Cycling inspiration website Gallivant have a mission to get more of us on bikes. When going about this, they noticed that there was a definite gender gap when looking at the sport. (Sustrans 2018 bikelife report says men are twice as likely to use a bicycle for travel on a regular basis than women in all seven cities they looked in to)
Curious as to why many women are put off from cycling they conducted a survey to get some answers.
Chris Gomez co-Founder of Gallivant explains “We knew through our own conversations with people that there are many women who would secretly like to start cycling, whether for themselves or for their family, but are put off by something. We wanted to find out more so that we can help as many people as possible discover the joy of life on 2 wheels”.
The survey showed that the overwhelming reason for why women are put off from cycling is fear of the roads and traffic, with 37% of survey respondents citing this as their answer.
So what can we do to help? 46% of respondents of Gallivants survey suggested that more cycle lanes and dedicated cycle paths are required. 38% of people also asked for more female-friendly cycle rides and events.
Other tips include:
Get some inspiration:
Read about other women who have taken to two wheels and find out how they started. Gallivant support InternationElles, a 10-strong team of female cyclists who are taking on a 3-week challenge of cycling the route of the Tour de France a day ahead of the men’s race. Many of these women started cycling seriously later in life. You can follow their progress here: https://www.facebook.com/Gallivant.bike/
The team of 10 riders will tackle the 3400 km route of the Tour de France a day ahead of the official race from the 5th — 21st July. In the summer of 2015 a unique event called Donnons des Elles au Velo J-1 was created. Three French women rode one day ahead of the male pro peloton in the most famous bike race in the world. Their aim was to raise awareness for gender equality in cycling and to campaign for women's tours to be held alongside the men’s. In 2019, the InternationElles team will cycle alongside the French team with the same aim, as well as to inspire more women to get involved in cycling.
Team member Alex Chart explains “ Growing up I was the only girl on my street on my bike every day — I used to ride with boys around the local parks. I never saw any female cyclists on TV or heard about females using the bike to explore new countries. I want to show every child that a bike is for anyone. Be it to cycle to school, or to work, to visit a friend in the next town or to race at the highest levels. Regardless of gender. Regardless of background. The bicycle is there to be enjoyed, to find your freedom and to explore new roads”.
Check out your local cycle routes on Sustrans. There are great safety tips here too: https://www.sustrans.org.uk
Talk to your friends and see who might buddy up with you to start cycling. It’s surprising when you start chatting to others, you find people who are in the same position.
Need more ideas? Check out: https://gallivant.bike/blogs/to-do-list