#Pedal4Parity or Why K'UL supports Women's Cycling
April 6 Dark Chocolate, Enduranc, Energy, Equality, Pedal4Parity, Racing Fuel, Tour de France, Women Cycling Comment
We at K'UL love cycling for many reasons. First, you can start to ride a bike at any age. Second, it is less impact-heavy than running, making it kinder on the joints. Lastly, whether you are a pro athlete, amateur bike enthusiast, or just doing an occasional spin class, cycling is a great way to stay in shape.
Dark chocolate and cycling are intertwined: daily consumption makes you a better cyclist by fueling your workouts, races, and recovery days. Yes, it's true! Just ask Koochella, Orion Racing and Jet Cycling - the three amazing women's cycling teams we sponsor. "Cycling is a sport that challenges you in every way - mentally, physically, emotionally" - Diedre Ribbens, cyclist, Orion Racing.
We couldn't agree more; those women are machines. Strong, fast, and fierce. We at K'UL believe in women's cycling. We love seeing their passion and drive, and we wholeheartedly believe that professional women cyclists should be able to race the Tour de France. We're suiting up to join the fight alongside the rest of the women's cycling community and to help make some changes that are central to achieving parity between men's and women's racing. Those changes are a necessity for the development of cycling as a sport, and we believe that women cyclists deserve equal opportunities and representation.
One step we’re taking, in addition to sponsoring three women’s cycling teams, is hosting a screening of "Half the Road," a documentary about the gender disparities in professional cycling. Cycling is a male-dominated sport. Unfortunately, in our century of equality, progression, and fighting for social justice, women are not receiving half the road at the professional or amateur level of bike racing.
"In the local amateur circuit, it’s common practice for race promoters to have 3-5 men’s fields in a single race day, and one lone women’s field where category 1/2/3 (experienced) women and category 4 (beginner) women race side by side. Another common practice is for promoters to combine beginner women and juniors. Both of these examples are frustrating for experienced, junior, and novice racers alike, who pay the same entry fee as men, to ride in a race environment that is not reflective of their skill level," explains Renee Hoppe of Koochella. "While I definitely see a shift in how promoters see and value beginner women's racing here in Minnesota, there is still a long ways to go locally and on a national level."
Diedre agrees and adds that, "Women who want to try and race competitively on the national elite circuit are often faced with the dilemma of racing in the local women's field, where they can help support the growth of the sport for their gender, or racing with one of the men's fields, where they experience a more competitive race environment, but are often unwelcome. It's a difficult decision that could be eliminated by growing the sport of women's cycling to the point where there is healthy competition at all levels, a mission to which Orion Racing and our sponsors are deeply committed"
Lao Tzu once said, "The journey of a thousand miles begins from with a single step." Kathryn Bertine, pro cyclist and women's cycling advocate has bravely taken this first step by highlighting the challenges facing women's cycling in her documentary, "Half the Road." We are inviting everyone to join this journey towards equality, and to take action! As more and more of us join the conversation and take individual, small actions, those small actions will add up to a huge result.
That is why K'UL supports women’s cycling, and that is why we’re hosting our #Pedal4Parity Party.