The Woodcreek Mountain Bike Team has made a public commitment to have half of the team represented by girl riders by 2025 (currently the team is approximately 33% girls).
Why do we care? It is just a number…
Yes it is an abstract thing, this 50%, but it represents an ambitious goal to change the culture of cross-country mountain bike racing. The Woodcreek MTB team is a member of NorCal, which is a league within the National Interscholastic Cycling League, or NICA. The mission of these organizations is, simply, to get more kids on bikes by providing a “positive experience for all student-athletes, and helping them to create strong body, mind and character through the sport of cycling”. Last time we checked, approximately half of the student body at Woodcreek is girls, so the 50% goal seems logical for appropriate representation of who attends Woodcreek.
But why do we care about changing the culture through public statement of this goal? If we as a community do not work together to get adequate representation of gender in the fields of endeavor that we choose, then the culture of that field tends to be dominated by ideas, implementations, products, etc, that favor one gender or point of view over another. The mission of NorCal and NICA is to get more kids on bikes and develop their mind and character through cycling… if we can, through Woodcreek MTB, teach our Riders that there is no one way to ride to achieve success in later life, then we have taken one small but significant step towards changing the culture of cross-country mountain bike racing. Mental strength, emotional strength, community strength, and physical strength all play important roles in bicycle racing, and we believe that working towards an even balance of gender ratios will help all Riders develop the multiple strengths needed not only for racing but for life beyond high school.