Last year I asked the GB performance analyst to change all of the data feedback sheets from reading ‘man one’, when describing a rider’s position in the team pursuit line, to ‘rider one’. I didn’t ask my team-mates, or take a vote, or canvass opinion in any way.
I just decided it was annoying, and no one would notice either way, so what’s the harm in having it this way? It was the endurance analyst that I spoke to (Robi De, who has since moved on to work at the BBC) and so it’s likely the sprint team still have ‘man one’, ‘man two’, etc on their graphs and other training feedback.
I know the endurance men don’t. It was grammatically accurate for their squad, true, but life is easier if we use the same language.
>>> Cycling Weekly is available on your Smart phone, tablet and desktop
That easiness is why ‘man one’ has stuck around for so long. Everyone knows that ‘man three’ in a women’s pursuit team isn’t a man, she’s in the third position of the starting line-up. But the reason you’re saying ‘man three’ is the vernacular was born when team pursuit was a man’s game. The event debuted at the Olympics, for men, in 1908. It turned up for women more than 100 years later, in 2012 as a shortened three-rider three-kilometre version. Finally in 2016, 108 years after the men, women were racing a four-rider four-kilometre team pursuit.
So we changed the graphs to read ‘rider one’ and, as expected, no one noticed. Ultimately, you can pretend that ‘salesman’, ‘chairman’ and ‘businessman’ have become gender neutral through common use, but they reflect a world that hasn’t included 50 per cent of the population, a world that’s treated women as less-than, for millennia. That world is changing, and the very smallest gesture you can make to help it continue to change, is stop calling me ‘man one’.
I tell you all this now because I just read a message in my family group chat about a time trial both my parents are riding at the weekend. It says my mum is my dad’s ‘minute man’. Bah. Here we go again.
How to watch the Giro d’Italia 2021: Live stream the first Grand Tour of the season
The Giro d’Italia 2021 is in full swing and we’re set for an exciting Grand Tour - here’s how you can watch all the racing from where you are
By Alex Ballinger •
Specialized Jett: adjustable kids’ bike uses Retül data to fit ‘better for longer’
Extra adjustability and kid-sized components aimed at 30 months' perfect fit
By Simon Smythe •
Is pedalling really the next big wellspring of untapped watts?
Eager to substantiate his souplesse, Simon Smythe gets his pedal stroke analysed by an expert
By Simon Smythe •
Pedalling squares: Inside the world of tile-bagging
Set a cyclist a bizarre and near-impossible challenge and they’ll go to any lengths to achieve it. So it is with the intrepid band of tile-baggers seeking to cover the globe in tyre tracks one mile square tile at a time, writes James Shrubsall
By James Shrubsall •
Is there a best time to train? A sports scientist investigates
Most of us ride our bikes whenever we get chance, but is there a best time of day when you’ll unlock the most potential and make maximum gains? Sports scientist Dr Mark Homer investigates
By Cycling Weekly •
Should you ditch long, slow winter miles? Reverse periodisation says yes
Conventional wisdom has it that winter is the time for long, slow miles — but more and more riders are doing precisely the opposite. Simon Smythe investigates reverse periodisation
By Simon Smythe •
Sweet success: How I won Red Bull Timelaps as a diabetic rider
Type-1 diabetic George Kirkpatrick is on a mission to prove that compromised blood sugar control is no barrier to success — however long the race
By David Bradford •
'I was going hard while Geraint was sitting up chatting': Five types of riders to help you succeed
There’s no mightier influence on your fitness than fellow cyclists — friends and foes. Sports psychologist Dr Josephine Perry identifies five archetypal riders who could prove pivotal to your progress
By Josephine Perry •
Is this Britain's smoothest road?
A new high-tech road surface in Oxfordshire could herald a cycling revolution, we rode it to find out more
By Vern Pitt •
'If you’re good enough, you’re old enough': Cycling's golden generation are turning perceived wisdom on its head
How cycling's golden generation are ripping up the rule book
By Peter Cossins •