In the latest episode of the On the Outside podcast, Fran shares some feedback from listeners on the previous episode about the UCI Cycling World Championships, including a trans woman cyclist who is affected by the UCI's trans policy. Fran also shares a quick outdoor news round-up, including - The Ultra Distance Scholarship for people of colour - The return of the Climb Out Festival - A new mentoring programme for women in cycling - The cancellation of the MTB4All event due to low sign-ups :( - The Right to Roam 'Right to Foam' campaign in Lush stores across the UK Find more on the CSES paper referred to here: Literature Review Does Not Support Bans on Transgender Women Athletes | Canadian Centre for Ethics in Sport
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Produced by Francesca Turauskis Podcast Art by Sophie Nolan Social Media Assistant is Anesu Matanda-Mambingo Music is Bassbeat by Alex Norton On The Outside is part of the Tremula Network.
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Please note this is currently an auto transcript. It is pretty accurate but it may have some funny typos in places...
IDENT: This podcast is part of the Tremula Network, adventure and outdoor podcasts off the beaten track.
[MUSIC starts - ON THE OUTSIDE theme - Bassbeat by Alex Norton: "Funky and upbeat, jangling guitars, a fat bassline and a full horn section create the perfect soundtrack to a late summer block party."]
FRAN: 00:08 Hello and welcome to On the Outside the podcast, sharing diverse views on what is happening outdoors. It is Francesca Roski back here again, and I have a mini ish episode for you today, and we're following on from the last episode's panel with some thoughts from listeners about our conversation. So last time we talked about the U C I Cycling World championships that happened up in Glasgow and we touched on several different subjects in that today I'm going to share a couple of comments that we had via our Instagram, and I'm also going to share some new stories for you in our outdoor news roundup at the end.
01:03 So to start with, I'm actually just going to take a moment to be a little bit self-indulgent with this comment that we had. So this comes from the Renegade Cyclist and he messaged us to say, whilst I don't really follow Tour de France or World Cycling, I'm more of a dot watcher for long ultra races. I feel the topics raised were poignant and diverse, which gave me an overall idea of what the world Championships were about. I'll definitely look out for it the next time around. So yeah, thank you very much for that tabs. It's exactly what I hope that episode would be. So yeah, really nice to hear that bit of feedback. We asked for feedback in general on the episode, but in particular I wanted to hear from anyone that was affected by the ucis Trans policy, and we actually did have some people reply on Instagram to give us a little bit of their personal experience on that.
01:59 One follower said that transphobia is harming all women. Trans women on hormone replacement therapy are already disadvantaged. Segregation is evil, and I do think the comment about it harming all women is a really good one to pick up on. I actually read a story about a cis rider who tried to enter the supposedly open category which races alongside the men, and that cis woman was told to essentially get back in her place with the women's category. So yeah, hard agree on that comment. We had another person get in touch as well via our Instagram stories, and she said, I'm eraser affected by these bands, and it wreaks a politics. It isn't science-based and relies on ignorance and bias. I have much more to say than I can fit into a story rep reply, so please do reach out if you want to know more info.
02:58 And so I did reach out. She didn't want to be recorded, but she did want to tell me some things about aspects of her situation and the U C I regulations, and it was a really good conversation that I had and I'm just going to try and relay some of that information to you. Hopefully I get it all accurately. And I'm sorry if I miss anything on this one. So this woman said that she is based in the UK and has been racing for 15 years, and has been on Hormone Replacement Therapy for 8 months now. Her race ID is a woman's race id but because of the UCI rules, she can’t actually race in aything that is sanctioned by the governing body. Because there is the so-called open category which has trans women and men together, but that only applies to the MASTERS category, which is for riders who are 30 years old and over.
03:53 So it seems like if you're younger than 30 and you're a trans woman, there just isn't a race option for you from the sound of it. So we talked a little bit about that. We did talk a little bit about the science and some of the science papers that are cited to justify the policies that are being put in. They are quite outdated and quite politicised. One of them actually comes from a study that was to do with military personnel and not anything to do with sport or athletes. So that was interesting to know. And for people that are interested in learning more about that side of the science and the papers and the questions over those kind of papers actually being used, I've dropped a link in the show notes for you that she said to check out, which is from the Canadian Centre for Ethics in Sport.
