What can we do to encourage more women to cycle?

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meic
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Postby meic » 17 Nov 2008, 2:29pm

I think that "Cycle training is leading to more cycle use" is an unjustified and probably incorrect statement.

People who intend to cycle often choose to undergo training would be a more logical conclusion to reach.
Yma o Hyd

kwackers
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Postby kwackers » 17 Nov 2008, 2:30pm

Paul Power wrote:<snip>


I have no problem with any of that - but you're still talking about people who have done cycle training.
In order to have done it you've already decided you want to cycle surely?

Cycle training is part of the solution - no doubt, but it needs to be combined with something that answers peoples real question.

"Why do I want to get out of my warm cosy car and get on a bicycle?"

I'm guessing the solution is to make cheap cycle training readily available whilst having advertisements which dispel the unspoken problems whilst selling the good points along with a tag line of "contact blah for your local cycle training".

What I'm trying to say is - if you advertise cycle training and don't attempt to answer the other questions you'll only get the people who have already decided to cycle (plus a small percentage of people who's interest is piqued).
What you need to do is sell the idea, then use cycle training as the final-nail-in-the-coffin-of-doubt...

George Riches
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Postby George Riches » 17 Nov 2008, 4:21pm

Cycle training might help people continue cycling once taken up.

You can hardly expect someone who takes up cycling and finds that they are hooted at and/or cut up five times on every trip to continue for long. Nor someone who feels that that have to avoid every roundabout or tricky road.

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paulah
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Postby paulah » 17 Nov 2008, 5:25pm

Gisen wrote: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)


Anything that's wide at the back to support the wider pelvis would be better, but even if they set the seat height correctly, it'll still probably be uncomfortable as the frame will have been designed for someone with a longer torso and longer arms and will be stretching too far.
This took me a while to work out when I started cycling again as an adult and it was only because of a lifetime's training in being cross-awkward and using inappropriate equipment from being left-handed that I managed to keep at it and eventually found that the dahon tourer fits quite well.

byegad
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Postby byegad » 17 Nov 2008, 5:38pm

Gisen wrote: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)


My wife tried a female specific Specialised Body Geometry saddle on one of her bikes and promptly made me order another for her other bike. She also rides one of my bikes with a wide male specific Specialised BG and says it's comfortable.

reohn2

Postby reohn2 » 17 Nov 2008, 8:30pm

I really don't think that its saddle design or position thats keeping women from cycling or the lack of training faciltities,its more than likely the fear of traffic or to be more specific what traffic (and by traffic I mean motor vehicles)will do to them ie injure them.Whether that is perceived or real it doesn't matter.
Women and men for that matter are more likely to cycle if a)its not raining b) its not cold c) if they're comfortable ie right bike (mountain bike :? )size fit,but the biggest deterent to cycling IMHO is fear of injury from motor vehicles.

Go to any country where cycling is an everyday activity by a large portion of the populous and that country will have very good cycling facilities and or very good laws to protect those citizens who cycle from the danger of motor vehicle,this country has neither,though it is in transition on the facilities issue (but long way off ideal) as far as protection by law from motors it is woefully in adequate.

thirdcrank
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Postby thirdcrank » 17 Nov 2008, 11:09pm

Image

With apologies to groveller for reposting his pic without permission, here is a shot of him in touring mode over 50 years ago. (More details in his post on the 1973 thread http://forum.ctc.org.uk/viewtopic.php?t ... &start=105. - Scroll down from NC posing on the boat 8) )

Even in those far off, more innocent days, I doubt if any girl had the same freedom. I think that people are much more likely to be hooked on 'serious' cycling as teenagers, rather than as adults.

In reality, in the intervening period, the growth in use of the motor vehicle has had several direct effects on cycling:

Roads perceived to be less safe.

Travelling criminals are perceived to pose a much greater risk, particularly to the young (as in Stranger Danger)

The motor car is perceived by many as a much better way to travel than the cycle - status symbol and all the rest of it. A motor car can be perceived as being particularly convenient for anybody with childcare responsibilities. Many jobs assume the use of a car, often involving distances which might not be practical on a bike, especially for a casual cyclist.

These things have affected the level of cycling generally, but the perceived safety issues may weigh more heavily on women and teenage girls especially. Without fundamental action, none of these things will go away (although as speshact posts elsewhere, if Sainsbury's insurance survey is right, we may be entering a period of Norman Tebbit 'On yer bike' style cycling.) As I said very early in this thread, IMO the only role for the CTC is to point out to the Govt., that improving conditions for all cyclists should increase the number of women cycling as well as the number of men.

