After reading a recent post by Cycling Weekly about female riders feeling there are actually no barriers to women to start cycling, and hearing Chris Boardman’s opinion on the subject the other day. It got me thinking.
Where is the cycling industry at right now, and where is it heading?
I had a bit of a long-winded start to riding bikes. I’ve always ridden bikes but my first experience of mountain biking was in 2006. (I still cringe at the photos of me wearing Adidas tracksuit bottoms to go riding…) But due to lack of people to ride with I didn’t ride all that much in high school. By college I had come across the GirlMTNBiker group on Facebook, so times had clearly changed with the growing number of women on bikes.
Yet we are still in the minority. Working in the bike industry only further highlights this with most of the sales reps coming into shops I have worked in being male. And I’ll be brutally honest, some having the mentality that most women hate about the cycling industry. That looking ‘easy on the eye’ is important. Not all sales reps, but some.
But then is it just the cycling industry to blame? Media in general doesn’t help.
It’s nearly a year since Girls At Moelfre, and it’s still something I am incredibly lucky to have been able to organise. (With plenty of help!) One comment from one of the girls I’ll never forget is that they were treated like mountain bikers, not ‘girls on bikes’. There were no men to complicate things by putting the point across of not ‘having the right bike’ for the tracks. They brought the bikes they had and gave the tracks a go. Even if they made up their own little route down and missed some parts, or they went full steam ahead and tried everything. They were riding bikes and enjoying it. And to me that was all that mattered and it was exactly the same for Girls At Llangollen.
There’s plenty of us out there who ride bikes. It’s just a case of bringing them together to the same place.
I have heard about men complaining about the growing number of female-only events, and yes the amount of Girls At Moelfre type events for the guys are lacking. But there’s nothing stopping them organising their own events. Or maybe we’re at a point now where events may not need to be male or female-only. What point do you think we’re at?
It would be great to hear your opinions on this, and keep checking my blog for post about some exciting plans in the pipeline for Lucy’s Life & Bikes.