So there is this epic, legendary regional race called Cat`s Hill.
Here is a little detail from www.catshill.org about the infamous climb:
The Nicholson Avenue hill (Cat's Hill) is a gut-wrenching 23% climb. A "wall" in bikie parlance. Being in the right gear and exactly in gear are critical. Once you are onto the hill, there is no chance to correct a sloppy shift. The hill is so steep that it's nearly impossible to change gears once you've started climbing. When you hit the hill, you are committed to climb in whatever gear you're in. You'll find several riders stopping each lap because of missed shifts or thrown chains on this hill. Even if the riders don't have problems with the shift, they still have to make it to the top, 100 meters away. Knowing that they have to do it many more times doesn't help.
How tough is it? Not bad if you only have to do it once. And if you take just the right line of approach, at speed. And if you shift into exactly the right gear, and don't have to avoid anybody on the way up. Unfortunately, the riders typically have to do it 12, 15, or 35 times. The field isn't exactly cooperative, and sometimes you're not in exactly the right gear, and somebody in front of you falls and you have to maneuver around. Then it's lung-searing misery. In the 1979 race, Jeff Stevenson ripped the head tube from his Schwinn Paramount in a final lunge at the Hill. The grade is sufficiently steep that the riders have to distribute their weight perfectly over the front and rear wheels. If there's not enough weight over the front, it will lift off the ground. Lean too far forward, and the rear wheel slips out. It's only about 25 pedal strokes, but each gets tougher than the last.
Hers is the story that`s making news on all sorts of women`s blogs and such:
The race organizer has decided not to offer a women`s category 4 event. There will be however, a Cat 1/2/3 race for women. The organizer claims that the event is becoming too expensive, and some categories needed to be cut. Evidently, the masters categories bring in more entries and more dollars. Not only is there a regular Pro 1/2 race, there are the usual Cat3 and Cat4 and Cat5 events for guys, then there are three different masters events to choose from for the men as well. All compared to one, count again...ONE race option for women. Hmmmm... sounds a little lopsided to me. In all fairness, I understand that the almighty dollar speaks volumes when it comes to planning a race event....but come on.... are we going backwards in time here. This is supposed to be Northern California, the land of the liberal and the free.... ahem. And besides, all money issues aside.....isn`t there something called the principle of the matter?
Anyway, I will not pass judgement on this guy, or the board that made this kind of decison -- I do feel sorry for the women who are Cat4 this year though, because I bet they feel regarded as unimportant in the race world and that just sucks --no matter how you slice it or dice it.
My suggestion to the women cat 4 racers --- sign-up for the men`s race an show the organizer that you want to race, no matter what. Who cares if you get dropped... your point will be made.