Support road.cc

Like this site? Help us to make it better.

news

UCI world cyclocross championships under fire due to anti-trans laws in host state Arkansas

Cycling journalist Tara Seplavy has boycotted the event, saying she doesn’t “feel personally safe going to Arkansas right now as a visibly trans person”

As the world cyclocross championships come to a close this evening, the UCI’s decision to stage the event in Fayetteville, Arkansas has come under fire due to the state’s anti-trans legislation.

In April 2021, Arkansas became the first state to ban gender-affirming treatments and surgery for transgender youth. Later that month Brook Watts, a longstanding cyclocross promoter in the United States, resigned from his role as organiser of the Fayetteville world championships in protest against the new law. 

“The situation in Arkansas remains problematic and unfortunately, I don’t see any satisfactory resolution,” Watts said at the time. “I have sincerely but unsuccessfully attempted to work out my concerns and differences with constituents. However, regrettably, we were not successful”.

At the US national cyclocross championships in December, anti-trans activists representing a group called ‘Save Women’s Sport’ staged a protest, shouting and holding signs opposing transgender participation during the women’s race. 

USA Cycling was heavily criticised for not taking adequate action to prevent the protest taking place at the event in DuPage County, Illinois, with trans rights supporters saying that the governing body did not facilitate a safe and inclusive environment for all competitors and spectators.

> British Cycling launch consultation on transgender policy

Tara Seplavy, the deputy editor of Bicycling Magazine, referenced the protest in Illinois when she announced on social media yesterday that she was boycotting this weekend’s world championships.

“For several reasons I don’t feel personally safe going to Arkansas right now as a visibly trans person,” she wrote. “I also do not feel comfortable rewarding USA Cycling for its continued lack of action or follow-up for allowing a hate group to attend US national championship events to harass athletes. I am not even sure if I will tune in to watch the races online at this point to be frank.

“The ship sailed moons ago on any type of boycott or direct action of the event. Instead of attending Worlds, I urge friends and followers to donate to organizations fighting against hate legislation in the state, doing work for the queer community in the region, or advocating for the rights of trans athletes in cycling.”

Ryan joined road.cc in December 2021 and since then has kept the site’s readers and listeners informed and enthralled (well at least occasionally) on news, the live blog, and the road.cc Podcast. After boarding a wrong bus at the world championships and ruining a good pair of jeans at the cyclocross, he now serves as road.cc’s senior news writer. Before his foray into cycling journalism, he wallowed in the equally pitiless world of academia, where he wrote a book about Victorian politics and droned on about cycling and bikes to classes of bored students (while taking every chance he could get to talk about cycling in print or on the radio). He can be found riding his bike very slowly around the narrow, scenic country lanes of Co. Down.

Add new comment

299 comments

Avatar
Secret_squirrel replied to mdavidford | 2 years ago
2 likes
mdavidford wrote:
MsG wrote:

Are the road.cc mods taking bets on which side will give up first? Have you run out of popcorn yet?

Probably having a sweepstake on how many comments it can get to before the whole site goes for a few hours lie down.

Probably some obscure linking of posts to ad revenue  3

They've all ordered new N+1's.

Avatar
Gus T | 2 years ago
3 likes

Does anyone on here remember a 70's model called Tula, probably one of the most delicate and beautiful models of the time. She was frequently pictured posing in motorcycle mags and numerous men fantasised about her.

Unfortunately her career was destroyed when she came out as Trans but she was never accused of rape by other models.

The rape accusations are a smokescreen just like accusing all cyclists of being RLJers. This is just another prejudiced view of the different.

Avatar
brooksby | 2 years ago
5 likes

You know: I'm getting the hint that this is a slightly contentious topic... 

Avatar
chrisonabike replied to brooksby | 2 years ago
4 likes
brooksby wrote:

You know: I'm getting the hint that this is a slightly contentious topic... 

I did try to tell people.  By my very limited experience with only 120-odd posts and still not locked / removed after a day this particular thread is a rather sedate and thoughtful example. Limited appearance by our special guest commentor yet although they may have been warned...

Avatar
Sniffer replied to brooksby | 2 years ago
0 likes
brooksby wrote:

You know: I'm getting the hint that this is a slightly contentious topic... 

I am not brave enough for this one.  I like nuance and grey in discussions.

I have learnt some things from some thoughtful posts though and my view is  evolving.

Avatar
Captain Badger replied to Sniffer | 2 years ago
3 likes
Sniffer wrote:

.....

I am not brave enough for this one.  I like nuance and grey in discussions.

....

How much? Can you quantify for us? Any particular number in mind?

