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Is cycling ‘woke’? Cycling and culture wars discussed with a Conservative aide, plus Lucinda Brand and Eli Iserbyt on the future of cyclocross

Yes, we went there. Cycling's curious relationship with so-called wokeness is up for discussion on the latest episode of the road.cc Podcast, plus a much less loaded chat and pro interviews about the crazy sport of cyclocross...

The two subjects we're discussing on episode 66 of the road.cc Podcast are arguably chalk and cheese, but equally as interesting we hope you'll agree! In part 1, Jack and Ryan are joined by Jack Gebhard, an avid cyclist who happens to be Chief of Staff for the Conservative MP for Worcester, Robin Walker, about cycling's curious relationship with 'wokeness'. 

 

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The characterisation of the 'woke cyclist' is something that appears to have crept into the discourse when discussions about cycling make it into the wider media - in fact, one Rotherham business owner even recently claimed that a roadworks project to improve cycling provision in the town was "one of those woke agenda schemes". 

> ‘The War on the Motorist’ deconstructed — the truth behind the myths

Boris Johnson (picture credit TfL).jpg
A not-very-woke cyclist in the wild

With 'woke' having morphed from a term to describe those who are alert to racial prejudice and discrimination to a catch-all associated with a whole host of issues such as race, politics, gender and the climate – and often deployed in a negative way by those that use the word – where did the link between cyclists and woke come from, and is it even true in the slightest? We do our best to break it down... 

Lucinda Brand, Dublin cyclocross World Cup 2023 (Alex Whitehead/SWpix.com)

In part 2, Ryan is speaking to Lidl Trek’s Lucinda Brand and cyclocross specialist Eli Iserbyt at the recent Cyclocross World Cup even in Dublin, before sitting down with Jamie to discuss how ‘cross fits in to the modern pro cyclist’s schedule.

After UCI president David Lappartient's recent comments suggested that riders would have to take part in cyclocross World Cup events if they want to race in the World Championships, does this mean we’re approaching the end of the multi-discipline era where the likes of Pidcock and Van Der Poel regularly appear at the biggest cyclocross races? 

The road.cc Podcast is available on Apple PodcastsSpotify, and Amazon Music, and if you have an Alexa you can just tell it to play the road.cc Podcast. It’s also embedded further up the page, so you can just press play.

At the time of broadcast, our listeners can also get a free Hammerhead Heart Rate Monitor with the purchase of a Hammerhead Karoo 2. Visit hammerhead.io right now and use promo code ROADCC at checkout to get yours.

This content has been added by a member of the road.cc staff

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176 comments

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mattsccm | 3 months ago
0 likes

The word woke is the past tense for wake. Therefore the rest of this is drivel for dimwits.

Apart from that cretinous use of language just what is this article on about? It appears that it is assumed that the viewers of this page are too thick to read. Ah well , modern life. 

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Clem Fandango replied to mattsccm | 3 months ago
2 likes

It's on about a podcast that some commenters are too thick to have observed, or even chosen to listen to. Modern life huh.

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mattw replied to mattsccm | 2 months ago
1 like

Woke also means "not asleep".

Glad to be of service.

Dddrrriinnngggg !

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Hirsute | 3 months ago
5 likes

Colin from Portsmouth is on the line

https://twitter.com/Exploding_Heads/status/1731266697145835602

"Why are people being cancelled just for having offensive opinions? "

 

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eburtthebike | 3 months ago
3 likes

95 comments and rising.  Is woke the new helmet for road.cc?

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mark1a replied to eburtthebike | 3 months ago
0 likes

I was wondering whether anyone had listened to the podcast, which is what this article is about. 

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hawkinspeter replied to mark1a | 3 months ago
2 likes
mark1a wrote:

I was wondering whether anyone had listened to the podcast, which is what this article is about. 

Nope. I don't do podcasts.

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chrisonabike replied to mark1a | 3 months ago
2 likes
mark1a wrote:

I was wondering whether anyone had listened to the podcast, which is what this article is about. 

There is an article?!

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Hirsute replied to mark1a | 3 months ago
4 likes

Listen to the podcast? Are you mad ?

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Left_is_for_Losers replied to Hirsute | 3 months ago
0 likes
Hirsute wrote:

Listen to the podcast? Are you mad ?

What podcast?

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levestane | 3 months ago
1 like

Don't know why but I thought of this.

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Rik Mayals unde... | 3 months ago
1 like

Well I thank you all for proving my point. 

