Now I went and kicked the hornet’s nest.
It was just this morning that I was going about my daily chores (clipping my toe nails, numbering each clipping and then putting them in the jar beneath my bed) when I got an email from Brad notifying me that some of my off handed and apparently off-color comments regarding women in the bike world had been taken out of context and had actually made someone very upset.
This makes me realize that there are a few things that I have said on a regular occurrence within the confines of this website that if seen with fresh eyes and no previous knowledge of the standing joke, could be misconstrued as offensive or at the very least confusing.
Of course there was the tirade about ruining the race for everybody which has since become the battle cry for anyone who plans to make an ass out of themselves while stuffed into a skin suit.
And who could forget the declaration about Boulder taking cyclocross very seriously?
Then there is every mention I’ve ever made about Joe Parkin having nice hair, with the exception that I am completely serious about that. His hair is beautiful;
In conclusion, it all stems from this piece (written by a woman, mind you) that states what the bike world needs to get more women involved in it is attractive women who ride bikes.
I called bullshit on that saying what the bike world needed to attract women was women who rode bikes, regardless of what they looked like.
In response, and among other things, the author of the piece made the following observation;
“… to me, All Hail is why more women aren’t in cycling.”
Never giving any reason as to why she felt this way, I took that slight and I ran with it, attempting to use humor to diffuse the absurdity of the statement.
I’ve been riding, racing, wrenching and working within the realm of the bike world for twenty years. In that time I have been honored to watch Gina Hall rise from casual mountain biker to an elite level racer competing on the American team at the 2002, 2003 and 2004 Cyclocross World Championships.
I’ve worked side by side with Sky Yaeger, who by all accounts is one of the most well rounded and influential women in the bike industry. I’ve also worked intimately with Juli Furtado, who I consider a friend and an inspiration. If you don’t know who she is, then I’m pleading my case to deaf ears.
I have lined up next to Stella Cary only to have my legs torn off by her by the race’s end. Ive watched Jennifer Oberpriller effectively herd cats in the process of opening and running one of the most unique and renowned bike shops in the world.
I was the first mechanic enlisted to support the then burgeoning High School Mountain Bike League, giving support and encouragement to years of up and coming young women who were learning that they were free to ride bikes, let alone race them.
Elayna Caldwell, Suzette Ayotte, Jenn Dice, Kristin Butcher, Shawn Bernadou, Gretta Mudflap, Meredith Miller… These are names of women, all of whom I either hold in very high esteem, am friends with, or both and who over the years have made the face of the bike world a considerably better place.
Do I seem defensive about this? You’re goddamned right I am. I have done and said nothing during my entire five years at this electronic pulpit, and fifteen years in the trenches before that, that is anything but supportive and inclusive of all walks. If you choose to make such comments about an individual’s efforts, I highly recommend you do even the slightest bit of homework before you do so.
If my history and commitment to maintaining a well rounded community doesn’t speak for itself, then perhaps you should just consider going back to your Tumblr page and continue to ignorantly slander people who are very much in your corner.
*Update* A retraction and an apology has been extended, which I very much appreciate. It takes a big person to admit that they were in the wrong and I would like to say in the most respectful manner possible, that the gesture took balls.
Just after your first twit about this, I forwarded your post about helping out the high school kids to the “Bike Ladies,” and mentioned they seem to be using Michelle Bachmann’s research team to gather incorrect information. Hmmmm….they didn’t post my comment or reply….
unnnhhh… I thought maybe they were joking.
Hmmm… I would say more, but I hold my tongue lest I be thrown upon the bonfire of sexism.
This isn’t a phrase I use often, but it seems fitting for some reason.
You go girl!
Wow, that bikeladyuntie sure got it ass-backwards.
I wouldn’t expect a retraction or correction.
Well done, sir.
Wow, Joe Parkin does have fabulous hair. Stevil, don’t worry about being misunderstood. We know you support women, men, freaks, geeks and all manner of folks on bikes.
