What can we do to encourage more women to cycle?

reohn2

Postby reohn2 » 16 Nov 2008, 12:14am

I've got to say that I got a bit fed up with this thread after about page three so stopped reading thereabouts but after comments in the Teashop with regard to Mhara leaving the forum I decided to take a look if this thread could have any bearing on that.
Its much as I thought some clever beggers at head office think they know whats good for others and as Mrara said these "problem" women need to be bought into the fold whether they like it or not(it would seem).
I've got to say I tire of this halfbaked approach by organisations to solving percieved "problem" sections of society/groups etc.

I'm sorry that Mhara has left the forum,I don't know her reasons but can honestly say that if it is anything to do with this thread then I hope the OPer has learned their lesson in how not to get more women cycling.

On first reading the OP I thought it was, quite frankly, barmy.

As for adverts in the national press by the CTC,it only confirms that the Club has lost its way IMHO.

PS I'm allowed to say "Club" I take it.

Dee Jay
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Postby Dee Jay » 16 Nov 2008, 7:57am

reohn2 wrote:
I'm sorry that Mhara has left the forum,I don't know her reasons but can honestly say that if it is anything to do with this thread then I hope the OPer has learned their lesson in how not to get more women cycling.



I believe that the thread which may have prompted Mhara's departure was first locked? ... and then deleted?
Dee

thirdcrank
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Postby thirdcrank » 16 Nov 2008, 8:15am

Dee Jay wrote:
reohn2 wrote:
I'm sorry that Mhara has left the forum,I don't know her reasons but can honestly say that if it is anything to do with this thread then I hope the OPer has learned their lesson in how not to get more women cycling.



I believe that the thread which may have prompted Mhara's departure was first locked? ... and then deleted?


:?:

As Toyah used to sing 'It's a mystery... to me.' :?

reohn2

Postby reohn2 » 16 Nov 2008, 8:52am

Things disappear very quickly on here, its a bit like 20th century Russia :? .

Man climbs down from wrong tree but stands by guns just in case.

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Postby Cyclenut » 16 Nov 2008, 2:57pm

eileithyia wrote:I note the comments about Josie Dew and would say, rather like our olympic and world champions, am not sure she is exactly the sort of role model to get the ordinary woman on the street motivated to cycling.

I beg to differ. I've met Josie, and advised her on problems she's had with her knees and the adaptation of good quality bike equipment - ALL of which is designed for the average man - to an average woman's needs.

Josie is no super athlete. In terms of physical equipment, you could say she drew the short straw. What she does have is willpower and an insatiable curiosity for whatever may be over the horizon. But if she had to hoof it there, her little legs probably would collapse, not to mention the intolerable burden of a rucksack upon her slight frame. Josie's endeavours really do prove the emancipating potential of a bicycle, for ANY woman with the will to ride one.
Chris Juden (at home and not asleep)

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Si
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Postby Si » 16 Nov 2008, 3:15pm

Dee Jay wrote:
reohn2 wrote:
I'm sorry that Mhara has left the forum,I don't know her reasons but can honestly say that if it is anything to do with this thread then I hope the OPer has learned their lesson in how not to get more women cycling.



I believe that the thread which may have prompted Mhara's departure was first locked? ... and then deleted?


Locked: yes, but it was not deleted...still there for all to read, although two of the main protagonists have chosen, of their own free will, to leave the forum.

Paul Power
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Postby Paul Power » 16 Nov 2008, 4:01pm

I think it's a shame with this thread that the original question was never really addressed.

For example, every week we get lots of ladies looking at our bikes and many, not all, but a significant number always say the words: "I'd love to cycle, but...."

In my experience a variety of reasons AREN'T given, it all boils down to one common theme - The roads are just too dangerous.

Unfortunately, in my view the original question here seem to have lost its way, and seem to have centred around how can we get more women who don't want to cycle, to cycle, which is a very different thing altogether.

Personally, I'd love to see more women cycling as the knock-on effect of this would be we'd see more children being allowed to ride to school, we'd see more families enjoying a cycle ride on a weekend instead of being cooked up in a car, and so on and on.

