Bike racing is cool, but I like beating boys on my bike.
I like hearing them come up behind me at the base of a climb, for example, talking all manly-like, and then I like to continue at my happy little pace and notice that they stop talking and then I don’t see them again, ’til the next rest stop.
I like giving them a head start on the descents, and then catching up to them.
This is enjoyable for me. It’s more satisfying often times than any road race.
This all started in my childhood. When we raced Green Machines on my street in Pleasanton, I was faster than all the boys in our Virgin Islands Court Race Series, sponsored by Kool Aid. They wouldn’t ride with me. I’d get to the front and start pedaling, and as soon as I’d pull away, they’d stop.
My mom said it was because they didn’t like being beaten by a girl, and so I should let them go first, she said, so they could think that they were faster.
So I let them go first, and then they would ride with me, but it was not satisfying at all.
That’s when it all started. Then, growing up in autocross, which isn’t even a physical sport — that much — I got more of the same message, and that message was that men don’t like losing to women, so women can autocross in the Ladies class, separate from the men, and everyone will be happy.
So I just had this rammed down my throat, from a very early age, and I always resisted it because I thought it was so stupid. Yes, I was allowed to be this racecar driver, but I had to do it with manners. I was supposed to stay in my place.
I didn’t like that very much, and eventually raced — and beat — the boys. I finally accepted that when you grow up, you get to be the kid you always wanted to be. And when you’re a kid, you get to be a super hero.
I always wanted to be Super Man with a pony tail.