Mixed racing - good or bad?

Discussion in 'Women's Cycling' started by Roquen, May 24, 2003.

  1. Roquen

    Roquen New Member

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    Hi everyone, well I just got back from doing my first race ever, 22km, in a mixed c grade.

    How do all yo ugirls feel about racing in mixed races? On one hand I think its great, I get pushed harder and go further, but at the same time, I find myself getting disheartened seeing the guys getting further and further away, then having to remind myself, " they are guys" :)

    anyone have any thoughts?
    ness
     
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  2. Sparxx

    Sparxx New Member

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    I think you've answered your own question.

    I don't race, but I play mixed indoor soccer as well as indoor women's soccer. With the women's soccer we can be a little bit more relaxed and enjoy it more, with the mixed soccer you have to be that much more focussed because the guys can be faster and stronger.

    personally I like both, but I think the mixed soccer makes me sharper and faster in my game.
     
  3. Roquen

    Roquen New Member

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    Hi everyone,
    did another mixed race this weekend, 36km on the road, and i gotta say, as much as it is frustrating having to try to keep up with boys, it really lifted me having them there as I had to try so hard to try to stick with them, I think in the long term it's only going to make me a better rider, the ratio of females to males was 4 to 28 by the way!
     
  4. seabreeze

    seabreeze New Member

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    How are guys muscles so different from girls?
     
  5. Kylie-Anne

    Kylie-Anne New Member

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    I race in both mixed and female races. I personally prefer the mixed racing over the female racing. The lack of numbers in female racing usually turns it into a time trial, as there is only one grade for all levels of females. Whereas, racing against the guys usually gives four levels of racing to chose from.
     
  6. keydates

    keydates New Member

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    Men tend to be faster, women tend to be more flexible. Take a look at any records whether that be running, triathlon, swimming, etc., and the fastest male is usually if not always faster than the female. I suppose you knew that already...probably has to do with puberty and muscle development.
     
  7. Cryder

    Cryder New Member

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    Depends on why you race, and what each race means.

    If the race is meant as a method of training, being amongst faster peers, male or female, will either make you or brake you. Sounds like you are on your way to being made. Kudos.

    If it were an important regional or national event that you wanted to earn a high result in, you might feel you want to see how you stack up against racers of the same sex/age group as yourself.

    If the race were combined male and female, with scoring seperately between the two, I would be inclined to say that is a negative situation as a male field could unfairly wieght the result of the womens race, or vice versa. Its the same logic that says its not ok for a racer to merge with a seperate field when being overtaken by a higher level pack. Just my .02... if you race them together, score them together.

    There are some significant differences between the average level in mens race and womens race. Not bad or even lesser... Just different. The racing styles tend to be different as well.

    The question of male performance vs. female performance (seems a little off topic) is age old. These conventions are being challenged in other sports, as well as cycling. When you look at the overall progression of elite athletes in other sports, many feel that women athletes are progressing faster then men. Running is a great example of such a sport. The male athletes, while still having the fastest records, are replacing those records much more slowly then their female counterparts, who have had startling advancement over the last decade.
     
  8. EoinC

    EoinC New Member

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    That is the whole idea of having Grades. You compete within a group of a similar range of ability. If you are riding in the upper percentile of C-Grade, you move to B-Grade, regardless of gender. Having gender-seperated classes works with sports containing sufficient numbers. There are not many areas (except at the higher levels and in Track Racing) where there are large enough numbers of women competing to justify full seperation.
    As was pointed out by a previous poster, the small numbers combined with a wide range of abilities generally turn Women-only Races into time trials. That is fine if that is what you want to do, but if you want to Road Race, ride in a Grade in which you can either hold your own, or envisage being able to do so in the future. If you are riding C-Grade and are making it to the finish, then you are doing fine, more so if you enjoy it. Make yourself fit the Grade rather than making the Grade fit yourself.