04:48 The paper is called Transgender Women Athletes and Elite Sport, A Scientific Review. And she said it's a great resource and it just calls for reasonable efforts to make sport accessible and inclusive for everyone. We also talked a little bit more about the politics, as you can imagine with me, and how this type of high profile policy, it tends to draw people's attention away from other aspects that are actually damaging to women. So in cycling, this is things like unfair pay. There's been unsafe riding conditions in some races. There are of course issues with general misogyny. This is something that we know crosses a lot of different sports and it's this kind of thing that maybe should be focused on with new policies before we think about actually excluding some people from the sports. But all of those are about statistics and facts and that kind of thing can be appealing in these conversations and useful to.
05:57 But what I was really struck by when talking to this woman about cycling and racing was not about the facts, it was about the feelings. So she told me about how she's having to completely redefine her relationship with cycling because she is not allowed to do what she enjoys most, which is racing. So she's doing some really interesting things. She has been making bike frames for years and has been using that as a way to connect with the sport. She spun the camera around to show me the first frame that she made that was actually hanging up on her wall. She's also gone to Finland. She went there earlier on this year to do a race that isn't actually under the U C I rules at the moment. She told me that gravel biking still has a much larger private and grassroots aspect to it and that means that most of the events are more inclusive than your average federation sanctioned event. Not all, but most. So that is something that she can do. She said it's a weird situation though because whilst she can do most gravel events at an amature level, as it were, if she wanted to go on to the gravel world championships, she wouldn’t be able to do that at all, there wouldn’t be any route there. But yeah, honestly, she just sounds so bloody cool to be honest with you.
06:55 But as I was listening to all of this, and it's really nice that she's finding new things, but there was just this aspect of there was just such an aspect of loss to it at the same time. And so I did ask what listeners can do if we want more people like her out on the trails and back in races. And she said to me, one thing is to just explicitly include trans women. So if you have races or you run groups or you have podcasts or any other gathering for women in particular, but other genders as well, just make it clear that trans women are welcome at your events, make it explicitly inclusive.
Sisters In The Wild, Velociposse, Steezy Collective, NLTCBMBC (who run Thundercrit/Thundercross) Fixed Beers, Out Velo, and LDN Riders are all great UK-based examples of inclusive cycling group
And the last thing that I will say on this point about our conversation is that she used a phrase that really stuck out to me, and it starts with sport, and I think it is just worth really remembering that this kind of exclusion, it does ripple out. And we've talked about this before on the podcast. We talked about it right back in the first episode when we were talking about the ban on the soul cap. But with the exclusive policies in particular, as I said in the last episode, it's rippling out to all kinds of things like chess and pool and all of this kind of stuff. The kind of falls under sport, but we also see it in political spaces and we're seeing it elsewhere as well. So yeah, just that phrase to end on, it starts with sport.
08:40 So yeah, thank you very much to those listeners and those followers on Instagram that responded to us. It's really nice to just get a viewpoint from everybody that's involved and as we quite often like to say nothing about us without us. So yeah, it was really nice to get some of those personal experiences as well from people. So that's the first part of the episode. But in other news,
Applications are now open for the Ultra Distance Scholarship 23-24. The Ultra Distance Scholarship creates opportunities for people of colour to enter the sport of ultra distance cycling and racing. The U d s was created in 2020 to help bring more diversity to the start line of a very niche, predominantly white sport. It supports three riders each year to train for and get to the start line of their first ultra race. The selected riders receive eight to 10 months of intensive support, and last year the race was the GBDURO and not as I have been known to call it the G B D U R O.
09:54 This year, they will actually be taking on a different race, the Pan Celtic race. I think this might be another mispronunciation for me, I'm realising, but the Pan Celtic is a self-supported ultra distance bicycle race, and it goes through the Celtic nations of Wales, Scotland, Ireland, Cornwall, the Ale of Man. And this year for the first time, it'll be travelling to Brittany as well. The scholarship is currently only open to UK residents. So if you are a cyclist of colour and would like to learn more, head to ultra distance scholarship.com. The closing date is the 29th of September.
