Round 2, Fresh Start

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#1
Here's what Stefy Bau had to say about the women not racing the whole track:

"it was really hot at Hangtown. The track was OK. They still consider the women class as kind of amatour so we not ride the whole track. It's a shame but I don't know what to say. I hope that in the future things will change. The pro girl nowdays can do any jumps the PRO guys do....."

So its not really the girls, just the promoters. Here are a few other comments she has made:

"well, I love race with the guys because today the PRO guys are considered the TOP class. Unfortunately the PRO girls class is not. Race with the guys I hope can put undestand the people that the womens (the top ones as me and Jessica etc.) deserve to be considered at the same level as the PRO guys.
Today there is not so much competition on the women PRO besides ma and Jessica but I would like to be an example so more other girls can try to do this sport professionally."

"You are right though, that women ride different than men, maybe in may case it doesn't look like it but belive me that I use different muscle than the guys."

These quotes come from the top #2 or #3 women rider in the world, some one who grew up taking numerous titles in mens divisions in her country, Italy. You can find all of these quotes in theStefy Bau Forums .
I hope Stefy's words help clarify, shed some light on or support some issues brought up in the first post of Round 2 since I would consider her words a valid source of information.



Anyway , lets talk about the weather. I admire anyone who can race in 100+ degree weather! I would die out there!
 
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#2
Sarah,

I'm glad you posted that. It's nice to read what she had to say. I think it does shed some light to the previous topic.

Thanks! :)
 

bbbom

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#3
Yes, thank you for posting the quotes Sarah.

Originally posted by SL99
They still consider the women class as kind of amatour so we not ride the whole track. It's a shame but I don't know what to say. I hope that in the future things will change. The pro girl nowdays can do any jumps the PRO guys do....."

"well, I love race with the guys because today the PRO guys are considered the TOP class. Unfortunately the PRO girls class is not. Race with the guys I hope can put undestand the people that the womens (the top ones as me and Jessica etc.) deserve to be considered at the same level as the PRO guys.
Looks like Stefy doesn't appreciate the concessions either. From my experience, the special considerations make it much more difficult to gain respect in just about any field. The problem is, they are necessary early on as a type of launching pad. The separate clasification helps to attract more women to the sport and that is how we begin to make our influence known and find those that can excel.

In order for women to be accepted as serious competitors though, we need to be able to run with the boys. It's a lot like all the old fallacies of girl's can't do math, girls shouldn't lift weights, girls shouldn't race.........we have to disprove them or live with them. We need more women out there mixing it up with the boys and kicking their butts. It can be done and there are women that are working towards just that. Wish I was able to even consider it but I'm just too darn old and have way too many responsibilities. Hopefully, my daughter (and son) will have the opportunity to race against the boys if she (he) chooses to do so in the future.
 

firecracker22

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#4
There are quite a few really talented women over here in western Washington. There are several whose names even the men utter with awe. One gal has been to the ISDE in Spain a year or two ago. More than one compete in the men's classes. One gal has a hook for a hand! Our very own helmetcam is pretty darn fast herself. I have met a few of them and noticed that I am taller than most of them! So I have no excuse for my lack of skill.

But when I lived in eastern WA, I don't remember seeing many at all. If any. Especially not at MX races. There were a couple gals in the 80 class, but no teens or adults. And bbbom, myself, dirtygirly and Becky (for those who met her in Reno) were the only regulars at the hare scrambles.
 
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#5
We have a few fast women who race MX. One (Ashley Boham) just moved up to the women's pro class. She races against the 125B boys at our local races and finishes in the top 10. There is another girl who is an amateur who raced Hangtown (Kelly Longwell-finished 4th overall). These girls are really fast, definitely an inspiration for me!
 
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#6
Asking because I really don't know

Why can't the women enter multiple classes and race with the boys too? At most any track I've been to many of the guys may ride the 125, 250, over 25, over 30, open and so on.... Are women like Stefy prohibited from entering an open class with the men or is an open class only open to men / boys? If that's the case the rules need to be changed! I have never noticed a big race where women have competed in any races with the men but then again I may have just not noticed.

I met Stefy at a MX class my daughter & I went to and she is fast, she can out run most of the guys I've ever seen on the track.
 

bbbom

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#7
Jeff, they can enter all the classes as far as I know. The problem is (stemming from a previously deleted thread) how to gain respect for Women in racing.

