Female cyclers want a spot at the hub of competition

first_imgIn recent years, women have become the fastest-growing consumer base for cycling, accounting for 45 percent of all bike purchases in the nation. But most large-scale cycling events – including the eight-day, 700-mile Tour of California due to hit Santa Clarita on Feb. 24 – exclude women from participating in competition. In more than a dozen years of pro-cycling, Sandra Kolb has experienced plenty of snubbing firsthand. Kolb said most female races get less media coverage, and prizes tend to be smaller. “We want to make the public aware that women are racing domestically just as much as men, and we hope to get one day of the California tour before its run is over,” Kolb said. John Fries, co-owner of Bicycle John’s – with locations in Northridge, Burbank and Acton – has watched his female clientele steadily increase in the last few years. “With the gym and working out becoming more popular with women in the last couple of decades, and spinning workouts taking off in the last few years, cycling has been the next level for many active women,” Fries said. And Fries has taken women’s cycling on as a personal mission. He invests about $40,000 annually in women’s cycling and has committed to sponsoring a race for the ladies next year if they are not included in the California tour by then. “Sponsors need to recognize women; it’s about equality,” he said. Despite obstacles that women’s cycling continues to face, Johnson is excited to have an event celebrating female riders on a day when all eyes will be on bikes. There will be two races the morning of Feb. 24. At 9:30 a.m., women’s category three and four will compete, and at 10:30 a.m., women’s category one and two (or pro racers) will compete. The pro-race has already attracted riders from as far east as Georgia. Prizes will include cash for the top 20 in the pro-race, a Cannondale bike frame and wheels from Shimano. “We are just trying to have some fun,” Johnson said. For Johnson – who discovered a passion for cycling after knee surgery meant she could no longer do high-impact workouts – having the spotlight on women’s cycling is about getting more women to enjoy a sport that has given her so much. “Cycling gives you such freedom. You get to hop on your bike and go to places you might not otherwise go,” she said. Johnson remembers how she used to bike all the way from Van Nuys to Redondo Beach, stop for some breakfast, and turn around and ride back home. Cycling is such a part of Johnson’s lifestyle that even her family’s move to Santa Clarita was no coincidence. “We moved here because we knew about all the bike paths and the wide streets with less traffic,” Johnson said. She hopes the race this month will attract enough attention to get women included in the Tour of California next year, or at least encourage more women to get on their bikes and ride. But she doesn’t want to discourage anyone from also watching the men in the bigger race. “We will be done with plenty of time for people to watch the men finish. We are encouraging people to do both, not one or the other.” For more information visit www.santaclaritagrandprix.com or call (661) 309-3135. Smaller prizes Long rides [email protected] (661) 257-5254160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! Girls can ride, too. That’s the message Irene Johnson and her band of lady cyclists are trying to get out. Later this month, the Amgen Tour of California is coming to Santa Clarita – a major event in the sport of cycling – but this group of ladies argues that their all-women’s pro-cycling race could be the real event to watch. “Women’s cycling has really taken off in the last couple of years,” Johnson said. “We ride just as fast and put in just as much work as the men.” last_img read more

Sen Beyak broke Senates code of conduct by posting racist letters

first_imgOTTAWA — The Senate’s ethics officer says Sen. Lynn Beyak violated the upper chamber’s conflict-of-interest code by posting racist letters about Indigenous people on her website.Pierre Legault says Beyak’s conduct did not uphold the highest standards of dignity required of a senator.Nor did she perform her duties with dignity, honour and integrity or refrain from acting in a way that could reflect negatively on the Senate, as stipulated in the code.Legault says he proposed that Beyak delete the racist letters from her website, post a formal apology and complete a cultural-sensitivity course with an emphasis on Indigenous issues, but she hasn’t done any of those things.Beyak posted the letters to show that she had support for a speech she gave in the Senate in January 2018, in which she argued that Indian residential schools did a lot of good for Indigenous children, although many suffered physical and sexual abuse and thousands died from disease and malnutrition.In a report released Tuesday, Legault concludes that five of the letters contained racist content, suggesting that Indigenous people are lazy, chronic whiners who are milking the residential-school issue to get government handouts.Beyak was appointed to the Senate in 2013 by former Conservative prime minister Stephen Harper. She was kicked out of the Conservative caucus last year after refusing to remove the letters from her website.The Canadian Presslast_img read more