CHICKED (CHik-T) – verb
1. The act of getting passed by a female athlete.
Getting Chicked can be both traumatic and emasculating. By definition, it is a competitive incident where a woman beats a man. Observing the emotional impact of being Chicked is something I have done ever since I was a wee one. From grade school soccer, to high school co-ed track & field, and now cycling. It is interesting just how far males are willing to push themselves in the name of not getting Chicked. I fondly remember a particular occasion when my co-ed high school track team faced-off an all boy’s school. Getting Chicked was clearly new territory for these boys. Let’s just say I’ve never witnessed so many boys struggle to keep their lunch down following the 200m dash, a distance that does not typically yield stomach churning side effects.
Earlier this season I prepared for the anticipated demands of national level races by contending several spring training series. Throughout the month of March I often competed in up to four men’s races per weekend. I would first race with the 45+ Men and then immediately line up for the Men’s 1/2/3 race on both Saturday and Sunday. During my spring Chick campaign (pun intended) , I accomplished eight top 20’s, five top 10 ten’s, won a couple field sprints, and even joined a men’s podium. In fact, there were only three races where I placed outside of top 20.
Residual heckling hit a fever pitch on the Jersey Peloton Facebook forum. It was a regular Billie Jean King Battle of the Sexes every weekend. Matt Warner, promoter of the South Jersey Spring series further encouraged involvement of the local women by changing his ‘Men’s 45+’ race to a ‘Men’s 45+/Women’s Open’ and offered a dedicated prize to any woman that won. Because the prize for a woman to win was so much larger than if a man won, guys in the field joked around about working with the ladies and splitting the money afterward. Ultimately I narrowly missed the opportunity, placing third in a field sprint on the final race of the series.
Despite early season accomplishments, all was surely forgotten by the last Rockleigh Criterium of the season Thursday, August 15th where I contended the Men’s 1/2/3 race, placing 4th in the field sprint for 12th overall. The results of which erupted it yet again another internet firestorm. Men heckled one another over which of their buddies got Chicked worse than the other. It even escalated to the analysis of gopro video documentation (minutes 18:30 – 20:00). To aid the men in coping with this traumatic episode I shared with them Andrew Coggan’s Power Profile Spreadsheet v4.0 found on Training Peaks, which presents w/kg data of men and women at every level of cycling ability in a side-by-side comparison. Hopefully insight to such data can help ease the pain of being Chicked. It is ok to Chick and be Chicked, we are all equally human in the end.