Crankworx today presents the first episode of a new three part series looking at women in mountain biking. The press release reads:
“It’s a time in mountain bike history like no other. For years, women were outnumbered and underrepresented. Their accomplishments, understated. Through it all, they kept charging forward, pouring blood and sweat into the dirt, paving the way for a hoped-for future – a future where women would be seen as good riders, the caveat “for a girl,” eliminated.
“Ask the men and women who’re out there today, and they’ll tell you: it’s happening.”
Take a look at magazines from the earliest days of the sport and you might wonder where it all went wrong – Chipps is a hoarder/haphazard archivist and flicking through early editions of Mountain Bike International, Mountain Flyer and Dirt Rag Magazine, there are plenty of women. They’re riding bikes, writing features, featuring in adverts, and being interviewed. Perhaps there were just so few riders that everyone got featured? Maybe in the early days we hadn’t all branched off into little niches with pockets of bro-dom. Or maybe something went wrong, somewhere. Anyway, we digress…
Whatever the cause, women are under-represented on the trails, on pro-teams, and in pay cheques. This series suggests that change is happening and looks forward to what might be to come. Here’s episode one, plus what future episodes are promising:
Episode 1: Spark to Flame
Do you have to play the game to change the game? Legends of mountain biking, Claire Buchar, Anneke Beerten and Jill Kintner, talk about where they’ve come from and where it’s all going as the sport, and women’s place in it, charges forward.
Tuesday, February 5 – Episode 2: See it to Believe it
Dedication, motivation and inspiration. According to some of the top women in mountain biking, these are the qualities that have pushed the best to become even better, paved the way for a new generation of all-stars, and brought female participation in the sport to a whole new level. Hear Kialani Hines, Vaea Verbeeck, Miranda Miller, and more, talk about what drives them to persevere through every peak and valley
Tuesday, February 12 – Episode 3: The Time is Now
Where to next? More riders are making their way to mountain bike Mecca, equipment has upped the ante, and the next generation is coming in hot. Riders at all stages of their careers, including Micayla Gatto, Jill Kintner and Valentina Höll, talk about how the game’s been changed, and their hopes for the future.
Obviously this is a series made in conjunction with Crankworx, and so it’s as much an advert for the event as it is a showcase for women’s mountain biking. But what do you think of the points made? Do you think some realities are being glossed over? Or is a bright new future on the horizon? Let us know in the comments below.