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Clem Fandango replied to Rik Mayals underpants | 3 months ago
5 likes

..... don't you think

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Rik Mayals unde... | 3 months ago
0 likes

I think that the woke term now also encompasses snowflakes, gen z and the hard left and hence the term woke is used as a catch all term.  I think what this comments section shows is how intolerant wokes and snowflakes are. This group come across as very angry people. If you're not woke, then you're right wing in their minds. There is only one viewpoint and if you don't agree then you're abused and cancelled. If you have a different viewpoint you are ridiculed and name called, as shown quite clearly in this section. It is almost an authoritarian viewpoint but instead of people who disagree risk being thrown into jail, they risk losing their jobs. It seems to be that anyone who is slightly right of centre is classed as hard right wing. 
This country is being destroyed by this ultra liberal left ideology. Common sense is irrelevant now, and madness is the norm. If you're concerned about the sheer number of migrants flooding into this country, costing the government and councils hundreds of millions of pounds which could be spent on our roads, youth, our own homeless etc, then you're branded racist. We have no idea how many terrorists are arriving, primed to bite the hand that feeds, if this is mentioned, we are racist. If my wife expresses concern about a man who identifies as a woman using the same toilets as her, she is branded transphobic. We have real racists such as Anthony Joshua who publicly urged black people to only shop at black shops not being challenged. Could you imagine the outcry if a white person said that? This wonderful country is being systematically destroyed by the very vocal minority and if anyone challenges it, they're ridiculed and cancelled. 
I weep for this once great country. 

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Hirsute replied to Rik Mayals underpants | 3 months ago
14 likes

I didn't realise Kamikwasi and Truss were ultra liberal left, nor that the current party who are bent on wrecking the wine industry are also ultra liberal left.

You must have missed GB News cancelling a guest midshow and the government cancelling speakers for being critical of the governement on any policy, no matter how irrelevant to the topic they were asked to speak on.

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BalladOfStruth replied to Hirsute | 3 months ago
14 likes

The funniest one I saw recently were all the people "cancelling" Pink Floyd when they posted an anniversary image for Dark Side of The Moon, because they all thought the rainbow (from the original cover) was showing support fro LGBT.

Turns out the right isn't any more tolerant than the left. Weird that.

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Adam Sutton replied to BalladOfStruth | 3 months ago
11 likes

Oh yeah that was hilarous!

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Adam Sutton replied to Rik Mayals underpants | 3 months ago
14 likes

There is a lot of reaching there. 

I think we can safely say, and Rendell will agree, I fit in this place like a square peg in a round hole. Rendell himself claiming I hate cyclists, for holding a view that doesn't fit his or what seems accepted here by many.

However, going into a diatribe about woke, snowflake gen z, hard left liberals. Jesus wept pal, you have me rolling my eyes as much as I would as at someone on the extremes of the left of political spectrum. And that is just it, you are little more than the flip side of that coin. 

I tell you one thing, as a married gay man, I am more concerned about the rightwing ideology that is creeping in. It is that, that would "cancel" my rights and given half a chance anul my marriage, and I would hazard a guess that you wouldn't care, it would just be collateral damage to you as long as the "wokes" get their comeuppance so you can stop weeping for this once great country (what the actual fuck?) you'll be happy. It is also not the "wokes" or "liberal lefts" cancelling books in the US and taking away rights, like access to abortion. I generally think you're confused about free speech and cancel culture, what you want is consequence free speech, you want to be able to call me a shirt lifting poof in public and have no one call you out.

In terms of immigration, what is hilarious, is illegal arrivals has and continues to be overplayed the right. What we do have now is a huge surge in legal migration from outside the EU thanks to brexit and the massive shortfall in workers it has caused in all those industries, that apparently proper Brits were aching to take.

As for your trans nonsense, as someone with a trans nephew just fuck off with that shit. I guess you want a bearded biological FTM trans man to have to use the toilet with your wife. I don't think you are racist, or even transphobic, I do think you are awful human being though.

 

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Hirsute replied to Adam Sutton | 3 months ago
6 likes

I enjoyed that post. Don't think I ever expected to read on road.cc the phrase "shirt lifting poof" !

As to migration, it's something like 700k with just under 50k asylum seekers (illegals to some) with work and study being over 500k of the numbers. University of Essex has a large number of overseas students paying very high fees, so stopping them coming here would put a rather large dent in their finances and hence courses provided.

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Adam Sutton replied to Hirsute | 3 months ago
10 likes

Those were terms I grew up hearing. Also if we want to talk about cancel culture, growing up thanks to Thatchers section 28 legislation being gay was effectively "cancelled". Guess what though, not teaching it didn't stop me and plenty of others being gay, because it isn't sometheing you learn.

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Hirsute replied to Adam Sutton | 3 months ago
4 likes

I see The Doctor is now officially gay and Dr Who is woke.

 

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Adam Sutton replied to Hirsute | 3 months ago
5 likes

I'm not reading that as I'm yet to catch-up on Dr who, just in case there is a spoiler.

Pronouns is another example though. At the end of the day someone's pronouns has no effect on those who seem to lose their shit over it. The only issue is the few who lambast people who in innocence make a mistake.

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hawkinspeter replied to Adam Sutton | 3 months ago
1 like
Adam Sutton wrote:

I'm not reading that as I'm yet to catch-up on Dr who, just in case there is a spoiler. Pronouns is another example though. At the end of the day someone's pronouns has no effect on those who seem to lose their shit over it. The only issue is the few who lambast people who in innocence make a mistake.

It's totally understandable for people to make mistakes with pronouns as it's a habit to always use he/she and can take a while for someone to change their speech. I think most people would be understanding of that difficulty and certainly if the person making the error apologises. However, there are some people who rebel against the widening of society's genders and refuse to use the desired pronoun of someone which obviously makes things a bit awkward.