What I find interesting is that The Bike Ladies are crediting the comment by Case about ‘the bullshit art project’ to Stevil. WTF, maybe they are using Michelle Bachman’s research team.
Yeah. Context matters.
And haters WANT to hate — it provides focus — and, sometimes, they gonna do it whether it’s right or wrong. Ignorance does, however, speak volumes. Ugh.
Clearly she has not been reading your blog for very long…
Or, she is just that dumb.
Well Gawd bless ‘Mericuh,it only goes to prove you don’t hafta be a White Male to be an ignorant redneck
Damn it Stevil, now the sausage party’s over.
fuck that noise
Many people read blogs like a lawyer reading a legal document: stripped of irony, humor or subtlety. Combine that with a hair-triggered, over-developed sense of injustice and you’ve got a little powder keg of a denouncement. Boom.
In this case it was a pretty pathetic tirade. She did you a favor by including your quotes, since it’s apparent there was some irony in them. Keep up the good work, Stevil.
dear angry woman cyclist, i think you owe stevil an apology. go ahead, try it out. he’s a pretty nice dude and will probably accept it graciously. there is a lot to be pissed about out there, it’s true, but you might find that this blog isn’t one of those things. or you might not. but really, consider it.
Hey, that second quote was spoken from Case’s fingers, not Stevil’s. Perhaps if the author wants to be taken seriuosly, they should get their poop in a group. (As opposed to their knickers in a knot) Leave it to “activists” to ruin things.
Well, Stevil, I’m sorry that you were chastised while you were being really supportive of women’s events by helping to spread the word and were criticized as being unsupportive. I hope that those women see the irony in that. You’ve always been really supportive of our event and you’re one of my favorite sponsors. I wish that people like that would realize how counterproductive their unfounded witch hunts are.
Babes in Bikeland
I did post that link, my wife sent it to me with a gigantic eye roll to boot. I called Steve to express my support and we had a nice little chat. The guy’s genuine and fun, funny and can hold a conversation on a range of topics. You all know this, you all read this thing. I must say though, pulling off the offending post accompanied by the posting of a public apology was classy and we should recognize the effort. Chalk one up to reason!
you don’t make me want to ride any more or less, but are a very funny man and I like you stevil.
Is that Joe guy one of the Rapha Continental riders? He has that steely look…
His locks really are gorgeous.
As a member of the Club Des Cingles du Mont Ventoux living in San Diego, it is a beautiful sight to sit on the wheel of the plethora (yes plethora) of awesome women cyclist as they drag you up Torrey Pines with their hips and ass swaying or going North tucked in heading down to the sea. Keep your eyes focused to the task at hand as it is easy to start daydreaming!
A second “fuck that noise” who ever wrote that post should probably just stop writing.
Who can take anything written on Tumblr seriously, man?
Stevil, you are one lucky man. You worked with Juli Furtado, lucky! She’s pure inspiration! You win.
I hate whitey
Who is this “Steve” of which she speaks, anyway? She didn’t even get your name right. I’m furious. I’d better take the rest of the day off and go for a ride to recenter.
This would explain Michelle Bachman rising to her level. Why do reasearch or try to understand or at least GET the joke? I would bet this “Bike Ladies Unite” is one of those dreaded yellers and pointers and scowlers at drivers I see on my rides here in So-Ca. who give US a bad name.
All joking, and snide commentary aside, as I noted at the end of this post, she apologized. Coming down on her for misunderstanding the general state of sophomoric humor here, is no better than her making a snap judgement based on some flippant sarcastic comments I made. I’m proud of the big round table we have here, and just because I’m a hairy knuckle dragger doesn’t mean that there’s not room enough for everyone.
wasn’t it enough we designed a women’s specific saddle NOW the ladies want to be included in on the “group ride.”
Yay for happy endings!
ok. you are forgiven.