The Women's Class helps to get them out there but they are treated as an exhibition from what was reported on Hangtown. That's where the discussion of the WML (or a separate Women's Class) came from, is it helping or hindering women trying to be taken serious in the sport? It is a very difficult call.

Someone mentioned in the "dead thread" that the really good women riders race in the mens classes. I don't know if they race in both but it would help to bring up the level of competition in the Women's Class AND with that, the respectability of a Women's Class if they did race in both. What I mean is the Women's Class can help attract more women, if more women come to the sport to compete the level of skill will increase but, if the really good women riders compete only in the men's classes then the Women's Class will have a really tough time being anything but a stepping stone.

It's really very similar to the dilemma of women trying to make it in any male dominated arena. You have to start somewhere (Women's Class) but if you don't get past the starting point (to the Pro Class) you are never really accepted as a serious competitor or contributor.

I feel that there should be just as much respect for the Pro Women's Class as there is for the Pro Men's Class but there isn't. At the same time, I don't really see any need for a separate class other than to help get more women into the sport.
 

firecracker22

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#8
I know a lot of gals who run both the women's and the 125 beginner (since most are on 125s or 250Fs) classes. I suppose that depends on how much you want to spend on entry fees!

I personally plan to race the women's class only until I feel I am placing consistently in the middle to the front of the pack; maybe 2 seasons. Then I'm going to go out and let the boys run over me instead of the gals.
 
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#9
I guess it's kind of a double edge sword.

Last year, after spending an entire Monday at Village Creek being circled by Kristi Shealy, I just didn't understand how a person so fast with every sponsor that she had, could not make a living riding at the level she was at.
(I'm not even close to sure if I put the comma's in the right place on that one:eek: )

If you're fast and good, you should be recognized and compensated regardless of gender. I'm going to be thinking out loud here for a minute so hang with me.

Perhaps a golden opportunity for a new national organization or coalition for the support and advancement women in competitive sports blah blah so on..(SAWCS) that can financially assist women with gate fees that ride up to the pro level. Need to have a national female spokeswoman, preferable a celebrity, that can reach tons of people for support. They will donate monies for assistance to those who can't afford all the fees which prevent women from participating in male dominated sports. ASupport Group if you will.

It would be a ton of work and would have to start somewhere but it seems to me a helluva lot better than some of the fund raisers the celebs are into already.

Just a thought! It would be :cool: to pick up a paper and flip on the TV and hear someone talking about SAWCS pronounced socks.
 

firecracker22

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#10
Originally posted by Jeff Gilbert
If you're fast and good, you should be recognized and compensated regardless of gender.
I'm sure that's how we all feel--there are just different ways of earning that recognition. In some ways it's easier for women to pick up small local sponsors, according to gals I have spoken with, but harder to be taken seriously; a lot of companies will sponsor women for the same reason they do kids: publicity. It's novel.

That is changing more and more as women everywhere are stepping up the pace and being taken more seriously. But until we have a gal who can leave RC or Jeremy behind, it'll be tough. There isn't as large a pool of talent from which a female supercross star can arise and many women do have some physical obstacles facing them men don't--but our day will come.
 

oldguy

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#11
Girls Race the boys

Around here there are alot of women entered in the womens class but out of 25 starters- 5 are fast, 10 are pretty good (all better than me) and the rest are learning or just there for fun. The really fast girls alll enter the guys classes-Usually 125 B or C and regularily finish high.
A prime example is one of our club members Kirstren Raemish (she won the womens amatuer at GlenHelen) but also getting there quickly is Tracy known around DRN as' fast chick racing'. It is great seeeing these girls mixing it up with the guys and the majority of the guys that they beat take it as a message to get better or continue eating their dust. I haven't noticed any true animosity over them racing the guys.
BTW if you notice there is no gender designation with the 125 or 250 classes making them 'guys' classes
 

Michelle

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#12
This is sheer speculation on my part. I'm wondering if maybe they don't want to do too many races in one day? Or maybe the classes they could compete in run one after the other, in which a 40 min moto would end up being 80 mins. (no idea on timetables, hmm, reminds me, I suck at maths).