10:38 Climb Out Festival has just announced that it will be back for 2024 with an upgrade. Climb Out is the UK's first queer climbing festival and its inaugural event took place back in May at Form Bridge Activity Centre. After feedback on this year's festival, the organisers have said they will be staying at Form Bridge, but taking advantage of a bank holiday weekend to offer a longer festival. So it will run from the 24th to the 27th of May, 2024. More information on when and how to book will be shared next year, but for now, make sure you save the date.
Every Body Outdoors is running an exciting weekend course in Erie SS Snowdonia on the 13th to the 15th of October. Participants can build on basic knowledge and learn more advanced navigation skills to give them increased confidence on the hills and mountains. There will be some night navigation, learning micro navigation skills and getting comfortable with being on more challenging terrain and exposed roots. After the course, there will be a chance to do a plus size ascent of or Snowden on Monday the 16th of October. And that's for course participants, but also anyone else who would like to join Links can be found via the Everybody Outdoors Instagram page. And I will of course put them into our newsletter as well. [HANDCLAP IDENT]
12:12 Another cycling story for today, uplift is a new mentoring programme for women in cycling. It has been set up to match experienced female leaders in the cycling industry with the next generation of talent. Mentors will include leaders from a wide range of brands, businesses and organisations including Swift, Liv Specialised Cannondale, British Cycling and more. The deadline to apply is the 2nd of October and all mentees will be shortlisted by the 6th of October. [HANDCLAP IDENT]
12:49 Some sad news that the mountain biking for all event has had to be cancelled. So V spoke about the event on the last episode, but unfortunately there hasn't been enough signups and she has had to cancel it. She said in her post on Instagram, unfortunately, we do not have enough signups to warrant paying a lot of money for the timing equipment, event medics, Marshall Fees and equipment commissionaires and venue fees. We have less than 20 participants. It'd be irresponsible to host an event like that. I've spoken with some of the other organisers who have also mentioned that this is the right thing to do. A fair few races have been cancelled this year due to the lack of participants, so I know I'm not the only one having issues with this. So yeah, v, we are sending you really good vibes your way
[HANDCLAP IDENT] 13:45 And lastly, the Right to Roam campaign will be in 87 lush stores across the uk. They've been working with the campaign team at Lush to bring the story of land access to more people in lush stores across the country. You'll find a guide on how to trespass responsibly, encouraging more people to access places that feel like they're off limits to us. You can also buy some soap, which is called Right to Foam, so you can keep yourself clean after a hard day trespassing and support the work at the same time. [HANDCLAP IDENT]
14:24 The links to all the stories I've talked about today will be in our newsletter. If you don't currently get our newsletter, you really should be. It is the best way to make sure you can find resources and find all the panellists from our episodes. The link is in the episode notes or you can head to on the outside podcast.co uk slash newsletter. I'm also to put links to all our past newsletters and episodes on our Patreon page. So none of the links are behind a paywall and I will be keeping it that way. But if you are in a position to support the show financially, you can do so by heading over to patreon.com on the outside podcast. I may have been saying that wrong in previous episodes, so I'll forgive you if you haven't signed up yet. But all the money we get from Patreon does go towards our panellists.
15:21 You can see how much we're currently getting on that Patreon page as well. So if you're curious, why not head over to have a look? A big thank you to the listeners and followers whose opinions I shared in this episode. It's always nice to get feedback from you listening at home or wherever else you may be listening to this if you are out and about when you listen to on the outside. I'd really like to see that. So do take a selfie of where you listen to these episodes and share it with us on Instagram. We are at On the Outside pod, and if you tag us, we'll share as many of those as we can. This episode of On the Outside was produced, hosted, and edited by me, Francesca Turauskis [ON THE OUTSIDE MUSIC STARTS] On the Outside Artwork is created by Sophie Nolan. Music is Bass Beats by Alex Norton. Anesu Matanda Mambingo is our social media assistant, and you have been our listener. Thank you very much for listening.