What can we do to encourage more women to cycle?

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Cunobelin
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Postby Cunobelin » 14 Oct 2008, 10:06pm

Just got back from Josie's talk - absolutely brilliant.

Over 1/2 of the audience were women (and cyclists!)

Loved the thought that her daughter Molly (2) has already clocked up 9,000 miles!


Anyone who thinks women can't cycle should attend one of these talks!

mhara

Postby mhara » 19 Oct 2008, 9:49am

Cunobelin wrote:...
Anyone who thinks women can't cycle should attend one of these talks!

Hope you're not meaning that anyone thinks women haven't the physical ability to cycle? :)

Most of us have more hurdles, than most men do, to overcome before we can consider making regular bicycle use a part of our lives.

The majority of us would rather run/jog than ride and don't see why our preference for something other than cycling should be made into a 'problem' at the whim of the CTC.

The above points have been thoroughly aired in this thread by people like Dee Jay, meic, eileithya, MickF and Manx Cat, though anyone could be excused missing their posts amongst the more predominant discursions such as the colour of Hammerite paint and the vital role female cyclists should provide in improving the scenery for male eyes. :?

But today, surprise, surprise, there's a full page CTC advert in The Independent which is aimed at us 'problem' people. :roll:

Main photo = young woman and little girl with bicycle in background.
Insert pics = women of all ages out happily cycling. (No black or minority ethnic women though - come on CTC, if you're trying to correct what you see as a 'problem' then at least try to be completely PC.)

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Cunobelin
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Postby Cunobelin » 19 Oct 2008, 12:11pm

Don't take this the wrong way - that is not what is intended....

Josie is an example of just what can be done, and as such has the potential of a role model

I am not saying you have to cycle half way around the world , but that she has successfully overcome many of the perceived barriers and constrictions that are often quoted - something to recognise.

I would not dream of saying that anyone has to cycle, or that there is any reason that cycling is a gender orientated pastime. However there is a real question as to why women ae under represented, and a s a campaigning organisation, does not the CTC have a role to play in finding out why?

Other factors such as ethnicity and race are also issues,(and have been adressed in thepast) but as I posted before that would take the emphasis of this thread way off topic.... Imagine the controversy that would arise if I suggested that wearing a Burqa is a barrier to Muslim women cycling?

kwackers
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Postby kwackers » 19 Oct 2008, 6:37pm

mhara wrote:The majority of us would rather run/jog than ride and don't see why our preference for something other than cycling should be made into a 'problem' at the whim of the CTC.



Interestingly around 70% of the people at my running club are male.
Also whilst out for a run I can safely say the majority of other joggers I see are also male - and I'd say they account for a somewhat higher ratio than the club (women prefer the safety of running in a club???). Although I suspect men tend to run further which would mean they're out longer skewing the results.

I don't know what the ratio is for bike riding - commuting seems to be a higher percentage male, although non commuting looks to be much better balanced.

Obviously statistically my samples are tiny and local to me so I'm not considering them to be that relevant. But I do wonder if anyone has any real statistics.

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meic
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Postby meic » 20 Oct 2008, 12:16am

So I guess CTC found the answer to their question. Pay lots of money to Advertising agencies to "influence" women (well the sort that read the Independant at least) to get on their bikes.
Yma o Hyd

mhara

Postby mhara » 20 Oct 2008, 7:18am

kwackers wrote:
mhara wrote:The majority of us would rather run/jog than ride and don't see why our preference for something other than cycling should be made into a 'problem' at the whim of the CTC.



Interestingly around 70% of the people at my running club are male.
Also whilst out for a run I can safely say the majority of other joggers I see are also male - and I'd say they account for a somewhat higher ratio than the club (women prefer the safety of running in a club???). Although I suspect men tend to run further which would mean they're out longer skewing the results.

I don't know what the ratio is for bike riding - commuting seems to be a higher percentage male, although non commuting looks to be much better balanced.

Obviously statistically my samples are tiny and local to me so I'm not considering them to be that relevant. But I do wonder if anyone has any real statistics.


Of what relevance to this thread is the percentage of male joggers/runners? :?

mhara

Postby mhara » 20 Oct 2008, 7:30am

meic wrote:So I guess CTC found the answer to their question. Pay lots of money to Advertising agencies to "influence" women (well the sort that read the Independant at least) to get on their bikes.


:) Clearly our free advice didn't have any value meic.
A more persuasive advert ought to have taken on board your experience, and that of others who have families and use two wheeled transport.

Why have a pretty picture of Mum? and Daughter? off their bikes. :?
Why not show some proper families - i.e. parents of either gender
* on the school run
* going to the supermarket
* commuting to work via the Sure Start nursery

Seeing is beleiving.
Non-cycling women and men (who read the Independent) need to see what is possible.

BTW - I occasionally read Independent on Sunday, never the daily. Their daily paper's sports pages coverage of women's sports are rubbish IMHO

kwackers
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Postby kwackers » 20 Oct 2008, 9:04am

mhara wrote:
kwackers wrote:
mhara wrote:The majority of us would rather run/jog than ride and don't see why our preference for something other than cycling should be made into a 'problem' at the whim of the CTC.



