Yes, I am a Pusher, a pusher of many things including:
B) outdoors lifestyle
C) good food
D) adult beverages
E) more Ladies in cycling
I got pretty upset and heated this weekend at the WBL. This past weekend was the Ladies only Sprint of the WBL. After about 75 miles in the saddle – the women were called to the front of the pack.
I was lucky enough to be near the front of the field as 100 or more riders hooted and hollered at the 5 woman sprint that took place to all manner of encouragement and cat-calls to the extent of wondering if they were sprinting or mud-wrestling?
After the women’s sprint I watched guys go around a chic that had been in the sprint. She had put out a solid effort & was now not quite up to the accelerations of the pack. I was giving her a push when needed…. keeping her intact with the field, not unlike the assistance that was given me last week . Yet still I noticed something that was rather disturbing & I couldn’t help but be curious and yet disappointed at the same time…..
Why do guys pass a chic that are in a spot of bother? Here we are, in a major sword fight amongst each other and yet when a lady does show up to a big ride, she is passed up like a weaker species. Why? Because the guys think they will get dropped if they help, or because chics wanted to be treated just like another rider. Well, I’ve been dropped on many rides in my lackluster career of cycling & let me tell you it is frustrating & humiliating… to put it another way – it just sucks!
That’s why I’m a pusher. Ever since I dated a chic in the peleton that would occasionally be put into the hurt locker, I learned that assisting the fairer sex was a noble experience that gave me A) a better workout and B) kept them coming out to the rides.
Have you not heard the infamous story of Mario Cipollini at the Tour de Georgia…. His favorite English words were ‘PUSH’ and ‘I love America (women)’.
There were 2 chics that had boyfriends there this weekend that when the ‘vacation real estate’ (drafting) wasn’t enough they got just enough of a nudge as to keep them in the game. Their guys were both veterans of the Pro1,2 field. Guess what impressed the ladies – that the guy put the hammer down and nearly dropped them, or that the guy took care of a chic.
Besides, I would rather we have more ladies in the field of guys! You think I like riding for 70+ miles & looking at your butt?! NO! Put a female in front of me & I will keep her ‘behind’ in front of mine. And if you like having the fairer sex along for the ride, I suggest you do the same, in a gentlemanly fashion.
I’ve assisted chics that ‘wanted to do it on their own’ & I totally respect that. She said “I got it, thanks”. No problem, You go girl! But, fella’s please don’t hinder their experience, nor their enjoyment of riding in a group…..
I’ve seen guys move-up and purposely push a chic out of a paceline, so they could get ahead of her. I’ve seen guys sprint just to get around chics after a turn, I’ve seen guys let a chic pull on the front of the pack, only to attack after they pull off.
Guess who is the weaker rider now?
I would not do this to a rider that wasn’t comfortable or steady on their bike – but they usually aren’t in our groups anyway. To give a little assistance to anyone, all I do is, usually downshift into a harder gear because I want to mash more, place my hand on or just above the back pockets. Now I can do 2 things. 1) Pedal faster while pushing, which will raise both our speeds. 2) give a steady push of that person, which speeds them up, but slows me down.
The biggest mistake is to push in any direction other than straight forward. Usually if you push forward all the rider has to do keep their handle bars straight, look straight ahead and they will get a nice little boost of speed. And it is amazing the difference 1-2 mph will make when you are coming unglued at the back of a group. Again, make sure the rider is comfortable with the push before you do it, everyone is safer that way.