    EoinC
     
  9. Ann_ge

    Ann_ge New Member

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    Mixed race gives us the possibility to check our strenght for example if he has 120km (cycling marathon).And by that"male"can see that not only they can ride so many km :)
     
  10. armywife

    armywife New Member

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    Intresting debate...but what about all of the possible female atheletes who potentially are faster, stronger etc., but never get the chance due to familial constraints, traditon, discouragment and countless other things. Fortunately I haven't had this problem. I've been riding anything with two wheels since i could, bmx...mutt, whatever. I slowly have watched all of my girlfriends who would ride with me, and lord this one girl "Ray" was tall and fast, fall by the side because " Its going to get me all sweaty". Meanwhile its cool for guys to get stronger and faster. I just don't think all of our potential female "stars" ever make it as far as they can. Who knows...mabey "Ray" could have given Lance a run for the money.
     
  11. armywife

    armywife New Member

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    please excuse the spelling....LOL
     
  12. Cryder

    Cryder New Member

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    Only results speak for themselves.
     
  13. EoinC

    EoinC New Member

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    Those kind of constraints are not restricted to females. All of us face a mountain of constraints (aside from the basic one of ability) throughout our lives which, for various reasons, tend to prevent most of us from riding at a serious full-time level. For each of us, this is purely a matter of our own priorities. It may be that we decide not to test our full potential because we prefer to go to work and put food on the table; take the kids to school; not get sweaty; roll over and go back to sleep.....
    It doesn't matter what the reasons are, they are all personal decisions and, at their base level, they are not gender-specific, they are person-specific. While your friend, Ray, may choose not to get sweaty, other women will prioritise their cycling over and above that. That doesn't mean that one is right and one is wrong. It simply means that different people have different priorities. In order for anyone, male or female, to get to the top of a sport, that sport has to be a very, very high priority in their life - higher than most of us are prepared to let it be.

    EoinC
     
  14. Dean Thomas

    Dean Thomas New Member

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    Hi Girls,
    Although im not a member of the fairer sex I thought I might tell you my experience with mixed racing.
    I am a 29 year old male, Ive come back to cycling after a long break and am now faster than I ever was. I am competitive and would like to think I am quite a strong cyclist but still have a lot of room for improovment. The cycling club which I race with is only small and we all race together. As I improved the guy's performances were too inconsistant so i set my goals off the girls, beat one then set my site's on the next. I am currently one of the stronger riders in the club, my current goal is Jemma O'brien she races in Elite U23 womens. Achieving 10th in the Australian champs at ballarat this year.
    Jemma is one tuff bird, today my finishing sprint was approx 60km/h and who do you think was 2 inches infront of me.
    So how do I feel about mixed racing, at the moment frustrated but generally I think it is great. Mixed racing allows the old dogs (men) of our sport to still have a fun competitive race, it makes the girls lift to that extra level and in my case Idon't think myself and possibly even Jemma would be at the level we are without it. Although I can't speak for Jemma.

    Dean.
     
  15. sogood

    sogood New Member

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    If the guys are running away from the gals, then surely there's a mix up in the grading. In a proper mixed grade, the sex of the rider shouldn't be the variable. AFAIK, proper grading is strictly based on one's ability.
     
  16. Eden

    Eden New Member

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    On the other side of the ocean here, we generally do not have mixed races. We do however usually have enough women to make a race, and not a TT. I think around here if we did have to race with the men from the start few women would stick with it. Most of the guys start at a level that is pretty difficult for a beginner woman to achieve...
    Certainly there are women who are strong enough to race with the men, but level to level, (say a cat 2 man compared to a cat 2 woman) the men are generally going to be stronger. This year in order to have some cat 3 only women's racing (our categories go 4-1, in general after you move up from the 4's, you end up racing with everyone else, so all women from 3's to pro's race in the same field, which is hard too!) in a selection of the races, the cat 1,2 women will be racing with the cat 3 men and they are pretty concerned about what it will mean. If just a couple of the strongest women can stick with the men, then they will have a huge advantage and win all the races.
     
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