Avatar
Sniffer replied to Captain Badger | 2 years ago
4 likes
Captain Badger wrote:
Sniffer wrote:

.....

I am not brave enough for this one.  I like nuance and grey in discussions.

....

How much? Can you quantify for us? Any particular number in mind?

Somewhere between a bit and a dollop.

Avatar
nosferatu1001 replied to Sniffer | 2 years ago
4 likes

One, two , many, lots. The best system😊

Avatar
Captain Badger replied to Sniffer | 2 years ago
0 likes
Sniffer wrote:
Captain Badger wrote:
Sniffer wrote:

.....

I am not brave enough for this one.  I like nuance and grey in discussions.

....

How much? Can you quantify for us? Any particular number in mind?

Somewhere between a bit and a dollop.

4 dozen? maybe a couple more?

Avatar
Sniffer replied to Captain Badger | 2 years ago
1 like
Captain Badger wrote:
Sniffer wrote:
Captain Badger wrote:
Sniffer wrote:

.....

I am not brave enough for this one.  I like nuance and grey in discussions.

....

How much? Can you quantify for us? Any particular number in mind?

Somewhere between a bit and a dollop.

4 dozen? maybe a couple more?

A little less.... 42?

Avatar
Captain Badger replied to Sniffer | 2 years ago
0 likes
Sniffer wrote:
Captain Badger wrote:
Sniffer wrote:
Captain Badger wrote:
Sniffer wrote:

.....

I am not brave enough for this one.  I like nuance and grey in discussions.

....

How much? Can you quantify for us? Any particular number in mind?

Somewhere between a bit and a dollop.

4 dozen? maybe a couple more?

A little less.... 42?

Was wondering whether it might be more, oooh, about 50 ish.....

Avatar
JustTryingToGet... | 2 years ago
6 likes

The starting point of the article was about Arkansas legislation rather than trans inclusion in sport... a quick search and...wow. If I was running a sporting event I would not want it in Arkansas which appear letting down all women, Cis and trans alike.

Avatar
sparrowlegs | 2 years ago
2 likes

I've heard it put this way. The amount of transitioned biological males that are competing in female sports is very small, but they all seem to have greater success. So the ratio means that if a bilogical male transitions to female, they have a higher chance of dominating.

In the sporting arena we can't take into account how seemone feels, or what someone thinks. We have to take the bare bones of what that person is under it all. Yes, there are biological men with naturally low testosterone and biological females with naturally high testosterone (even this is very low by male standards. Intersex is different) but at the end of the day they are bioligically what they are. The biological male will not be able to compete with other biological males that are larger, faster, higher T levels but that's just what sport is.

There are examples in the biological catagories of people having huge physical advantages, such as Usain Bolt's height, or Michael Phelp's arm span but that just highlights even further the physical advantages some males have over other males, never mind what they have over females.

The Australian Womens football team were beaten something like 15-0 by a team of under 16s boys. Serena and Venus were beaten in straight sets by the same male player who by all accounts wasn't in the top 100 male tennis players.

Take a 10 stone biological female and a 10 stone biological male and in nearly every case the biological male will be stronger, faster, leaner, have a bigger lung capacity, faster reactions, faster recovery, won't menstruate and loads more advantages. No amount of extra training on the biological females side will make up for that. 

Avatar
nosferatu1001 replied to sparrowlegs | 2 years ago
2 likes

You start on the right lines, but fail to follow to conclusion

 

The numbers of those competing at a regulated level who are trans female is so tiny that trying to control this isn't required. You're solving a problem that doesn't exist in a significant way,as opposed to fixing other areas of sport such as inequalities in pay that do meaningfully impact the sport. 
it's exactly the argument to why, for example, registration for cyclists has no support in govt. it's a problem that is so small the impact is negligible, and the effect of trying to impose controls - reducing the number of cyclists overall - is worse than the impact of allowing the "problem" to continue. 
 

Same here. By all measures, there is no actual systemic issue. Not all trans athletes are winning all, and the numbers are so small the impact is so close to zero as to not be measurable in a meaningful way. .

Trying to control this problem that doesn't manifest creates actual issues, by further stigmatising and excluding one the most marginalised and discriminated against groups out there. So yiure fixing a problem that doesn't exist by stamping even harder on people already stamped on. 

Avatar
sparrowlegs replied to nosferatu1001 | 2 years ago
4 likes

Tell that to the biological female competitors that have worked all their lives to be good at one sport, they get to the pinnacle only to be beaten by someone that has a pure physiological advantage because they were born a biological male and have benefitted from that. These are people's livelihoods and incomes being taken away because a biological male wants to identify as females and compete. Remember, they don't have to have had any gender reassignment or even have reduced their T levels (the OIC has taken the brave move to pass this hot potato on to the sports relevant bodies).

