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are you the only betty in your DH crew?

tmx

aka chromegoddess
Mar 16, 2003
1,683
2
Portland
I used to be the only female in a large group of extremely fast guys, feeling like an incompetent slow-poke at the back of the pack. Didn't realize how much that sucked until I started riding with other women. Raised my confidence and felt more comfortable in precarious situations (like with my arse hanging way off the back of the bike) which led to gaining skill and speed beyond what I thought possible for myself. Riding w/women quickly led to racing which is another wild world of fun and improvement.

I love riding with betties who enjoy the good ride and have fun pushing each other to new heights. Perhaps I've just been really fortunate as so many of the female riders I've had the opportunity to hang with are some of the coolest people I've ever met. Outrageously funny, unbelievably courageous, generous, compassionate and real. Not that the fellas don't possess many of those attributes, it just took some female commraderie to get me to take the chrome bull by the horns. These days I don't mind being the only chick in a pack of all guys from time to time, especially if I'm hollering for two or three of them to get the flock outta the way!

I wonder what it's like for others?
 

TreeSaw

Mama Monkey
Oct 30, 2003
16,888
693
Dancin' over rocks n' roots!
I used to be the only chick and still am when I ride with my home crew (I also ride wiht the Jackalopes where Gee-Spot & Mtnbkgrl ride) and I too have been the slow poke. I finally got to ride with another chick at the end of last season and we had a blast. We push each other to try new things and really have fun! She has a lot of endurance so she pushed me to go faster and I (surprised as I was) had more technical ability so I pushed her in that respect.

I am SO looking forward to riding more this summer and improving my speed and skill with the girls and guys!
 

grizgal

Chimp
Dec 5, 2003
79
0
somerville
There is something unique about riding with a group of women who are good riders and good people. The guys I ride with have taught me a lot...more than a lot...but I tend to push myself more when there are other betties around. I have a great couple girls I ride with that are all amazing people. I feel fortunate to have other betties to ride with bc I think there are gals out there that can't find betties to join them. I definitely still love riding with the guys, but it feels great to have other girls around.

I went for a 2 amazing rides this weekend that included 2 other women. How cool is it to be able to ride technical crazy stuff we other girls? It's great. Anyway. Great topic Chromegoddess....
 

Velocity Girl

whack-a-mole
Sep 12, 2001
1,279
0
Atlanta
Most of the time I'm the only girl....but I agree that having other chickys around can be great!

The boys I ride with here are awesome though (Freak and DHRacer in paticular :D). They have helped my downhilling so much in the past few years...they'd always let me tag along on the tough stuff, even though they might have to wait for me to catch up. But the girls have helped tremendously too.....girls just have a bit of a different outlook on obstacles and what not. While the boys might be picking a line that requires you to muscle over something, the girls are over there trying to figure out the best line to "finesse" the bike thru ;)
 

tmx

aka chromegoddess
Mar 16, 2003
1,683
2
Portland
oh my yes! in my experience (though somewhat limited) i would have to agree most women and men have very different approaches to certain sections and bike handling. at least on the first few times through something. helps me alot to experience with similar-minded people. no diss to the guys in anyway. just different, that's all.

do most of the women you know race too? i wonder what the percentages are of female racers vs. non-racers? even though i now consider myself to be a very competitve person, i totally dig the unique commraderie at the finish line of the women's races. like we've been through war together or something. it doesn't seem quite as heightened at the end of the fellas races.

me too, can't wait to tear it up this season with all the genders, male, female and in-betweeners.
 

Velocity Girl

whack-a-mole
Sep 12, 2001
1,279
0
Atlanta
Most of the girls I ride with race.....not all downhill though. Yes, the female commardery at races can be very different from the mens. There's so few of us that we kinda have to stick together!

I think the percentage of females who dowhill and race is probably bigger than the percentage of females who cross-country and race. (At least that's been my experience).

What type of racing/riding do you do?
 

RhinofromWA

Brevity R Us
Aug 16, 2001
4,621
0
Lynnwood, WA
Well I pretty much just try my damdest to keep VG's dust in sight. Keeping up isn't goingto happen.....:)

Oh, and when she does a drop that I chicken out on.....I try not to cry in front of her. :D
 

tmx

aka chromegoddess
Mar 16, 2003
1,683
2
Portland
you won't hear us telling you to "stop crying like a girl", so go ahead rhino, release the flood-gates. hehe.

velocity, i race dh and considering an attempt at 4X this year. most of my non-race riding on the east coast is relegated to lift-service (as opposed to shuttles or hike-a-bike). i'm not much of a hucker or bridge and ladder type, but i do enjoy an occasional scare in those areas from time to time. (i'm bordering on being downright "elderly" so if i never get to that ten-foot drop at plattekill that i was eyeing before my last injury, it'll be okay.) steep and technical, tight singletrack and wide open high-speeds are my faves. have yet to learn how to really jump. kinda hoping 4X will force me into that. how about you?

i wonder how many female downhillers (racers and non) there are out there in the world.
 

