Last Saturday I was mountain biking at a local park where there were 25-30 other bikers. In the parking lot, I talked to a man who was biking with his girlfriend. He told me his girlfriend wasn’t happy and asked him “Why aren’t there any other women biking here?” Just then, a guy came into the lot pushing his broken bike. His arm was bloody and his legs were all scraped up. So my first thought was, “There are no women because this is hard and it’s dangerous.”
When I got home, I asked Barb about this and she said, “Because it’s stupid to mountain bike. And women were doing more important things.”
OK, all of that is true: mountain biking is stupid and unimportant. (Stupid and unimportant in the sense that’s it’s totally unnecessary; all adventure activities are unnecessary.) It’s also true biking can be hard and it can be dangerous. (I’ve hurt myself more times mountain biking than I ever have climbing.)
I also know there are plenty of women doing hard, dangerous activities. But not in the numbers of men.
With that being said, there’s another way to look at this: why aren’t there more men mountain biking?
Of course, if there were more people biking, it brings up another problem for me - I don’t want my trails packed with people. So why on earth would I encourage more people to use the outdoors unless I’m a manufacturer or retailer of outdoor gear? Please stay indoors and leave the outdoors to me.
P.S. Implied in that guy’s girlfriend's question, is her lack of interest in ever mountain biking with him again. Don’t you think? (Certainly true after they’re married.)