Disclaimer: These are my personal experiences, my opinions, my thoughts. This only represents Andrea. If you are reading and are offended, equally excited, confused, scared, whatever, please reach out to me.
I keep on sitting down to type all sorts of words. Things get started and then it seems wrong. Grammar and punctuation. Does it make sense? Did I leave parts out? Writing is good for me. I like it. This past weekend I went to Landrun 100. Which I am writing about. The words are coming out, but they are clouded by some more words. Some words that I actually wrote the night before the race.
The past couple of months have been good. Lots of work and planning has happened. Things seems to be falling into place. A drastic change to my work schedule and putting my return to school on the backburner have been hard decisions, but totally worth it. The schedule change is the biggest part. I am proud of myself for taking the steps to start thinking about school again, it will happen, just not now. My new schedule in theory is set up so that I can take on the responsibility of my Salsa team, women’s initiatives in the shop, and building a gravel grinding community in Iowa City.
Either way, back to the topic at hand. I am having a hard time sitting down and writing. Taking a step back I have realized that my writing has only been happening when I am frustrated with something, trying to work it out. It’s time to share this writing, this is the kick start that needs to happen in order for the other words to flow. Long story short, my temper has been getting shorter, the passion I have for women in the cycling world is on fire, things need to be talked about. There will be no finger pointing, no name calling, just an honest, open conversation. It is the right time and place, this energy needs to be spread, felt, and listened to.
Alright, what exactly is the point here. What I want to share is a personal story, a small interaction, something that happened the night before Landrun 100. The context is set in a hotel room with four other dudes. Two who I rode down to Oklahoma with, two who were introduced in a very quick fashion. We are all settled into the room, a comfortably small space. The process of packing our bikes for the ride tomorrow is well underway. The writing that comes up next was typed on my phone in the dark hotel room. Sleep was interrupted by my elevated heart rate.
I don’t even need to tell you the whole story. The part that led me to the point of saying I feel like I am dealing with a child. The part the left me walking out of the room, walking to the top of the stairs and crying. That made my blood pressure just at the right place to simmer for a long time. Brewing and boiling. After I came back to the room to retrieve my shit I went to the hallway to stretch and breathe. Take nice big gulps of air. Loudly. It all started with chap stick. Offering my extra. It was responded to with a crude comment. Something that started with mumbles and finished with big wet juicy kiss. I then rescinded my offer. Who told you it was OK to talk to me like that. Joke or not I am owed an apology. Fuck you.The specifics don’t matter. It’s that so many women can relate to this. The feeling of being belittled. Made uncomfortable in a space that should be left alone. This ain’t just for the ladies either. Men you better listen to each other and start listening to your women when they bring up these issues with you. They trust you. Just listen.