Seriously, anyone going to the next round? Maybe ask some of the top girls there to find out why. (Tracy, Helmetcam, you two got any ideas?)
Michelle
 

bbbom

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#13
Originally posted by firecracker22

That is changing more and more as women everywhere are stepping up the pace and being taken more seriously. But until we have a gal who can leave RC or Jeremy behind, it'll be tough. There isn't as large a pool of talent from which a female supercross star can arise and many women do have some physical obstacles facing them men don't--but our day will come.
THAT is my point exactly (except the physical aspect - I don't accept that excuse for this sport). Men outnumber women by a huge factor in this sport. If you look at how many men are competing and how many of them are superior to the rest of the racers it's a pretty small fraction. Now apply that to the small number of women that race - BINGO!! Take a look at that percentage based upon the total number of men or women just riding.

As far as compensation for being fast and good, great idea but there are many many riders out there both male and female that are fast and good and still get very little help if any. My cousin won three AMA #1 plates in flattrack last year but that was not his first year out there and he didn't get much help in the previous years. That seems to come AFTER you prove yourself (or if you happen to attract the right attention). SO, I don't think a SAWCS is the answer. The support idea is great and I think that is what this forum is all about!

I think that getting more roll models for women out there and more exposure is the answer. Having them skip parts of the course or not race competitively will keep us in the exhibition stage. If some of the sections are too difficult for some of the participants then maybe the participants should reconsider entering the race. I know, I have pulled my kids out of a race because the track conditions were ridiculously bad and no you don’t get your entry fee or pit fee back.

Michelle, you have a very good point there. As demanding as this sport is it would be tough to race both the women's class and whatever other class or classes they were entered in (and expensive). Myself, if I were to race, I would not feel that I had truly made it to full blown competition until I could hold my own on the track with the boys. So the decision would be, am I good enough to enter the boys class or should I get more time on the track in the women’s class first. But then I don't have to worry about that. Maybe that is the roll the women's class should play, training ground for women to get their feet wet and move on up. I know I wouldn't want to start out trying to compete with the boys in the Open Class or anything over the Beginner 50 class for that matter.

Oldguy, you describe many women's class races to a tee. But, I think that also describes any amateur division. You have the fast guys, the med guys and the guys that are just there to say they gave it a try. Nothing wrong with it but it will just mean that the women's class stays as an amateur status. Maybe they could (if we get enough women out there) start dividing the women's classes up - beginner, intermediate, pro? Maybe they do?
 

firecracker22

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#14
Originally posted by bbbom

Maybe that is the role the women's class should play, training ground for women to get their feet wet and move on up. I know I wouldn't want to start out trying to compete with the boys in the Open Class or anything over the Beginner 50 class for that matter.
Exactly. That's why I am racing women's for now--the beginner classes frighten me! They are more prone to a.) take each other out and b.) are less likely to want to be passed by a woman and MORE likely to make a target of her because she is a woman! I’ve heard of guys trying to take out gals in PRACTICE just because they didn’t want to get passed. Now it’s true, they do this to each other too, but a ponytail sticking out from under a helmet is like waving a red flag in front of a bull for some guys.

Plus, since my bike is a 200, that limits me to Open Beginner (full of squids on roach bikes), Up the Hill (full of hotshots on fast bikes) or 250 Beginner (squids on bigger bikes than mine). I’d get used for a berm in any of these classes! So my career plan right now is: ride women’s this year and maybe next. I don’t know how much competing I will be able to do since between covering events for my job and pitting for Steve my weekends are pretty full all year. But as soon as I’m more comfortable, next year or the year after, I’ll go buy a 125 and start in the 125 class.

I’ve been to some races where they had a women’s beginner and a women’s sportsman class. Not a whole lot do though and it wasn’t an AMA or CMC event.
 

sgr

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#15
Here is a site I just came across with some great pictures of the womens race and the track at Hangtown.

Motodemons


And this site has a great bio on Steffie Laire the teen German girl who showed everyone what FAST looks like for women. For those of you who don't know, Steffy Bau is the one who let the WML know about Laire.
Then, I believe, Miki Heller WML president and Tami Hasse WML International Rider Liaison, worked like crazy people to get her here and get her a bike.

Tami, in fact, opened her house to the international riders and their families, hosting 14 people, getting them to and from the track, arranging for bikes, rides to and from airports, tracks and all the other details. It is my sincere belief that if it weren't for the WML and their awesome volunteers these riders would never see U.S. soil.

Steffie Laire has set a new standard of fast for women riders the way Dee Woods and others did in the early '90s and we can thank the WML for that.:)

Womens MX History.com
 
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