The Doctor Who pronoun bit was just a throwaway couple of sentences which didn't have much bearing on the plot. It did make me think that assuming someone's gender shouldn't be a major problem as it's fairly natural for people to make all sorts of assumptions about people/aliens when first meeting them, but the crucial point when called out for that is to ask the person how they prefer to be referenced and then try to use that. It's just simple courtesy.

Edit: hadn't realised that there was another Doctor Who episode last night

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Clem Fandango replied to hawkinspeter | 3 months ago
5 likes

In my experience, I've never once seen or heard someone losing their shit over someone else addressing them with the "wrong" pronoun. People just tend to politely explain the situation & are understanding of innocent misunderstanding or mistakes. All the noise on this issue seems to come from those that get a wee bit uncomfortable in themselves about using some new terminology (a bit like how hearing a foreign language makes them feel uncomfortable rather than curious).

There's a recent TV interview with Miriam Margoyles who changed her views on the pronoun thing via understanding quite a simple concept; if it makes another person happy or more comfortable to be called "they" (or whatever) why wouldn't you do it?

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Rendel Harris replied to Clem Fandango | 3 months ago
7 likes
Clem Fandango wrote:

if it makes another person happy or more comfortable to be called "they" (or whatever) why wouldn't you do it?

I saw an excellent line the other day in somebody's Twitter bio: "I couldn't care less about what pronoun you use for me but some people do so try not to be a dick about it."

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hawkinspeter replied to Clem Fandango | 3 months ago
2 likes
Clem Fandango wrote:

In my experience, I've never once seen or heard someone losing their shit over someone else addressing them with the "wrong" pronoun.

Nor me, but I don't have much interaction with non-binary gendered people. I'm guessing it's more of an online problem where people tend to be a lot ruder and more belligerent.

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Simon E replied to Adam Sutton | 3 months ago
5 likes
Adam Sutton wrote:

Those were terms I grew up hearing. Also if we want to talk about cancel culture, growing up thanks to Thatchers section 28 legislation being gay was effectively "cancelled". Guess what though, not teaching it didn't stop me and plenty of others being gay, because it isn't sometheing you learn.

From what I recall of those days, it further stigmatised homosexuality as 'wrong', which among other things had the effect of emboldening violent gay-bashers and the marginalisation of anyone who 'looked' or 'acted' a bit gay.

The same kind of thing is happening with right-wing rhetoric about immigrants / refugees, Muslims, homeless people, trans people, climate change protesters and any other groups they don't like (which probably covers all vaguely lefty / green / tree-hugging / compassionate / empathetic people with a conscience and even cyclists; we are treated as an out-group too). Most of the MSM love repeating and amplifying the nastiness to their readers, fully aware of the dreadful things that may happen as a result.

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Adam Sutton replied to Simon E | 3 months ago
8 likes
Simon E wrote:
Adam Sutton wrote:

Those were terms I grew up hearing. Also if we want to talk about cancel culture, growing up thanks to Thatchers section 28 legislation being gay was effectively "cancelled". Guess what though, not teaching it didn't stop me and plenty of others being gay, because it isn't sometheing you learn.

From what I recall of those days, it further stigmatised homosexuality as 'wrong', which among other things had the effect of emboldening violent gay-bashers and the marginalisation of anyone who 'looked' or 'acted' a bit gay.

The same kind of thing is happening with right-wing rhetoric about immigrants / refugees, Muslims, homeless people, trans people, climate change protesters and any other groups they don't like (which probably covers all vaguely lefty / green / tree-hugging / compassionate / empathetic people with a conscience and even cyclists; we are treated as an out-group too). Most of the MSM love repeating and amplifying the nastiness to their readers, fully aware of the dreadful things that may happen as a result.

Yes, and right into the 2000's. I remember finally getting the courage to make gay friends and go to the local-ish gay pub in about 2000, and sitting in the beer garden hearing homophobic abuse being shouted over the wall. Even with my now husband we have encountered it in the twenty years we have been together, once because we are just two blokes we had some homophobe moaning to us about all the poofs etc.

The key is make them an enemy in some way. Phil giving prime examples. Trans it's about bathrooms, but Ill thought through. Migrants and Muslims it's about terrorism. I mean think back to the London attacks, they were British born citizens. Going further I recall a white British woman being radicalised, and she isn't alone. Then of course as you say we have the war on ln motorists etc. with cyclists I mean with that type bollocks is does that mean as a driver I am at war with myself? It's more a war on common sense. Yesterday I needed to pick two 30litre bags of cat litter and food, so I used the car. Today I'm going swimming, so I'll cycle.

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Rendel Harris replied to Adam Sutton | 3 months ago
9 likes

Just because we disagree about our attitudes towards cyclists and cycling, no reason that I can't say very well said on that one.

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Adam Sutton replied to Rendel Harris | 3 months ago
3 likes

I don't hate cyclists, and if we sat down over a drink we would find we have a lot of common ground. Cycling included.

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