I think it's a shame the question seems to be have been mistaken, I also think it's a shame that some have decided to leave the forum, however, a forum is a place for sharing opionions - some we agree with (few ever agree with mine - :cry: thanks to those who do!!! ) but it's still a place to trade views.

Perhaps the original question should have been re-written along the lines of -

What can the CTC do to encourage those women who want to cycle, but at present feel unable to do so for a variety of reasons.?

Paul

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Postby kwackers » 16 Nov 2008, 6:07pm

Paul Power wrote:What can the CTC do to encourage those women who want to cycle, but at present feel unable to do so for a variety of reasons.?

Paul


I think you're a step too far.

The problem is they don't want to cycle. To defend their position they come up with excuses as to why they can't. (Not just women, non cycling blokes as well).

The question probably is "What can you do to make women WANT to cycle?"

IMO if you want to do something, you'll find solutions to the problems, if you don't you'll find excuses why you can't.

Gisen
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Postby Gisen » 17 Nov 2008, 12:27am

A couple of the girls at work say that they would cycle but that they find it uncomfortable. Anyone have any good recommendations for ladies seats? (also they probably have the seat height set wrong)

Paul Power
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Postby Paul Power » 17 Nov 2008, 10:39am

kwackers wrote:
Paul Power wrote:What can the CTC do to encourage those women who want to cycle, but at present feel unable to do so for a variety of reasons.?

Paul


I think you're a step too far.

The problem is they don't want to cycle. To defend their position they come up with excuses as to why they can't. (Not just women, non cycling blokes as well).

The question probably is "What can you do to make women WANT to cycle?"

IMO if you want to do something, you'll find solutions to the problems, if you don't you'll find excuses why you can't.


I disagree with that view.

For example, when we had as part of our business a national standards approved cycle school here for adults who wanted to cycle, but were too fearful of riding in today's conditions.

In the two years we ran, we only ever had one man take the course. The rest were ladies and all without exception cycle regularly now.These were ladies who wanted to ride a bike, but were too fearful to ride as they lacked the confidence needed to ride in today's difficult conditions.

It's easy to suggest that people who don't cycle come up with excuses as to why not to ride and so, however affordable adult cycle training isn't widely available.

Those who participated on our courses paid for their training and that training wasn't cheap. The costs were along the lines of what you'd pay for a two week holiday in the sun. And even then, we found the school to be un-viable, not because of a lack of would-be customers, but a lack of would-be customers who could afford the charges we needed to make to cover our costs and earn a degree of profit.

Fear is a powerful motivator. You should never dismiss it as simply an excuse. I've seen adults shake and quake at the thoughts of riding a bicycle on the road.


Paul

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Postby kwackers » 17 Nov 2008, 11:05am

Paul Power wrote:I disagree with that view.

For example, when we had as part of our business a national standards approved cycle school here for adults who wanted to cycle, but were too fearful of riding in today's conditions.

In the two years we ran, we only ever had one man take the course. The rest were ladies and all without exception cycle regularly now.These were ladies who wanted to ride a bike, but were too fearful to ride as they lacked the confidence needed to ride in today's difficult conditions.

It's easy to suggest that people who don't cycle come up with excuses as to why not to ride and so, however affordable adult cycle training isn't widely available.

Those who participated on our courses paid for their training and that training wasn't cheap. The costs were along the lines of what you'd pay for a two week holiday in the sun. And even then, we found the school to be un-viable, not because of a lack of would-be customers, but a lack of would-be customers who could afford the charges we needed to make to cover our costs and earn a degree of profit.

Fear is a powerful motivator. You should never dismiss it as simply an excuse. I've seen adults shake and quake at the thoughts of riding a bicycle on the road.


Paul



You disagree - yet your experience surely backs up my view?

Your people wanted to cycle, but were too scared and so joined your course and now do.

Isn't that what I said? If people want to do it they'll find a way to do it.


In my experience there are many people out there who "claim" they would like to cycle but do nothing - not even research the possibility of a course. As far as I can see they don't really want to, they simply know they could and when asked why not come up with any excuse they can lay their hands on.

