How to (not) ride like a girl

What does it mean to “ride like a girl?” Does this suggest women should embrace girly stereotypes like pink bike baskets, wearing skorts, or riding cruiser/comfort bikes? Or is it just an easy excuse to lag behind our male counterparts on hills? Whether these stereotypes are facilitated by the bike industry or by the women (and their male companions) who ride, some female specific cycling myths need to be busted. Let’s leave the pink cruiser discussion for another day and address a few common assumptions that derailĀ even the most serious riders.

Myth #1 I can’t climb without a granny gear

My first road bike was a triple with a granny gear. When I upgraded to a compact double crankset, I quickly realized that riding uphill with granny is like riding the trainer: It’s all about going nowhere fast. I’m not advocating for standard gearing for everyone, as those with knee problems might do best with a low impact granny. But I’m betting that most women could easily handle a compact double. Here’s why. Continue reading