you race. I'd take it as a compliment and an attempt to be friendly, not necessarily an attempt to soothe their ego.

Maybe they are trying to feel better about being passed by someone of the fairer sex.

Maybe they want to tell their friends they saw a famous pro racer chick on the trail.

Spike
 

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kudos to the guys

First of all CDMC, thats is a very funny story :)

As much as some of the guys feel we bash them on this forum (it does happen here and there) I have to give the guys some credit. Obviously MTB is a male dominated sport, at least where I live (ie 5 or less women in a race category this weekend).. is what it is. I also play ice hockey in a men's league, another male dominated sport/league. I can only count maybe 2-3 times in either sport where a guy has disrespected the chick thing, and believe me they got it back from me and my 10 male teammates.
The majority love the idea that a women can play/ride with them and do well, sometimes better than themselves. They go out of their way to encourage us to do well and have fun. They goof each other all in good fun when they are "chicked". Most guys out there we ride with have wives,GFs,daughters and sisters who they would want treated the way we are treated, with respect.
I remember a post sometime back about someone who was offended that a guy stopped to help her with a flat, this to me isnt a way to pick a women up or to point out inferiority. If I had a flat in the woods, can I fix it?, yes I can. Would my husband,brother or father appreciate someone helping out, indeed they would.
 

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I got chicked this weekend

BMX racing this weekend I got chicked and I thought it was cool. "This was during the practice that I had her on the starting gates". Having five sisters, a wife and a daughter I hope someday my little princess can chick her brother, father and all the local boys... This gal that chicked me this weekend I found out later is one of the top gals in the state and when you see her in her regular attire you would never ever know....

I was proud too be chicked :D

-Dude
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
I hear you, Boj. I guess I was just trying to make conversation, feeling a bit bored, reaching a little for a new topic. I sense your irritation with my posts. I thought I worded it in a way that I wouldn't offend too many guys. I thought it was cool that little b said it happens to her. And it made me feel good thinking my post made Atty feel good. I enjoyed a lot of the responses.

Seriously, I'm not the best about sharing the trails (and my fantasy life is often richer than my real life :) ) I hate to pass people. I hate having people sneak up from behind on me. I hate riding like a sacrificial lamb on trails with blind corners and a propensity for fast downhillers. I am a lot like, was it kellyinutah's husband? Wanting to avoid trails if I see too many cars at a trailhead. I generally try to ride in locations and at times when I feel the fewest number of riders will be out. One guy at work teases me about this. He'll ask me how my ride was. In my description somewhere I can't help but say, "I/We only saw..." and he cuts me off and says, "Good ride, JDI! Definitely a good ride." Like that's the only thing that goes into my personal trail rating system :rolleyes:

I generally would rather not pass anyone. I don't want the attention. Nor the concentration required for it. I want a good workout. I wish you'd pedal just a little bit faster, that's all. God, I'm such a poser!!! I humor myself way too frickin much! Ok, I got my suit on again.

Dude, I miss your old avatar. You know the one :)
Spike, I'm way too retro to wear a fitted jersey -- especially one with loud colors!
 

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That just sounds like normal banter to me. The competition, people trying to keep their egos intact, the change of mood when you notice someone's feeling down...

There's nothing wrong with a little competition - it helps just about everyone to push themselves. As long as people lay off when they realize they're going overboard, it's a good thing.
 

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hereabouts

If someone asks you if you are a racer in my neck of the woods, it's a likely prelude to "Well you should race, you'd do well." We don't have a terribly competitive field in the area, and any woman who has decent technical skills and doesn't barf up a lung on a moderate climb can do well in beginner, at least. Provided she has any interest whatsoever.
 

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I was asked that once...

It was rather weird....because I do not display any of the normal characteristics of a racer (that being speed or cool sponsor-laden jerseys or latest widgets on my bike or even a lean body). My circumstances were rather different than your's...but it was kind of cool, or so I thought...

I approached a pretty darn technical spot on one of our local trails. I commented to a couple of guys that were taking a break near there "Good, there's somebody here to pick up my broken bones if I crash." And I then managed to ride the thing...nice and slow and deliberate, as is my habit.

It's a short section and after I was done, I took a break to let my nerves settle down. One of the guys actually did ask "Are you a racer?" A very odd question since the only race course an obstacle like this would be on, would be a DH course, and I clearly am not a DH'er. I said "um, no." He then asked "Would you like to be? You can join our team." My reply was "Oh, no racing for me, I like to drink beer too much." He indicated that drinking beer was an important part of their team's charter. All the same, I did pass on the offer.

I don't know what prompted that guy to ask...I guess I never thought of that before....maybe it was a conversation opener, and I suppose if I wasn't dating someone already, it might have actually worked....maybe I had "chicked" him (a lot of people walk the section I had cleaned), though I don't know how me being a racer, unless I was a DH'er that decided to go out for a spin on my XC bike, would make a difference....

I still remember, though...the day that somebody actually thought I was a racer...or could be one...for me that's kind of a remarkable event... :)
 

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JustDoIt said:
I hear you, Boj. I guess I was just trying to make conversation, feeling a bit bored, reaching a little for a new topic. I sense your irritation with my posts. I thought I worded it in a way that I wouldn't offend too many guys. I thought it was cool that little b said it happens to her. And it made me feel good thinking my post made Atty feel good. I enjoyed a lot of the responses.
JDI,

Don't apologize for your post...I personally have missed hearing from you recently, and I think you brought up a thought-provoking point.

The responses have been all over the board, and I don't really know what my personal take on the matter is. As I have mentioned several times, my most consistent riding partner (3-4 days/week) is a 32 year old woman. I'm a 54 year old guy, and frankly I'm pretty fit, and I AM a racer, but I get "chicked" EVERY SINGLE TIME I ride with my friend.

I have two other women friends with whom I occasionally ride, and if they did not stop and wait for me periodically, I would never see them except at the start of the ride.

Two of these three women were in fact Expert Women XC State Champions this year, so maybe it is not an outrageous assumption that a woman who blasts by me on the trail is a "racer", but I don't think I would necessarily think to ask that question.

Last September I rode in the AZ State Championship Road Race in Prescott. The last 19 miles was up a grueling climb into a headwind. I got dropped from the pack early and rode the last 40 miles by myself. About four miles from the end, a pace-line of about 10 CAT 3 Women racers went whizzing by me (having started way after I did), and to a woman they shouted genuine encouragement to the laboring old man they were passing!

It was probably the spark that allowed me to finish the race.

John W.
 
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