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Postby Paul Power » 17 Nov 2008, 11:23am

yes, but you're missing two important points:

1. cycle training for adults isn't widely available
2. that cycle training that is available, isn't often very affordable

the problem is that the solution to the problem isn't as widely/easily available as it should.

For example, you want to learn how to drive a car - pick up your local paper and you will be overwhelmed wth choice.

you want to learn how to ride a bike in today's conditions - where do you go?

Paul

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Postby kwackers » 17 Nov 2008, 11:58am

Paul Power wrote:yes, but you're missing two important points:

1. cycle training for adults isn't widely available
2. that cycle training that is available, isn't often very affordable

the problem is that the solution to the problem isn't as widely/easily available as it should.

For example, you want to learn how to drive a car - pick up your local paper and you will be overwhelmed wth choice.

you want to learn how to ride a bike in today's conditions - where do you go?

Paul


I don't think I am missing them.

It's quite possible that cycle training is expensive and rare, tbh I don't know either way and so will take your word.

But whenever I've discussed cycling with someone (male or female) it's always "yes, I know I should, but".
And it's the but that gets it for me, all the old excuses come out. I've never heard anyone say "I tried but it was too scary and I couldn't find any training".

They don't look for training because they don't really want to. Cycling looks rubbish from the warm comfy confines of a car, it looks cold, wet, hard work, sweaty, there's no luggage carrying, it probably requires a change of clothes etc. These are all things at the back of someones mind when you speak to them but they usually haven't solidified their thinking enough to vocalise them.

If you want to get more poeple to cycle you need to address the above and get them to want to cycle, once people genuinely want to cycle then they'll start to find solutions rather than problems.

In short, male or female you could introduce nationwide free cycle training and I don't believe it will make that much difference.
What cycling needs is critical mass, once people see other people they know doing it they'll start to think "I could do that". But in order to hit critical mass you need to find ways of getting the message across, to remove the reasons hiding at the back of peoples brains. Advertising, highlighting celeb cycling use or whatever is required to make cycling look 'cool'.

There's no doubt cycle training is essential in getting people cycling, but I don't think it's the catalyst to getting people on bikes.

But don't be too successful - it's hard enough avoiding most of the hopeless cyclists on the road as is. :wink:

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Postby Paul Power » 17 Nov 2008, 1:03pm

In short, male or female you could introduce nationwide free cycle training and I don't believe it will make that much difference.


Not everyone will agree with you. The case for cycle training increasing the numbers of people cycling is well documented. A sample below from bikeradar's site where Lambeth are offering free cycle training at a cost to the council of £180,000 - good for them - I only wish more would follow suit.

http://www.bikeradar.com/news/article/b ... ough-18822

Their key findings:

Key findings of the report show that:

20% of adults who are properly trained in cycling road skills will go on to use their bicycle five or more days a week as a mode of transport.
Cycle training results in more trips being made by bicycle (mainly for leisure purposes and commuting to work or school) and these trips being made with increased confidence.
People who took part in the scheme cycle more than the London average. Half the adult sample and over a third of the child sample cycle at least once a week. One in five adult participants and around one in eight child participants cycle five or more days a week.
Much of this relatively high use of bikes can be attributed to cycle training. Half of adults cited the cycle training or increased confidence as key factors in their decision to start cycling or cycle more, while two thirds of parents thought the cycle training was a deciding factor in the child cycling more or starting to cycle. Many adult trainees were also motivated by the associated health benefits to increase or start cycling.
61% of adult participants and 48% of child participants have cycled more since undertaking the cycle training.
98% of trainees said they’re satisfied with the training provided by Lambeth

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Postby dan_b » 17 Nov 2008, 2:01pm

kwackers wrote:But whenever I've discussed cycling with someone (male or female) it's always "yes, I know I should, but".

Well, that's the difference isn't it. "Yes I know I should, but " vs "yes I want to, but ".

Both points of view exist, but it's only the latter group that are going to do anything about it.