Women's Cycle Racing: Enduring Meanings
In this study, I explore the challenges associated with long distance women's road racing. Within the sport of cycling, road race distances for women and men differ greatly. I examine the meanings that these distances have acquired within women’s road racing, according to promoters/race organizers, athletes, and governing bodies, as based upon their experiences with well-known and historically significant women’s competitions, circa 1950s-1990s. Based upon this research, the three main ways that distance has taken on meaning in women's road racing are as follows: 1) women do not have the stamina, strength or speed to effectively and efficiently race long distances; 2) the length of the race correlates negatively with women's aggressiveness; and 3) races that are too long increase the likelihood that competitors and promoters will have to deal with the issue of women's public urination during the race.
Lucas, Shelley. (2012). "Women's Cycle Racing: Enduring Meanings". Journal of Sport History, 39(2), 227-242. http://dx.doi.org/10.1353/sph.2012.0054