Unfortunately, this thread was never intended to be anything to do with that.

Sares
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Postby Sares » 19 Nov 2008, 12:37pm

byegad wrote:
Gisen wrote: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)


My wife tried a female specific Specialised Body Geometry saddle on one of her bikes and promptly made me order another for her other bike. She also rides one of my bikes with a wide male specific Specialised BG and says it's comfortable.


Yes, I find this one really comfy too. Much better than my husband's Selle Royal.

annies
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Postby annies » 19 Nov 2008, 1:06pm

We've had our daughter on the back of a bike since she could sit up (trailer, seat, trailerbike) we are now the only ones who cycle to school in a school of about 200. We were also the only ones who travelled to nursery this way. We live in a village travel on local roads and have a journey of less than a mile, ideal for cycling, apart from the short hill on the way home.

Alot of women are not confident to cycle on roads especially with children, also the attitudes of many bike shops is less than helpful, if you don't cycle they are pretty alien places! Decent bike paths, with signposts that go places you want to go would help alot

Dee Jay
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Postby Dee Jay » 19 Nov 2008, 9:28pm

byegad wrote:
Gisen wrote: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)


My wife tried a female specific Specialised Body Geometry saddle on one of her bikes and promptly made me order another for her other bike. She also rides one of my bikes with a wide male specific Specialised BG and says it's comfortable.


My padded undershorts are now my favourite lingerie!

I shall be investing in a 'better ' seat when I buy my next bike. My daughter is about to graduate to mine - as soon she as she grows another inch or two - and I shall be spending a bit more on a bike for me!
Last edited by Dee Jay on 21 Nov 2008, 10:36am, edited 1 time in total.
Dee

rmw
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Saddles

Postby rmw » 20 Nov 2008, 9:47pm

Saddles - tip the nose down a bit is my suggestion. Scoffers suggest I'll slide forward, but it's suited me for <oatcake> years awheel. There are Durch saddles which have no nose at all, you just perch on a little round pad. Nose down has a simialr effect. You are removing the pressure poont from your squashy bits.
Rushing through the air at 12 miles an hour will lift the gloomiest thoughts from the mind...and what torpidity of soul is not surmounted by the continuous, delicate interaction of nerve and muscle....C. THEODORE EWART, M.D.

rmw
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Should but... want to but...

Postby rmw » 20 Nov 2008, 10:03pm

I dropped out of this topic, it was getting rather away from what I perceived to be the intent of the question.
Leapt back in at Page 14, thank you Paul for sensible observations. Kwackers disagrees, but actually, I think both viewpoints are correct.
There are people who want to cycle but are discouraged sufficiently to either not venture out or they do and they get a scare and get put off. These are the people that Paul was thinking of, and are the ladies who come out on five miles to fabulous rides. This group just need a nudge - that might be cycle training. It might be a 5mtf. It might be a buddy scheme. It might be a friend taking them out cycling.
We as individuals can get these ladies cycling.
Then there is the should but unwilling group. Probably quite a disparate group. Now, get some of them out on a charity ride and they might keep going. But there are attititudes and ignorance and trepidation about safety to break down to move these ones into the want to group. Keep up the cycle advocacy CTC and all other cycling bodies!!
And of course there are actually quite a lot of people out there that don't give a stuff about cycling. Roll on the next fuel shortage is about the only way to deal with them.
Rushing through the air at 12 miles an hour will lift the gloomiest thoughts from the mind...and what torpidity of soul is not surmounted by the continuous, delicate interaction of nerve and muscle....C. THEODORE EWART, M.D.

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DaveP
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Postby DaveP » 25 Nov 2008, 10:08am

Just arrived on "Does anyone know?"
http://www.momentumplanet.ca/
A link to an American bike commuting mag. Current edition available as free pdf (c. 20Mb)
About page 20 theres an article about how to manage looking presentable after riding to work etc. A number of suggestions, particularly for women.
Strikes me that this sort of thing could be relevant to the present topic!

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paulah
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Postby paulah » 25 Nov 2008, 6:44pm

Hair styling tips for helmet wearers and a pattern for sewing your own stylish rain cape. Could this be the new cosmo?

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professorlandslide
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Postby professorlandslide » 25 Nov 2008, 7:58pm

Stop going on about it being dangerous. Yeah, we all like to go 'almost mashed by truck this morning! Wooargh!' but actually it probably missed by a mile... ;D