Interestingly around 70% of the people at my running club are male.
Also whilst out for a run I can safely say the majority of other joggers I see are also male - and I'd say they account for a somewhat higher ratio than the club (women prefer the safety of running in a club???). Although I suspect men tend to run further which would mean they're out longer skewing the results.

I don't know what the ratio is for bike riding - commuting seems to be a higher percentage male, although non commuting looks to be much better balanced.

Obviously statistically my samples are tiny and local to me so I'm not considering them to be that relevant. But I do wonder if anyone has any real statistics.


Of what relevance to this thread is the percentage of male joggers/runners? :?


A response to your quote that the majority of women prefer to jog/run. Which doesn't seem borne out by my experience.

I'd suggest in the context of your mail it's very relevant - or are you just trying to be clever?

mhara

Postby mhara » 20 Oct 2008, 9:36am

kwackers wrote:
mhara wrote:
kwackers wrote:
mhara wrote:The majority of us would rather run/jog than ride and don't see why our preference for something other than cycling should be made into a 'problem' at the whim of the CTC.



Interestingly around 70% of the people at my running club are male.
Also whilst out for a run I can safely say the majority of other joggers I see are also male - and I'd say they account for a somewhat higher ratio than the club (women prefer the safety of running in a club???). Although I suspect men tend to run further which would mean they're out longer skewing the results.

I don't know what the ratio is for bike riding - commuting seems to be a higher percentage male, although non commuting looks to be much better balanced.

Obviously statistically my samples are tiny and local to me so I'm not considering them to be that relevant. But I do wonder if anyone has any real statistics.


Of what relevance to this thread is the percentage of male joggers/runners? :?


A response to your quote that the majority of women prefer to jog/run. Which doesn't seem borne out by my experience.

I'd suggest in the context of your mail it's very relevant - or are you just trying to be clever?


I'm not clever enough to be clever, I'm trying to be simple.
There are simply more women in this country who run/jog than there are women who cycle.
What relevance does the male/female ratio of jogger/runners have in relation to female cyclist vs female jogger/runner?

kwackers
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Postby kwackers » 20 Oct 2008, 9:54am

mhara wrote:I'm not clever enough to be clever, I'm trying to be simple.
There are simply more women in this country who run/jog than there are women who cycle.
What relevance does the male/female ratio of jogger/runners have in relation to female cyclist vs female jogger/runner?


I didn't introduce the concept of jogger as a comparison, you did.

But you win, I've nothing sensible to contribute to this discussion, I obviously understand so little about what women think that I can't even figure out when I can respond to a comment made by one.

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meic
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Postby meic » 20 Oct 2008, 10:48am

They always say that advice is worth what you pay for it!
I seem to recall that all I said was that after decades of thinking about it, I still have no idea. :lol:

If they were to use my life as an example, I suspect it would only encourage women who are trying to qualify for the arduous activities section of the DoE's gold award. Because it knackers me, give me a 200K Audax any day.
Yma o Hyd

eileithyia
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Postby eileithyia » 20 Oct 2008, 3:02pm

Have been watching this thread develop but generally had nothing more to contribute than I already have.
I wonder why the original poster has never come for further info/or thanked us for the comments so far. Seems to me like "Light the blue touch paper and retire..."

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.

Can't see the average woman relating to using the cape as impromptu toilet shelter!!!!!!!!!

Which brings me on to another reason why some women may find cycling an unattractive option. Periods, the monthlies or whatever else you wish to call 'em. They are most certainly the curse to some. Water retention, feeling C**p, soaking through sanitary protection in under an hour. It can be extremely unpleasant.

Have not seen the ad, but it certainly sounds as though no one has bothered to return to this thread for any of the members views.
I stand and rejoice everytime I see a woman ride by on a wheel the picture of free, untrammeled womanhood. HG Wells

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Si
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Postby Si » 20 Oct 2008, 3:49pm

You could always try emailing the press office to see if they bothered reading this thread, and indeed, what strategy they have decided to put in place.


---



On the subject of Josie Dew and role models. Firstly, in her defense, I'm not sure that she's ever asked to be a role model, but I've heard from another potential female cyclist that she was put off by reading a Josie Dew book. What put her off was Dew's repeated attacks on fat people. Lots of fat people (both male and female) consider cycling as a way of losing weight - to read a book by a respected cyclist castigating fat people isn't exactly going to encourage them - more likely give them the view that other cyclists will have a go at them maybe?

But, as I said, I don't think that Josie Dew wrote the books to make out that she was championing the cause of cycling, but to give her own opinions. So I'm not criticising her, but just asking how good a role model is she?

Dee Jay
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Postby Dee Jay » 20 Oct 2008, 4:14pm

I have found this thread very thought provoking and have come to the conclusion that one of the things that all women cyclists can do to encourage other women to cycle ... is to cycle.

And to communicate that fact to other women - if necessary.

I know that my cycling has encouraged at least three other women - maybe more - to cycle, in the past 10 months.
Dee

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Postby eileithyia » 20 Oct 2008, 5:24pm

Well said Dee, have managed to encourage a couple of others to cycle at my place of work in recent years.
I stand and rejoice everytime I see a woman ride by on a wheel the picture of free, untrammeled womanhood. HG Wells