This is a Roland TB 303.

Before today, I had never seen one.

Typically, I would be very interested in trying to weave this 303 into the story, finding some obscure and mildly clever fashion in which you, me, Anna Meares, women in cycling and the whole she-bang might just come together.

Because today is 303 days until the London Olympics.

At a pinch, I think I could work something out like how the Roland TB 303 was initially only a small run little thing that no one much liked (they only made 10,000) that everyone thought was a bit not right, because it wasn’t the sound they were expecting. They wanted to create an electronic bass sound. And they only kind of thought of it as a limited accompaniment for the guitarist practising alone. And it doesn’t sound like a real bass guitar.

A bit like women and sport. Kind of not your main event when you’re just thinking in a limited framework.

Eventually, however, the sound kind of opened up in early 80s/90s acid scene and freak it, The Guardian recently ranked its invention at number 8 in the top 50 events in the history of dance music. Fat Boy Slim basically figures that everyone needs a 303, and for me, women’s sport is a bit like that, sure – it might not be what you expected initially, but if you consider it equally amazing for what it is, and not difficult because of what it isn’t, chances are you could find yourself in a club having an amazing time. The lights drop and you are about to lose your mind.

Hmm. I’m not sure if that totally worked. You get my drift either way. I want to encourage more women to ride for more people to considering supporting women to ride, either by being a woman and riding or by not being a woman and encouraging others to ride.

more women riding = more people riding = good

Oh my god. I should just let Anna speak. She’s got far more credibility than I do on this matter. For Anna is a woman who cycles, no kidding. And she was much more succinct on the issue. And probably more diplomatic and more balanced. And less prone to dance music metaphors.

This is what Anna Meares thinks about Women in cycling…

There’s no question that women’s sport receives less coverage than men’s; what would you say about the state of women’s cycling in Australia? Are there positives you’re really proud to be a part of? Or are there things you’d like to see improved/changed?

Women’s coverage to Men’s sport depends on the sport.

For our sport I feel it is pretty equal and is dependent on results.

I have worked very hard for many years and gained very consistent results over a very long period of time. This has helped me to build a profile and without being cocky my profile is one of the highest in the sport of track cycling. There are always areas and ways to improve and change things. The difficult thing is that Australia has such a rich and deep sporting history and passion that there are many many sports and personalities trying to get coverage and it can only go so far. Sports that are both Olympic and non Olympic.

(HRH: yes, too much sport not enough time. Okay, I’m prepared to nominate one to go… um… golf? Isn’t cycling the new golf? Yes. we can get rid of golf. Sorry dad. Yeah, and just being a damn good athlete. Yes, this seems rather effective too Anna.)

Not to labour a non-too-subtly-made point, but this could be a domino effect.

Fat Boy Slim knows what I mean.




By Eleanor Jackson

Eleanor Jackson is a Filipino Australian poet, performer, arts producer, cyclist, writer, gal about town, feminist, freewheeler, and friend.

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