Paceline Podcast 232

This week Patria takes a look at some of the safety concerns women cyclists face when out on a ride. From dogs to bears to men, there are valid reasons to think about safety.

Patrick wrenched his back on a ride and he considers what so many people have lost in terms of activity by having gyms, yoga studios and other forms of activity curtailed by the pandemic.

Show links:

Sidekick Fuse Vibration Therapy Device

Bedrock Tapeats Handlebar Bag

Join the conversation
  1. albanybenn says

    I’ve led rides and organized events for my local club for 15+ years. Getting more women to participate has been something we have struggled with for that entire time. Patria’s discussion of fears from a woman’s point of view is eye opening for sure. Like Patrick, I’ve seldom thought about my personal safety (other than the normal risks of riding) when planning or going on a ride. I think I’ll share the show link with other members of our club board.

  2. Janyne Kizer says

    I’m sorry to hear about the back issues. Regarding online yoga classes, check out Yoga with Adriene on YouTube —

  3. patrialanfranchi says

    Hi Albanybenn – Glad this is insightful for you. I have many more thoughts on the subject where it comes to women’s fears with joining in on group rides if you’re interested. I’m fairly rare in that I gravitate to mixed groups and have always enjoyed being one of the only women in a male-dominated group, and I find men to be really great to ride with and be around, in general. Women are deathly afraid of being the slowest person on a ride, absolutely mortified at the idea of being the person who is holding up the whole group, the last person up a climb. The problem is that instead of showing up to a group ride and seeing what it’s all about, women will talk themselves out of going to the ride before leaving the house. Granted, I’m making huge assumptions about “women” and painting with too broad a brush, but this is, generally, what women are all about. The women who end up on your group rides have probably been really encouraged by a man, possibly a husband or boyfriend, and there is a safety net built in with the person who has invited the woman to come out for the first time. Generalizing again, but women typically are looking for social interaction when they go to a group ride. If the group’s speed picks up and it turns into a bit of a race, many women get turned off by this. I was in the population who would enjoy being pushed and laugh if I lost a town line sprint. Really, I think it boils down to fear of the unknown in every single sense. There is the fear of what the pace of the group will be like, fear of dropping off the back, fear that the route isn’t back roads enough, etc. etc. You likely have a very inclusive club, just based on your comments and that you’re interested in the topic. But you have to convince women to come out for that first ride and that there isn’t anything to be scared of. It’s a challenge for sure. One of the things we’ve done at our bike shops to encourage women (and timid men!) to come out is to have ride leaders who are really good about controlling the pace and we use strong language about the group maintaining the posted pace. We have gone so far as to have consequences for those who ride outside of the pace since that is damaging to the trust we ask new riders to have in us when we host group rides. We also give a safety talk to each group prior to rolling out. Even though everyone has heard it many times, this has been instrumental for keeping the group in line and offering peace of mind to the new riders, too.

  4. ransom says

    I started having back issues with cycling when I was 20 (now nearly 50 and my ‘cross age is apparently 51! *Shakes fist at sanctioning body*…) and physical therapy helped me locate what was wrong and gave me specific exercises to address it. I’ve had great results with PT since then as the decades have added new opportunities to tweak stuff, but the old exercises still keep my back in line.
    That said, with regard to regularity and ease, I’ve found a great experience in the bite sized yoga that the Sufferfest has along with their training plans. Right now I’m pressed for time and mostly riding indoors, but they’re apparently from and can presumably be done without wading into structured training for cycling (though a quick peek suggests that yoga only costs similar to a Sufferfest sub). I get a lot of benefit from just being told which ones to do without having to think about it, but I also add extras, while the compact format avoids being timed out of doing them too often.
    I see myself generally as more clinical in approach than as a “yoga person,” but I have to say that a while after I started them, I just realized a bunch of aches and pains of getting moving mostly evaporated (and came back when I fell off the training wagon).

  5. coroadie says

    Sadly as a backcountry skier I have found that snowmobilers are pretty much the same as drivers. You have ones that are great, that slow down when passing you, who wave, and sometimes if you are having an issue may stop and offer assistance. Then there are the assholes who seem to enjoy buzzing by you at full speed, as close as possible, who flip you off because you are on the same trail or road they are on, who yell at you, who snowmobile drunk, or just simply snowmobile dangerously. My then-pregnant wife and I where backcountry skiing into one of the huts in Colorado and as I was towing a sled we were on the main path that leads most of the way into it. In front of us was a small steep rise, big enough that you couldn’t see over it. We could hear snowmobiles coming and they were loud. We were on the right side of this trail, which was as wide as a one-lane road when suddenly flying off the top of the rise was a several hundred-pound snowmobile that missed my wife head by maybe a foot. Had he actually hit her at the speed he was going she, and our unborn child, no doubt would have been killed instantly. The guy never slowed down or even stopped to apologize for his actions and his friend that was following him was just hooting and hollering as he passed us. I am sure they both drive big trucks and would probably buzz me on the road if I was on my bike.

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