Just because the numbers are smal doesn't mean it's not an issue. When do we start to look at it? When 15% of winners in female sports are trans? 40%? 60%?

It won't take many biological males to dominate a whole host of sports. The numbers show that if there is a transitioned biological male then it's easier for them to dominate in the chosen sport.

How many transitioned biological females do you see even competeing in sports, never mind dominating them?

I've offered evidence of trans biological male athletes beating and dominating in their chosen sports. The numbers are small but they highlight that it doesn't take many transitioned biological males to dominate the sport they choose.

Basically what's being done is that biological females are being told that a transitioned biological males rights to compete at an unfair advantage outweight their rights to a fair and level playing field.

Avatar
nosferatu1001 replied to sparrowlegs | 2 years ago
2 likes

Define,  in a rigorous and systematic way, your term "biological female". 
once you've done so, you can probably make bank, as you've done soemthing no biologists can currently agree on. 

Or, you can decide that "separate but equal" is a phrase you're totally comfortable with. 

Avatar
sparrowlegs replied to nosferatu1001 | 2 years ago
0 likes

When bodies are found and they use the remains to determine what the person was, do they use a divining rod? A crystal ball? Maybe just guess?

You tell me, when science has very exacting ways of determining the sex of a long dead person, where they are going wrong.

There's no "this person identified as ...." is there?

Avatar
nosferatu1001 replied to sparrowlegs | 2 years ago
1 like

so sex and gender are the same?

Again: find  a book post 1950s on gender and gender identity, and read it. 
 

I note you have had to resort to a fallacy instead of answering the question. 

Avatar
sparrowlegs replied to nosferatu1001 | 2 years ago
2 likes

That's just it, sex and gender are not the same. Have I at any point said they are?

Fallacy? What fallacy? So again, you point to science and decry it as wrong (in your view) and yet offer what in return? A social construct? An ideal?

A quick google defines biological female as - A person with XX chromosomes usually has female sex and reproductive organs, and is therefore usually assigned biologically female.

I'm guessing that even though that's correct for 99% of the female population, you'll have a different definition?

Again, I'll reiterate, I stand by anyone with what they want to be identified as, but, when it comes to sport, which isn't a social construct or in any way a barrier to hold anybody back or oppress anyone, if one competitor has been through puberty and lived their life as a man, they will have clear advantages over those competitors that haven't.

Avatar
chrisonabike replied to sparrowlegs | 2 years ago
1 like

Wait - are the dead wanting to compete as well? I'm going to have to ask my mummy about this.

Avatar
mdavidford replied to sparrowlegs | 2 years ago
5 likes
sparrowlegs wrote:

The Australian Womens football team were beaten something like 15-0 by a team of under 16s boys.

7-0. And they were missing most of their top players. And they hadn't been training for a while. And they were treating it as a glorified training session.

sparrowlegs wrote:

Serena and Venus were beaten in straight sets by the same male player who by all accounts wasn't in the top 100 male tennis players.

Well they only played one set each, so 'in straight sets' is a bit meaningless. And Venus had just come out of a quarter-final match. And everyone involved admitted they weren't really taking it seriously.

Other than that, spot on, though.

Not to say that there's no differentiation between men's and women's sports, but these aren't really the illustration of a vast gulf that you're presenting them as.

Avatar
sparrowlegs replied to mdavidford | 2 years ago
1 like

Look at Serena's interview on one of the night chat shows. She admits that the women's game is a totally different to the mens game and that she would not want to play against men.

There' s big enough gulf in the performance difference in men and women that a distinction was made in the first place. What's changed recently?

Avatar
mdavidford replied to sparrowlegs | 2 years ago
2 likes
sparrowlegs wrote:

Look at Serena's interview on one of the night chat shows. She admits that the women's game is a totally different to the mens game and that she would not want to play against men.

And she may be right. But the 'matches' you cited are no real evidence of that.

sparrowlegs wrote:

There' s big enough gulf in the performance difference in men and women that a distinction was made in the first place. What's changed recently?

I think old-fashioned notions of 'propriety' probably had more to do with seperating them than performance. The biggest advantage men had at that time was probably that they didn't have to play in full-length dresses.

Avatar
sparrowlegs replied to mdavidford | 2 years ago
1 like

The matches I stated were the only recent examples of it. There haven't been more because it's not in anybody's interest for a male to play a female really is there? But I'm open to maybe the current No1 female player playing the current No1 male player. Care to wager a bet at the outcome?

