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Getting "chicked" and how to handle it

Posted on May 08 2020

Picture this: you’re out on your Sunday morning ride, it’s gorgeous weather, your bike is running perfectly, and your legs feel awesome – it’s the perfect day. You eventually hit that brutal climb on your route and you’re pushing the pace. Then, out of nowhere, someone passes you, says hello, and keeps riding. As they continue climbing you notice a long ponytail sticking out of the back of the rider’s helmet – you just got chicked. 

The phrase “getting chicked” - being passed or beaten by a women on a ride, run, etc. - is fairly new to me, but I’ve always been familiar with the idea. I grew up riding with a team that had both male and female high-performance athletes and I’d be lying if I said we weren’t ultra competitive with each other. We all trained together, and on the days where the goal was to rip each other’s legs off (…figuratively, not literally), me and my female teammates weren’t always as easy to shake as the boys thought we’d be. They would be struggling to stay in contact with the group, and then a look of dread would come over their faces as I came through for another turn on the front; “how is she still here” their faces seemed to say. 

I’m not going to lie, that expression was what I lived for on those rides. There was very few things I found more satisfying than dropping my male teammates. But I’ve also been on the receiving end, getting a knock to my own ego. I distinctly remember one day a couple years ago when of my younger teammates first beat me when we were doing hill repeats. I couldn’t help but get a bit angry saying to myself, “how is he beating me, he’s only like 12 years old!” 

Now, how should the “chickee” handle it? Too many times I’ve had someone sprint away only for me to catch them again a few minutes later, or – even worse – received the dreaded “wow you’re really fast for a girl.” The best thing to do if (when) this happens to you, is let it go. There’s no reason to assume you should be faster than someone solely because of their gender (or their age, for that matter). But don’t worry, I don’t expect it to not bother you at least a little bit, if it didn’t it wouldn’t be so much fun to do!

See you out there!

Kaitlyn

6 comments

  • Steve M: May 09, 2020

    Hello Kaitlyn, just read your post, re: getting “chicked”. Although I ride alone & actually prefer to do so, I’ve never been exposed to the getting “chicked” situation. At my “advanced age” (LOL) and current level of fitness, I would not at all be surprised to get passed by anybody regardless of gender or age!!!.
    Ride & stay safe.
    Steve

  • Chris B: May 09, 2020

    No one doing Triathlons worries about this, half of the folks who pass you are going to be older or female, we get it. It is even worst for us in a Trip race, as our age is marked on our calves, so we see the age of every one who passes us (or we pass them).
    The rule is: if they pass you, it must be they have a better bike than you have ( nothing to do with your fitness if course)

  • Gary: May 09, 2020

    Kaitlyn…no worries on getting chicked…September 2019, Italy 🇮🇹 watching my lovely wife pass me on a climb, including some of the men…7+ riders and she’s the only female! Love the competitive spirit! Ride On!

  • Linda : May 09, 2020

    Our Femme Sportif shorts say “you just got passed by a girl”. but we really just want to be the best we can be.

  • Fulvio Cubello: May 09, 2020

    This happens to me everyday, I know the feeling :P

  • Marisse: May 09, 2020

    I have to say that this is pretty dated and misogynist of an article. Surprising that it was written by a women because it just perpetuates gender inequities and misconceptions while polarising cyclists based on gender identity. Not impressed in this day and age to read an article like this.

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