Velocity Girl

whack-a-mole
Sep 12, 2001
1,279
0
Atlanta
Aw shucks...thanks Rhino :D That's why I love you guys....you know exactly how to flatter a girl ;)

I ride downhill and xc, but only race downhill. I've thought of trying the 4x thing, but my jumping skills still aren't quite where they need to be, and although I might allow myself to be stomped on by the likes of Marla, Tara, April, etc. on the dh course...I don't think I want to be put out there with them on the 4x course!!! (Just got my upgrade last year and unlike xc, I can't compete down a category in the 4x)

And I hear ya on the bridges and ladders....not my favorite thing! The technical, knarly, singletrack stuff is definitely fun!!!
 

tmx

aka chromegoddess
Mar 16, 2003
1,683
2
Portland
oh yeah. i xc too, just not nearly as much as dh. i'm such a grouch on the climbs it's not even funny....even though i'm usually cracking myself up with my terrets syndrome-like cursing.

congrats on the pro status. was last year your first in the elite ranks? if so, how was the transition? (or am i getting into an entirely different thread?) i understand their ruling behind no downgrading for 4X, but it seems like it is as different a beast from dh as xc is. and at the pro level, it's got to be such a huge step for a first-timer.

i wonder how many dh women are on ridemonkey. (i do alot of wondering.)
 

Velocity Girl

whack-a-mole
Sep 12, 2001
1,279
0
Atlanta
Yup, last year was first year playing with the big girls. Got my upgrade half way thru the season so I got my first National at that level at Mt. Schweitzer, ID....which anyone will tell you was a brutal course. It was very nerve racking, but all in all, a good first experience. We have quite a few gals here in the PNW who are Pro's now, so there were familiar faces.....not to mention my whole team cheering me one :D

There are quite of few of us girls here on the monkey who are also downhillers....hmmmm.....let's see......
Lucee
DHJill
OCDH
DHDiva
Shrymp
Tammy
Jr_Bullit
Ghettorigged

I know there's others, just can't think of them off the top of my head right now!
 

geargrrl

Turbo Monkey
May 2, 2002
2,379
1
pnw -dry side
it's the same for XC too, lots more men out there than womnen. I've finally gotten to where I dont' feel like I'm holding the guys back anymore ( or if I am, I don't care ;-) ) I really like riding with the gals. Once the season really starts, there's a pretty good group of us that try and meet once a week. The group varies a bit. What's funny is people will hear us in the woods having a good old time, and then a herd of 35+ women pop out into the open.

geargrrl
 

grizgal

Chimp
Dec 5, 2003
79
0
somerville
Originally posted by Velocity Girl
Yup, last year was first year playing with the big girls. Got my upgrade half way thru the season so I got my first National at that level at Mt. Schweitzer, ID....which anyone will tell you was a brutal course. It was very nerve racking, but all in all, a good first experience. We have quite a few gals here in the PNW who are Pro's now, so there were familiar faces.....not to mention my whole team cheering me one :D


Do you reccomend upgrading to Pro? Are there any negatives? How was it training with the Pro men?...If you don't mind me asking...
 

TreeSaw

Mama Monkey
Oct 30, 2003
16,888
693
Dancin' over rocks n' roots!
Originally posted by Velocity Girl

There are quite of few of us girls here on the monkey who are also downhillers....hmmmm.....let's see......
Lucee
DHJill
OCDH
DHDiva
Shrymp
Tammy
Jr_Bullit
Ghettorigged

I know there's others, just can't think of them off the top of my head right now!
I also DH sometimes too...but for fun, not racing!
 

bikebabe

Monkey
Jul 31, 2002
133
0
Maryland
Originally posted by geargrrl
it's the same for XC too, lots more men out there than womnen.

Agree with you there. Unless I go to a women's clinic, I'm the only female in our group. Riding with the guys has defintely improved my skills overall but riding with women increases my "guts". :) If other women can do a tricky technical section, I may as well try it.
 

Velocity Girl

whack-a-mole
Sep 12, 2001
1,279
0
Atlanta
Originally posted by grizgal
Do you reccomend upgrading to Pro? Are there any negatives? How was it training with the Pro men?...If you don't mind me asking...
[/QUOTE

Personally, I'm very glad I did it. It's nerve racking, not going to lie about that......it's weird being put into the same category as the women who I look up to and who inspire me to race (even though I know I'm really not in the same "category" as them...I just get to race at the same time...hehehehe).

