Tuesday, August 12, 2008
Sporting a Pant Suit
On Sunday morning I had a great chat with my mother in law, Trish. I was recalling my Friday night racing with the Category Three men. She's always been a strong supporter of my athletic endeavors and has always stressed that although I may train as hard as a man and race with the men, that I make sure to keep my femininity strong. And above all - don't wear a gad damn pant suit to look and act like a man - strut your stuff in a pink skirt!
When I boxed I used to spar with pink gloves. When I started racing I rode a Pink Kona. And honestly, I found a deep satisfaction of zooming past men on a pink bike. But lately, I've been mistaken as a man by a man.
Since I no longer have a pink bike I've been trying other means to express my femininity. I'm growing my hair out - even have a little pony tail out the back. And last time I checked, there were bumps on my chest. So what gives?
I think the truth of the matter is (and my wise neighbor Jo pointed out) - I've finally been accepted into the men's group and they know that I'm not going anywhere. I'm also a contender for their prize money.
Example #1: Men's Keirin Heats. I have a great start - and am fighting to get second wheel behind Guy Tucker. Sean, from 2nd Ascent, pulls in right behind him and I decide to start putting some pressure on Sean to see if he backs off an inch. He doesn't. And also warns, "you better move back and get a different wheel." A little snippy - but fair game. We made more contact, and I finally relent behind him where a male teammate opened up a gap and let me in. The motor accelerates, getting us up to speed for the 1.5 lap drop off. As it pulls, Guy maintains the 28mph and then pushes it on the back straight, with Sean and I right on his heals, qualifying the three of us for the finals.
I went up to Sean afterwards - wanting to clear the air and make sure he wasn't agro toward me personally. To which he responded, "That was YOU? I thought you were a dude!"
Dada um dada. Dude looks like a lady!
Example #2: Men's Keirin Final. Same start as the first - though this time I'm trying to get Kevin from Recycled to let me. He's more animated and uses his elbows to push me out quite a bit more than Sean. I'm being stubborn and so is he. At no point did I feel threatened, but I should have continued working down the line. Instead I apparently wanted more contact time with Kevin. He wasn't budging an inch. Neither was Josh, his teammate. Guess what happens when you hang out in the wind for 4 laps and then the motor accelerates to 34mph at its drop off point? Yep. Dropped like a sack of rocks. But at least I fought for it and didn't get to pull the, "come on let me in! I'm just a Giiiirrrrrlllll." Nope. Even Randy came up to Kevin afterwards and said, "if you would have let her in I would have punked you!"
Thanks guys. At least this time I wasn't mistaken for a man.