So, what you are saying with your last statement is when they play in the same clothing i.e. that made for the sport. There's no difference? Women were held back back the old fashioned notions? So, by that, we no longer need the distinction between male and female sports people? They should all play in one big category? I wonder what that landscape would look like in terms of winners? Care to wager a bet?

I get that some people are going through turmoil in their life because they don't feel they can be the person they want to be. But, to then crush the dreams of what some would consider to be a group that's had to fight tooth and nail to get to where they are, to get the recognition they deserve isn't right. By doing this, by what is basically biological men competing against biological females can only cause more of an issue for the trans community as it goes forward and more and more compete against biological females.

Avatar
mdavidford replied to sparrowlegs | 2 years ago
2 likes

You seem to be under the misapprehension that I'm claiming that there's no difference between men's and women's sport. Odd, because I explicitly said

Quote:

Not to say that there's no differentiation between men's and women's sports,

and (in reference to you quoting Serena Williams saying that men's and women's tennis are different games)

Quote:

And she may be right.

I'm just pointing out that the examples you've chosen to support the claim that there is a vast difference between men and women don't really demonstrate that.

sparrowlegs wrote:

So, what you are saying with your last statement is when they play in the same clothing i.e. that made for the sport. There's no difference?

No. I didn't say that. I said that performance wasn't the original consideration that led to men and women being seperated.

And I said (as an aside) that clothing was probably the most significant factor in differences in performance at that time. That doesn't preclude there being other factors playing a part.

Avatar
nosferatu1001 replied to sparrowlegs | 2 years ago
1 like

You've still failed to define "biological female" in a rigorous systematic way. I know this is hard but try to do it in a way that doesn't involve arbitrary binary split. 
 

as a starting point for your education, try https://www.forbes.com/sites/kimelsesser/2020/06/15/the-myth-of-biologic...

Avatar
sparrowlegs | 2 years ago
9 likes

I think a lot of people get gender and sex mixed up. I don't care what gender you are, what pronouns you want me to call you (I will respect that) but what I do care about is biological males entering the sports arena in the biological female catagory.

Look at the current issue in American swimming with Leah Thomas. Leah is a biological male that's transitioned and she's crushing all the biological females by huge amounts. She recently beat her closest competitor by 38 seconds.

There are a few cases of transitioned biological males fighting biological females in MMA. One of the opponents suffered a fractured skull and wasn't told prior to the fight that she'd be fighting a biological male.

I didn't bother about all this until I suffered with testosterone issues. It's called hypogonadism and my body no longer produces testosterone naturally. My T level dropped to that of a biological female (<1ng/ml), hardly on the scale for a biological male (current scale is 8.8 - 28.5 ng/ml). Even at that level, which I endured for over a year before I recieved treatment, I was still able to train and ride, albeit with longer recovery times and not at the weights/speeds I could do. I still retained all the male attributes gained through puberty and continual access to testosterone. I was just weaker with less stamina and needed longer between training sessions.

Towards the later stages, before I started TRT (Testosterone Replacement Therapy) I could hardly get out of bed, I started growing breasts (gynomastia) and was pretty much impotent for nigh on 18 months. Yet I still retained my male attributes. Bigger lung capacity, bigger heart etc. All these things are irrefutable advantages that being a biological male has over a biological female.

Even now, due to the dangers of being on TRT brings, I'm on the lower end of the T level scale. I'm 14st, around 15% bodyfat and can train more or less every day.

This is the reason we can't allow biological males to compete against biological females. Take a look on youtube at More Plates More Dates and others that know about steriods and the advantages they give. Yes, they take PEDs to the extreme but the point still stands, when a biological female produces <1 ng/ml of testosterone and a trans competitor could be producing many times that then it just isn't fair. It's not exclusionary, it's not anti-trans, it's an unfair advantage.

Avatar
chrisonabike replied to sparrowlegs | 2 years ago
7 likes

I'm not all over the science of this so I'll not comment on that but thank you for sharing what must be a challenging experience.

Thankfully it doesn't stop you getting on the bike!

Avatar
Miller | 2 years ago
5 likes

Any women commenting in here? This all feels like blokes shouting at blokes.

Avatar
chrisonabike replied to Miller | 2 years ago
1 like
Miller wrote:

Any women commenting in here? This all feels like blokes shouting at blokes.

Wot I said only of course the whole point is it's the definition of "women" and "blokes" which is under discussion. So I phrased that in terms of people directly affected in the contest of an actual sporting event. (I'm deluding myself that this is a discussion which can be limited to the case in point). Of course there are then friends and family who'd definitely have an opinion and then on and outwards (as Captain Badger pointed out with his quote) so there's little chance of fence-sitting here.

Pages

Latest Comments