The Soapbox: Sex Sells, But MTB Should Be Better Than That

Words by Anon | Images by Flowtographer

Welcome to the Soapbox – a place where we invite you to express your opinion, no matter how well or ill-informed. A chance to vent your spleen, sing your praise, or chuck a tantie.

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We want more women on bikes, yes? We all agree?

Good. Then let’s all put away the awkward semi-erections that we’re hiding under the keyboard and act like men (and I say men, because I’m overwhelmingly directing this at blokes).

Last week the mountain bike internet world went crazy for a very stupid video. I’m not going to go into too much detail – if you must see it, it’s not hard to track down on Pinkbike or VitalMTB – but essentially it was a video of boobs. Incidentally, they happened to be attached to a woman riding a downhill bike (and riding bloody well too) but let’s not kid ourselves for a second that the riding had anything to do with it.

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I don’t even know what this video was meant to promote and I really don’t care. Suffice to say that I, and probably plenty of other men, would really prefer it if mountain biking didn’t go down this path.

Come on, dudes, seriously. If you want to look at boobs that’s fine – I like boobs too, a lot – but let’s keep the ogling out of the sport. Simply, if we want more women in mountain biking, then this kind of objectification is not the way to go.

What adds to the frustration is that the woman in this video can really ride. This video could’ve been about her skills or building her profile so she can get some sponsors, but instead the camera spends 80% of the time looking down her cleavage.

And it’s not just this video either. I don’t know often I’ve seen some stupid comment in a forum like ‘I’d give her six-inches of travel , LOL’ whenever there happens to be a photo or video of any woman who just happens to ride a bike.

In my mind, mountain biking can and should be a bit better than this. We’re not some hick sport. I really want more women to get into mountain biking but with hundreds of thousands of slavering mountain bikers spewing this kind of crap across the net, we’ve got a long way to go.

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