As for practice, it was just fine. If you're worried about macho guys bullying you, it's really not an issue. The guys our there practicing at the same time as you are professionals or aspiring to be, so they conduct themselves as such (in the overall grand scheme of things that is...I'm sure there's incdidents here and there but everyone gets pissy once in awhile). I've only been to one Nat since my upgrade, but my friends who've made the jump say one of the nice things is that practice is less crowded as well.

I feel it's pushed me to become a better rider. Being able to compete in a class of so many women is great! Up until then, the most people I'd had in my class at any race was 6!

My biggest fear though....if someone like Marla, Missy, Tara, has a bad qualifying run and starts behind me during the race!!!

PM if you any more questions....and there's a few others on her who have their pro licenses as well....DHDiva, OCDH, and Lucee.
 

tmx

aka chromegoddess
Mar 16, 2003
1,683
2
Portland
having more women in the class seems like an awesome bonus in moving up to pro. not that i personally am considering it, but i'm psyched for you fasties who make it into the class to have serious competition.

sometimes it feels a little foolish standing on the podium all by my lonesome. i want to earn that win, not buy it. people often say, "you earned it by racing the course", which i agree w/to a point, but i think most of y'all know what i mean. this last year i focused my results on the overall times of the people that ran the same course, male and female. instead of the empty feeling of not having competition w/in my class, the new focus worked out well to keep me driven and excited about racing.

i love this bikebabe: "...riding with women increases my 'guts'". fantastic quote.
 

seamonkey

Chimp
Jan 10, 2004
24
0
Breck CeeOhh
i was shocked how cool are the girls were when i started racing. i had no idea what to expect. if anyone has been to the MSC races, you've probably witnessed how close the girls are, full on buddies, supportive, fun, no stress. in sport class this year it almost felt like a LACK of competitiveness between us, something that the guys always take note of, and often envy.
when i started riding & racing DH & 4x, this amazing young girl, Hannah, always rode with us. She's such a bad a$$ with a positive attitude and skills to share, i feel lucky to ride with her. She's going to be on my team this year, so i hope she & i can make a killing for scratchy rat. she's also a rad trials/park/DJ girl, which are skills i lack, so i'm hoping to pick up some of that courage and skill, too.
it's funny, there's always that ONE girl you're gunnin' for...she's too fast and too cool, you love her, you wanna be her, you wanna kick her a$$ down the hill. you know? i've got mine.
the boys on the team and scene are so supportive, the scratchy rat guys even seem kinda proud to have us with their crew.
I've never experienced any negativity from the otha sex while racing or riding.
chromegoddess--i think i met you in Moab at a party at the CrashPad and/or at Snowmass...Brooklyn machine works? (damn sweet rig) camera happY?
and on the mackin' note--there's no shortage of hot guys racing (duh) and when i meet one & he digs the dirt in my teeth & stinky armor, i know we're heading in the right direction.
 

tmx

aka chromegoddess
Mar 16, 2003
1,683
2
Portland
seamonkey, that's me. nice words you added there. (and not just cuz you complimented my bike. hehe.) that mtn states cup vibe is remarkable. i see similar commraderie at plattekill and some of the nationals, but never seen it so strong as that snowmass race. got very emotional shooting the girls at the finish line there. (teary eyes and looking through the lens proved a challenge!) i'm gonna take a wild guess on this, and if it's you, i'm a putz for not remembering your name.
 

tmx

aka chromegoddess
Mar 16, 2003
1,683
2
Portland
Originally posted by seamonkey
....and on the mackin' note--there's no shortage of hot guys racing (duh) and when i meet one & he digs the dirt in my teeth & stinky armor, i know we're heading in the right direction.
another terrific quote! really nice guys too. a few spodey crackheads to keep it real...but otherwise, super fun cool fellas.
 

seamonkey

Chimp
Jan 10, 2004
24
0
Breck CeeOhh
yay!! those are great! (yeah, drinkin' at Chile pepper!!)
will you be back in CO this year? i'll be making my way out east for VT and WV...we should meet up.
the name's Aubrey. but don't tell everyone, that's my secret agent name. (i don't 'member yours either!!)
 

tmx

aka chromegoddess
Mar 16, 2003
1,683
2
Portland
Originally posted by seamonkey
yay!! those are great! (yeah, drinkin' at Chile pepper!!)
will you be back in CO this year? i'll be making my way out east for VT and WV...we should meet up.
the name's Aubrey. but don't tell everyone, that's my secret agent name. (i don't 'member yours either!!)
that pic of you is adorable. all the candids from that race are loaded with people bustin' smiles ear to ear. too much fun. kind of a bummer we can't get them to open up on the cycyle cyndicate site. i do hope to make it to a few CO races. good to hear you'll be back here for WV and VT. if you've never ridden back east you're in for a real treat. we'll meet up for sure. haven't forgotten the favor i owe you from canyonlands.

don't tell anyone your name?!!? ummm...you're secret's safe with me (and the other couple thousand people on RM!! hehe.) i'm terry.
 

