I don’t know if it was July’s great Ask Reba prize (Specialized Prevail helmet) or a collective need for fans to protect their heads, but this last months’ contest was hands down the most popular one I’ve ever seen. With more than 150 questions filling the inbox I had to adapt my format and not answer every question- I still had to go ride my bike! For all of you who did write in, please don’t despair; I answered all the questions that hadn’t been asked before. Please take a look at the Ask Reba Archives and you’ll be able to find the answer to your specific question, or one that closely resembles it. So drumroll please, the winner of July’s hotly contested contest is Duarte Guedes who asked:
Do you think the media should give more value to women’s races?
My answer: Absolutely! Women make up 51% of the population. Women are also athletes, consumers and influencers, so why wouldn’t women’s racing be given more coverage? It’s sort of shocking to me that this issue still needs to be raised. Just as men’s racing is interesting to all genders, so would women’s racing if it got the coverage and the athletes were given a platform to be known. I meet men, women, boys and girls everywhere who tell me I inspire them. That’s great and it shows me that inspiration is not gender specific. We all need heros and I’ve been inspired by female athletes like Marla Streb and male athletes like Tim Johnson. I’m inspired by who the athlete is regardless of their gender.
In a time when kids and adults are so bombarded with computer games, iphones, drugs and many other unhealthy temptations, it’s crucial that the media provide a positive example of what athletes are doing out there (male and female). One of the main reasons I launched the SRAM Gold Rusch Tour women’s events was to provide opportunity for women’s media, pro athletes and female riders to get more involved and have a bigger voice. The tide has started to change slowly, but I want to fuel the momentum. Once a little girl sees her Mom, or a pro athlete ripping it up on a bike, or reads about women’s cycling in the media, a seed of possibility is planted. If she never sees these images, then she doesn’t know what’s possible and might just assume that sports are for only boys. Wouldn’t that be sad? Check out this video trailer for a film that talks about women’s representation in the media. It’s not cycling related, but shows the power of what is put out there. Miss Representation.
Now go put on your helmets and go ride. Don’t forget to check-out August’s contest. We’re giving away a SRAM 2×10 Grip Shift set and 2×10 chain!