We had a couple of similar anonymous letters this week regarding behaviour on rides and so we sought out the best qualified ambassador of etiquette to provide the definitive answer. You may recognise the person by his tweed suit and wicked mustache, but we shall simply refer to him as The Gentleman Cyclist.
I am a lady rider, and I can hold my own on most rides. Last week, however, I decided to participate in the 6am Saturday Rats to Longhouse ride which I had always believed was a gentle warm up for what is to follow. I was the only lady on the ride, but I have always enjoyed the company of so many handsome, fit and virile men.
This time thought all did not go well. The group accelerated to over 50kph and dropped me on the raised road from Vivo to Haw Par Villa. I was left alone to complete the section. To their credit they waited at the turn around point, but isn’t this supposed to be a no-drop ride.
Damsel in distress
Dear Damsel in Distress
I am horrified at the total lack of chivalry demonstrated. I hope you had some stern words for those knuckle dragging neaderthals, but I assume you were far too much of a lady to show your emotions.
First, you are correct, the 6am is a no-drop ride. It’s early you’re on a dangerous 3 lane highway in the dark. Second, regardless of the conditions, I would never expect a group to drop a solo female rider unless she expressly tells them it is ok to leave her, and even then I would expect them to protest.
Take heart fair lady, I am sure at least one will be reading this and will ensure you are escorted in future.
Please do let me know if you encounter any further such behaviour.
I participated in the 7am fast Kranji last week and was the only female in the group. The ride was fast and hard, and despite my numerous requests to steady up, the men in the group made no effort to slow down. In fact, I do believe my protests may even hve goaded them to ride faster.
Is this the sort of behaviour you expect of ANZA Cyclists?
Tired and Frustrated
Dear Tired and Frustrated
I understand your pain. Many times I have been on rides that were hard and that I have called “Steady at the front” on. Of course when you ride a Penny Farthing, you need everybody to steady up at any small incline.
Chivalry would always dictate that we slow to ensure that the ladies in the group do no more than glow, as real sweating should be left to the men.
On this occasion though, I think you need to understand that the Fast Kranji is intended to
be exactly that. It is where testosterone goes to be expended and it is a drop ride. I fear that calls to slow down will simply be perceived as a sign of weakness and like blood in the water to a pack of hungry sharks.
Hang in there, and next time suffer in silence lest they sense your fear.