DH Diva

Wonderwoman
Jun 12, 2002
1,808
1
"(even though I know I'm really not in the same "category" as them...I just get to race at the same time...hehehehe). "

Hey now! I don't want to hear this kinda talk from you again! You are a PRO racer! You earned your place and you are in that category! Remember, a good part of being a pro rider is thinking like a pro rider! Alot of people have the skills but their mind isn't in it and with DH being a very "Psycological" sport, you always have to believe in yourself and have confidence!

Anyways, pep talk over!

I'm stoked to see all the new faces in the hunnies forum. It's good that there are more women and that they are staying close and supportive of one another! Welcome everyone and if you ever have any questions, don't be afraid to ask!!

Oh, and as for the practicing with the pro guys topic, they were all super cool nice guys, really professional and always gentlemen. I got more supportive comments and compliments from the guys in my first pro race, then I did in 4 years of expert racing. Pro practice is so relaxing and enjoyable compared to amateur practice, which really allows you to focus on riding, and not trying to get in as many runs as possible or skipping sections in practice because there are so many people backed up on course!
 

DHRacer

The Rev
Oct 8, 2001
352
0
Originally posted by Velocity Girl
Most of the time I'm the only girl....but I agree that having other chickys around can be great!

The boys I ride with here are awesome though (Freak and DHRacer in paticular :D). They have helped my downhilling so much in the past few years...they'd always let me tag along on the tough stuff, even though they might have to wait for me to catch up. But the girls have helped tremendously too.....girls just have a bit of a different outlook on obstacles and what not. While the boys might be picking a line that requires you to muscle over something, the girls are over there trying to figure out the best line to "finesse" the bike thru ;)

yeah, i'm the only chick on our team too... oh wait... uh, that's not what I meant, never mind.:monkey:


Dont' let VG fool you... she's been an inspiration to a lot of us guys too!

there was stuff up at Snoqual that she was doing that I wouldn't! Riding with women is good, especially if they're awesome riders like VG and Leigh... cause when I'm hesitant about doing something, standing there sizing it up... and WHOOOOSH, there go VG and Leigh over it like it's nothing... it's like CRAP! now I HAVE to do it! :D nothing like watching a couple of women school you to get you over that fear hump.(hehehe)

so, to you my queen...


and to all the mudhunnies out there, thanks for keeping us on our toes! :thumb: you're an inspiration to many, whether you realize it or not.
 

DHRacer

The Rev
Oct 8, 2001
352
0
Originally posted by chromegoddess
and miss hannah
HEY!!! Tell her Brad says hi too! :):):)

the first time we met Hannah was at Sea Otter, she was going to the bathroom in the bushes... LOL! She was a blast to hang out and ride with! Girl got SKILLZ! We miss her.
 

tmx

aka chromegoddess
Mar 16, 2003
1,683
2
Portland
Originally posted by DH Diva
[B...I'm stoked to see all the new faces in the hunnies forum. It's good that there are more women and that they are staying close and supportive of one another! Welcome everyone and if you ever have any questions, don't be afraid to ask!![/B]
wow! thank you. thanks to all y'all!! i'm getting veklempt!! talk amongst yourselves. hehe.
 

seamonkey

Chimp
Jan 10, 2004
24
0
Breck CeeOhh
Originally posted by woody415
Dave, one more outbirst from you and I'll post "the" picture of you that we all know and love. ya rat bastad...
i'll bring the seamonkey bike down for some love. you should email me THE photo of mr. lee...hmmm...
 

Velocity Girl

whack-a-mole
Sep 12, 2001
1,279
0
Atlanta
Originally posted by DH Diva
"(even though I know I'm really not in the same "category" as them...I just get to race at the same time...hehehehe). "

Hey now! I don't want to hear this kinda talk from you again! You are a PRO racer! You earned your place and you are in that category! Remember, a good part of being a pro rider is thinking like a pro rider! Alot of people have the skills but their mind isn't in it and with DH being a very "Psycological" sport, you always have to believe in yourself and have confidence!

Anyways, pep talk over!

I'm stoked to see all the new faces in the hunnies forum. It's good that there are more women and that they are staying close and supportive of one another! Welcome everyone and if you ever have any questions, don't be afraid to ask!!

Oh, and as for the practicing with the pro guys topic, they were all super cool nice guys, really professional and always gentlemen. I got more supportive comments and compliments from the guys in my first pro race, then I did in 4 years of expert racing. Pro practice is so relaxing and enjoyable compared to amateur practice, which really allows you to focus on riding, and not trying to get in as many runs as possible or skipping sections in practice because there are so many people backed up on course!
Thanks for the pep talk :D It always amazes me how much your brain can mess with you in this sport.....but I just got my new rig built up and am really looking forward to the season, so I'm planning on coming out swinging this year ;)