Fighting Fat Phobia in the Cycling Community

Readers of this blog know that I use the word fathlete frequently. I didn’t invent it, but it’s one small way I resist the outdated, discriminatory, and just plain wrong notion that one cannot be overweight and still exercise. I’m not promoting anyone should try to be overweight. But I am saying that there is plenty of weight stigma in the world, and that includes people who ride bicycles, and I’m also saying it should stop. While that’s unlikely anytime soon, I believe it is worth saying again. Because there are already plenty of obstacles to bicycling (horrible car drivers, unsafe or missing bike lanes, new bikes that are unaffordably priced for many). We don’t need any less reasons for people to bike, we need more. Let’s explore this problem and what can be done about it.

[My previous posts Some Surprising Ways Weight Supports Sports and Un-Fat Is Not All That: Being Overweight May Have Some Health Benefits contain some of my thoughts on this subject.]

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Bicycling Magazine’s Article: “I’m a Fat Cyclist—And I Don’t Need to “Fix” My Body”

I just saw this September 13, 2019 article in Bicycling magazine by Kailey Kornhauser. Since I routinely refer to myself as a fathlete, I couldn’t pass on sharing and commenting. Subtitled “My weight doesn’t need to change. But the bike world’s attitude toward me does,” I think she nails the point home that overweight people can and do ride bikes and deserve respect. She puts the fat-shamers in the bicycling world on notice that their discriminatory views are harmful, outdated, unacceptable, and actually damaging to the sport. A Dude has dealt with plenty of unspoken and spoken anti-fat discrimination, so it’s high time this issue gets the attention it’s due. Let’s talk about it.

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