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Why is it harder to sell woman's cycling

(26 posts)
  • Started 3 years ago by Kim
  • Latest reply from paddyirish
  • This topic is not resolved

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  1. Kim
    Member

    I is very noticeable there is much more interest in Mark Beaumont's talk than Juliana Buhring, both are round the world cyclists and Juliana was faster than Mark!

    OK so Mark is a local hero, but even so that shouldn't be a reason why there so little interest in Juliana.

    Posted 3 years ago #
  2. amir
    Member

    TBH I'd prefer to go to Juliana's talk as I know less of her escapades.

    Posted 3 years ago #
  3. Min
    Member

    She seems to have answered this herself in her blog.

    http://julianabuhring.com/a/what-women-want#comment-1801

    Posted 3 years ago #
  4. fimm
    Member

    People have heard of Mark but not Juliana?

    (Though why that should be is another layer of questions!)

    Posted 3 years ago #
  5. Kim
    Member

    @fimm that is a fair point, I have been trying hard to get journalists to do an interview with Juliana (a lot of them female), but no interest. I wouldn't have that problem with Mark, or for that matter with MCA (it was more a problem that they couldn't get a hold of him in Vienna).

    It is a real struggle to get press interest in female cycling.

    Posted 3 years ago #
  6. SRD
    Member

    As far as I can tell, like many other 'adventurers' Mark Beaumont is into selling Mark Beaumont.

    He's done a good job of it, and that tends to be something men do well.

    Posted 3 years ago #
  7. Kim
    Member

    @SRD so are you suggesting that Juliana is less of a self publicist than Mark? Have you read her blog and her first book (written before she rode around the world)? She is not exactly a shrinking violet.

    Having met Mark Beaumont he is a genuinely nice guy and not at all the boasting arrogant type. Although I have yet to meet Juliana, the contact I have had with her suggest that she is also genuinely nice person.

    Posted 3 years ago #
  8. SRD
    Member

    Then why has Mark Beaumont had tv programmes etc made about him and she hasn't?

    Not my area, so I risk descending into amateurish analysis, but western gendered modes of talking, presenting, even just body language do shape how women present themselves and how they are perceived by audiences.

    My comment did suggest it was about personalities, which was not at all what I meant to suggest.

    Posted 3 years ago #
  9. Arellcat
    Member

    This is where we need Jacquie Phelan to chime in. She was writing in the mid-90s about the disparity in the prizes for men's and women's mountain biking.

    "Me big man! Me cycle round world! Me big hero!"
    "Here, write a book about it and we'll pay you lots of money. Here, come on this talk show. Here, we want you to do it again, on ice!"

    "I'm a tough woman, and I've cycled around the world too. I'm a heroine in the eyes of my children and in the eyes of female cyclists everywhere."
    "Sorry, pet, that big guy already did it."

    Posted 3 years ago #
  10. chdot
    Admin

    "This is where we need Jacquie Phelan to chime in."

    http://jacquiephelan.org/2013/06/17/prize-prejudice

    Posted 3 years ago #
  11. Instography
    Member

    Didn't Mark Beaumont make a TV series about his cycling around the world while he was cycling around the world? That suggests that a lot of the groundwork of his subsequent fame was done before a pedal was turned. Somehow, he had pitched the idea, got the support and the commitment of other people to make a TV show, write a book, do lecturers etc and then all those people, having invested in the idea (and in Mark Beaumont) then had an interest in making Mark Beaumont pay off. They only cash in if he's famous so they all started working to make him famous. You make someone famous by making their achievements spectacular, dramatic etc By getting them booked on talk shows. So, although I suspect Arellcat is joking with the Neanderthal "Me big hero" thing, actually it's a clever strategy. You don't expend all the effort without there being lots of people committed to making it financially worthwhile.

    I'm afraid I've never heard of Juliana. Has she made a TV show? Maybe it's not that she's less of a self-publicist but a less successful self-publicist. Maybe she felt it was more important to go quickly and get the Guinness record instead of doing something that was good to watch on TV or made a good book. It says on her website that "[t]he majority of her journey was unsupported. Without sponsorship or financial backing of any kind, she completed her attempt with the online donations of over 100 individual friends and supporters."

    That makes her achievement heroic but it also means that when she's finished there's no product - nothing to sell and no group of people with a personal and financial interest in making her famous.

    Posted 3 years ago #
  12. I think Insto is onto something there. Beaumont had support from bike and parts manufacturers who had an interest in helping plug his achievement because it made their bits and pieces look good (he was apparently supposed to do the ride on a Manta saddle, which he really liked, then Specialized (I think) offered him a load of support if he used one of their saddles).

    There are quite a lot of people have gone a LOT faster than Beaumont since his record - I'd actually say that his working of the publicity lead to a lot of that as it brought the attempt to the eyes of the public, but at the same time there's definitely an aspect of 'it's been done before' for anyone then following (whether they are male or female - I don't actually think there's a disparity here based on gender, there have been a number of blokes who have gone round the world faster then Beaumont, and I'd challenge anyone to name any of them as well).

