By Sarah Whitmore
When I started 20 years ago, there weren’t nearly as many women riding as there are now. All of my heroes and friends were guys and for awhile I even took my fashion cues from them, dressing in baggy shirts and shorts. But then. like most teenage girls, I started to notice boys not just as my competition. Instead of trying to fit in with all of the guys I realized it’s better to stand out, and I don’t just mean off the track. I started wearing as much pink as possible so that they knew it was a girl when I passed them.
Lately I’ve stayed away from the pink gear. I’ve noticed that after passing a guy easily, he will try twice as hard to pass me bac,k even taking me out in the process if he has to. That can get pretty old after a while! So instead I’ve stuck to being just another rider on the track and a girl off of the track.
My favorite thing has just as much to do with comfort as it does being feminine. I love to wear sundresses in the summer time. They are extremely comfy but they are also very functional. Changing into riding shorts is super easy and everything stays fully concealed when wearing a dress. Also there’s nothing worse than trying to put on jeans when you’re dripping with sweat, and a dress takes care of that! My tip of the day is when wearing a sundress to the track always make sure you pack a sports bra. Trust me, whoops are not fun if you forget.
Another thing I love about the sundress is that they are very low maintenance. As much as I love being “girlie,” I never do my hair and make up on days that I ride (so it’s hardly ever). It just seems like a waste to get all dressed up for my helmet. But a dress helps me still feel girlie, no matter what my hair looks like.
I asked a couple of our Blustarr girls what they do on race weekends to keep their femininity in a “guy’s world.” Lecksi Winger says “I just like to make sure you can see my hair hanging out of my helmet, that way you know I am a girl!” Very similar to how I liked to wear pink all the time.
Lindsey Palmer, on the other hand, says “Like any good woman I cook. I like to grill chicken and burgers for all my friends and I bring my blender for fruit smoothies during race day. I have my first aid kit that also comes in handy so I can play the motherly roll as well, offering aspirin, a band-aid, or superglue to a cut when anybody has a good spill. Always gotta keep a ice pack ready.”
Even though I’m the “elder stateswoman” of the team I will be glad to have Mama Lindsey on the team to look after me. To me there’s nothing better than having a group of girls around who can talk about ruts and manicures all in the same conversation. Here’s hoping you have a group of friends you can be girlie and tomboys with all at the same time. Just remember just because we do a man’s sport doesn’t mean we have to be like them too!