RGR

5

RAPHA GENTLEMEN’S RACE BAVARIA 2014

Our journey to this event started months before it actually took place on the beautiful roads surrounding Munich. The first leg of the journey brought 4 of us to Mallorca, where originally the race was supposed to take place. Though the race did not happen there, due to short notice, we made the trip happen regardless. We still enjoyed our time at the “Disneyland“ of cycling.

Sometime later we got the second message informing us that the rescheduled race would be in Munich. We were told we needed a team of six to complete the 180km race around Bavaria. We chose Christian Wieners, Christian Lengyel, Allan Berger, Marvin Mangalino, Gui da Rosa, and Josh Hayes.

With the group selected and the logistics sorted out, all we needed was some nice 25mm tires and a ride to Munich. We arrived the Friday before the event for the pre-party at the new Rapha offices. Josh was overly excited about this, as his friends form Amsterdam’s Pristine fixed gear shop would be there. New friends were made and the beginning of a great weekend started. 

Saturday was the day of the great adventure. In true Unicorn fashion, we showed up 30 min before the start, undressed but ready for anything to come.  We were fourth from last to start, and that was our saving grace. As none of us had a cycling computer with navigation, we relied on the queue sheet from Rapha. That sheet failed us within the first kilometre. That set the bench mark for the day. We got lost almost every third turn, but luckily 2 of the teams that started after us caught us due to all of our wrong turns. The BMW team was nice enough to share the effort of keeping the pace at a good speed and gave us directions. Without their help we would have missed the turn for the really tight, fun single track section. 

The ride continued to unfold with more open roads, and the most memorable part was the gravel sections toward the end. Some of them were fun, but one wrong turn sent Josh up a 20% grade of very loose gravel. Everyone else realised it was a wrong turn, but Josh was unfortunately already at the top. That whole section went from rad to ridiculous with golf ball sized rocks, mud sections, and fallen trees.  Everyone made it through one way or another, and onto the final stretch. Don’t think it was all smooth paved roads and tailwinds, though. We ended up having to ride across a high grass field. Everyone was glad that their bikes made it through that potential death trap.       

We all made it through the final 30km, after the field incident, and found ourselves in the Biergarten where it all started. Beers were drank and all the calories lost were re-consumed.  All in all, the group was happy that we finished together, had smiles on our faces, and with friends all around.

Keep it rubber side down, and see everyone again at the next one. 

Thank you Rapha for the weekend adventure. 

I didn’t wanna contribute to anymore of this bullshit, but it’s on my mind and I’m agitated. FUCKING LENA DUNHAM APOLOGISTS, EVERYWHERE, ON MY DASH, GETTING PAYCHECKS, SAYIN’ STUFF, ON THEIR BLOGS, EVERYWHERE. FUCKING LENA DUNHAM APOLOGISTS. It’s one thing to be a fan, or to enjoy her work, but it’s another thing entirely to defend her against “the haters,” as if people calling a racist scumbag by her name is some kinda cruel witch hunt.

Listen, we all like shit that’s problematic. We’ve been through this! Like, y'all, I’m a feminist and I’m getting a blink-182 tattoo on my butt. We all like shit that’s fucked up! And we have the right to! We have the right to like whatever we want, because Feminist Film is published in America and therefore obligated to uphold a rights discourse. Free speech in a free market means Lena Dunham gets big moneys to write for cable TV and Americans everywhere get to blog about it.

But if you’re spilling virtual ink to defend fucked up white people on the principle that too many people are criticizing them for racism, sexism, transphobia, homophobia, privilege, etc. then you are a fucking pig who can go to hell. No other words about it!

I’m starting to think boring white people with aspirations for fame have a lotta stake in this woman’s success ‘cause it gives them hope that they’ll succeed someday, too. Lena Dunham: instillin’ hope in the overprivileged mediocre since 2010.

In conclusion: Lena Dunham is the worst, if you have a problem with people criticizing her then it is because you wanna uphold white supremacy, 'cause it’s not like girlfriend’s getting fired anytime soon, and nobody’s trynta take a way your goddamn HBO. STOP. ALL Y'ALL. STOP. IT.

After the last mention, we got a few messages and notes from people who were blessed to have missed the beef with Lena Dunham. After the cut, there are a few links to the best critiques and the worst offenses.

Good night, enjoy your cable tv. (I know I will.)

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clipart1111111111-deactivated20 asked:

I wanted to ask about Nicki Minaj's "Stupid Hoe" music video. I had watched the video before reading the opinions that you guys linked to, and the video seemed to me to be the hypersexualized-female-objectifying pop fare that we've come to expect from Minaj's career. After reading the posts that you linked to, I rewatched it and could see those perspectives as well, but considering the nature of the song (insulting Lil Kim, another woman of color), I wonder if the video does more harm than good?

I have to ask: Harm to who? To white women? To “women” as a category? To black women?

I agree that it’s damaging to expect women to compete for attention (especially black women), given the fact that American pop culture adheres to the whole “only room for one black female rapper” thing. I also can see how that behavior might be read as playing into stereotypes about women, and black women in particular. But by the same token, I’m not okay with asking those same black female rappers to adhere to a stricter code of be-nice-to-each-other conduct than we ask of white women, or men. Especially considering how “shitting on your haters” is like 99% of Nicki’s philosophy (and I love that). I mean, white people regularly praise Amanda Palmer for doing similar things to other white women. When Madonna does it, she’s just being Madonna. When Nicki Minaj does it, she’s setting back feminism, or whatever.

I’d also like to ask: what is generally objectifying about Minaj’s career? Is it her body? Is it the fact that she sings and raps about sex? No one could ever in a million years convince me that Nicki is ~objectifying herself~ in the “Super Bass” video. What about “Fly?” “Moment 4 Life?” I never understand that criticism of Nicki’s solo career, and it smells like an assumption made about black women’s bodies and an imposition of meaning onto them. Nicki Minaj does sexy stuff. Nicki Minaj has a big booty. Nicki Minaj is not “doing more harm than good” by doing sexy stuff and having a big booty. Or anyway: if we are allowed to find Gaga’s appropriation of sluttiness empowering (and I might!) even though sometimes it aligns with stereotypes, why can’t we do that with Nicki? What is with this incessant public stripping of black women’s sexual agency?

Still, I think there’s a conversation to be had here. Nicki consistently plays with gendered, racialized tropes. Nicki does this with intention and intelligence. We know this, and if you deny her agency in this regard, then you might be acting racist.

Still, a lot of black women find her appropriation of these tropes to be damaging, partially because of Nicki’s sizeable white audience. So, like: no, Nicki should not be held responsible for objectification of women. Nicki’s big booty should not be a signifier in white conversations for black women’s sexuality as a damaging force to feminism.

I’m going to close with a piece in Feminism FOR REAL. It’s an essay called “Pride from Behind” by Shabiki Crane:

I was truly “done” with women’s studies after my professor announced to the class that when white women like Britney Spears presented themselves in a sexual manner it was because they were asserting their sexuality; however when black women, like Beyonce did, they were simply being puppets and degrading themselves.  I couldn’t understand the way that both images wouldn’t invoke the same reaction regardless of whether it was seen as empowerment or degradation, but why not the same? I saw two women singing, shaking, shimmying and to my horror, recognized it would never be the same.  It just reiterated the feelings of dis-empowerment I had harboured throughout the years of my life.

All day yesterday. Switchbacks from hell. Into hell. Each one of them nastier than the last. The thing is, they don’t really look that bad from up here. The Rapha Gentlemen’s Race SoCal was fantastic.