    Posted 3 years ago #
  13. SRD
    Member

    Yes, agree with all that, except that then we need to ask if the sponsors etc would have been as enthusiastic to support a woman doing that?

    Personally, I just don't really get the point to going around the world fast. If you're going to go around the world, don't you want to enjoy it? and actually see as much of it as you can?

    Posted 3 years ago #
  14. Instography
    Member

    Ellen MacArthur?

    Posted 3 years ago #
  15. Kim
    Member

    The irony is that I couldn't get even Women's Hour to show an interest in talking to Juliana Buhring, Emily Chapple, or Shanon Galpin last year when they came to the Edinburgh Festival of Cycling. But this year when they are all else where, Women's Hour has interviews with both Juliana and Emily. They haven't changed since last year, they were just as "inspiring" (Juliana hates being called that) three years ago.

    Posted 1 month ago #
  16. Not really that ironic. The profile of cycling has continued to grow year on year, and it's probably just a producer now declaring that it would be good to do some stuff on cycling.

    Posted 1 month ago #
  17. Morningsider
    Member

    WC - possibly even simpler than that. Sexism and women's role in sport cycling has been a big story in the last few weeks. Possibly just a reflection on what is hot at the moment.

    Posted 1 month ago #
  18. daisydaisy
    Member

    Got my Cycling UK magazine today, and they're kind of trying. They have a Woman cycling in everyday clothes on the cover and an article on women's saddle comfort inside. Written by a man, explaining to men why this is something they should care about. Which made me notice that none of the articles are written by women. Feels a bit like an article in Cosmopolitan on the difference between boxers and briefs, written about the other gender. I feel far from the default person this magazine's aimed at.

    Posted 1 month ago #
  19. daisydaisy
    Member

    Maybe it's petty of me, but the comfort of one's testicals is taken as a benchmark.

    Posted 1 month ago #
  20. daisydaisy
    Member

    Ok, that's unfair, it was an aside to male readers. Still. Get some women writing.

    Posted 1 month ago #
  21. Kim
    Member

    Well is anyone is interested in hearing women talking about cycling, this year's Edinburgh Festival of Cycling features:

    Plus a number of other female lead events, see calendar for details ;-)

    Posted 1 month ago #
  22. LaidBack
    Member

    Daisy Daisy... yes... also got the CTC magazine and female comfort article made me look and check to see who the expert was.
    Made me wonder why I don't sell more recumbents to women. CTC did ask me to take another ad in this issue but reckon telling people that recumbents are comfortable isn't for everyone. Selling speed is number one maybe but even then the 'appeal' of not conforming is limited! I note they did slip in a dated picture of an obsolete model - obviously they didn't read my last ad in Cycle!
    They even put caption on saying recumbents are expensive.

    Anyway... cycling is wedded to fashion and is predictable with its forecast offerings. It is often not about fitting people to bikes but budgets. Like badly fitting footwear...

    Fact is that many events are sold as a suffer-fest so people 'enjoy' enduring the wear and tear associated with cycling. I do sell a few trikes to females but way below 50%.

    Posted 1 month ago #
  23. sallyhinch
    Member

    That is hilarious Daisy - almost beyond parody. Hannah Dobson wrote a hilarious review of a saddle for one of the mountain bike magazines that explained exactly what the issues were in words that would probably be banned from this forum (albeit anatomical, not crude, so I guess no worse than testicle). That might actually have been what frightened them off asking a woman to write it.

    Posted 1 month ago #
  24. wee folding bike
    Member

    The Gruniard didn't seem to shy away from the rude bits in this piece.

    http://www.theguardian.com/environment/bike-blog/2014/aug/14/how-female-cyclists-can-combat-saddle-soreness

    Posted 1 month ago #
  25. sallyhinch
    Member

    I don't have the issue in question because my membership has lapsed (no big ideological reason, just disorganisation really), but I did go back and look at an older issue out of curiosity. To be fair, the one I looked (August/September 2015) at was pretty balanced - of the four main features, two are written by women (Josie Dew on family touring in northern Europe and a piece by Rachel Aldred on barriers to cycling), and the shorter pieces include looking at a touring bike for a teenage girl and a shorts review with both men and women's shorts given equal consideration. Don't know which is more typical of the magazine overall.

    Posted 1 month ago #
  26. dougal
    Member

    I read the CTC article last night. The "your women are not just whinging" send-off was pretty out of place I thought.

    Posted 1 month ago #
  27. paddyirish
    Member

    If Ashleigh Moolman-Pasio speaksas well as she writes, she would be worth listening to - if EdFOC 2017 and Women's ToB coincide next year.

    Cyclingnews seem to be making a big effort to promote Women's Pro cycling this week.

    Will be interesting to see if it is a one-off or hopefully the start of something more long-term.

    Posted 1 month ago #

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