What can we do to encourage more women to cycle?

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Coffee
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Re: What can we do to encourage more women to cycle?

Postby Coffee » 19 Sep 2008, 7:55pm

CTC Press Office wrote:
So what can we do to encourage more women to cycle?




I think it would have to be a Mamma Mia type cycle film with Pierce Brosnan in Lycra cycling shorts......Singing Queen song 'I want to ride my bicycle' - Abba-esque stylie )

:D

· 27% would be concerned about ‘helmet hair’


Isn't that a high % to be even thinking about wearing a helmet?

reohn2

Postby reohn2 » 19 Sep 2008, 8:15pm

jan19 wrote:I first read this report in my tea break at work - it annoyed me then and I'm just as annoyed now! Just how much were these people paid to produce a report worthy of our glorious tabloids? Do they really think women are so shallow as to put their appearance before any other consideration?

I ride to work, and I also go out at weekends. On my journey to work I rarely see another woman, although there are a lot of men. I ride along a busy A road with some provision for cyclists - but none in the places you really need it. At the weekend I ride along safe pavement cycle track and I see lots of other women who clearly are not worried about a bit of sweat. Conclusion : women are happy to cycle for exercise IF its not perceived as a dangerous occupation.

As for using Victoria Pendleton as a role model - nothing would put me off more! (No offence VP) Not in a million years will I look like her and if I thought a cyclist had to look like her I would never get on my bike. I was asked to do a blog for my local council Intranet after National Bike Week (which I have done) just because I'm the opposite to VP - middle aged, short, plump and decidedly unfashionable ( I own no Lycra) - the point being you don't have to be a gorgeous fit 20 something to cycle.

need to go and calm down now...

Jan


Well said Jan,I sick of "fashion" "celebreties" and people wringing their hands wondering how we're going to...........

eileithyia
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Postby eileithyia » 19 Sep 2008, 8:24pm

jan, unfortunately you and I are the converted and as someone else has said on here we might not be the best people to comment on why the rest of our sex do not cycle.
When I first started commuting to work I was anxious not to arrive in an unkempt state, with my hair reasonably tidy (in those days we still wore a cap so much could be hidden) and I had to change anyway so we all had lockers making life easier. But there you go a serious cyclist but still I had concerns re my appearance at work.
Older and wiser now and do not let it concern me quite so much.
As I said in my earlier post I have heard getting sweaty as an excuse not to cycle....
I too do not think VP, NC et al are particularly good role models they are just too athletic and make cycling look like something you have to be super fit to do.

Have pondered some of this today (whilst out on the bike)
When I was a kid we all had bikes, rode up and down the street, to the park etc. My dad cycled to work daily as did many of the other dad's locallyand so did my grandfather until he retired at 70. When I met my first serious boyfriend, not only was he a cyclist but both he and his dad rode to work, also. Whilst neither of our mums cycled mine had been a cyclist in her youth. But there were other women around who cycled to the shops etc.
It was normal to grow up in a family where cycling as a daily activity was normal and accepted.

Now fast forward to today. There are several kids who play out around where I live (that in itself is quite unusual these days) 50/50 boys and girls but it is only 3 of the boys who have bikes. One of the dads does cycle to work but I see no one else obviously commuting.
Probably we have to start right back at the grass roots to promote cycling as a normal activity, not something totally unusual, but we have become such a car dominated society.

....and unfortunately (I do not like to stereotype) but far too many young women are more concerned about their looks and their appearance, want status symbol cars, or status symbol boyfriends with cars, it is as if we have gone full circle in some aspects of life.
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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Postby Ron » 19 Sep 2008, 8:25pm

http://www.awfulgood.com/doa-archives/000185.php

Mudguards and chainguards are much in evidence on these shots!

I think many of our UK cycle sport enthusiasts do more ill than any other group in discouraging new entrants to the world of utility cycling.
Any newcomer coming along seems to be bombarded with information on special clothing goggles, lycra, spd, special shoes, helmets and derailleur gears etc. etc. all of which are quite unnecessary for the majority of people who could be persuaded to pooter along the 2 or 3 miles to work and home again.

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jan19
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Postby jan19 » 19 Sep 2008, 8:59pm

[quote="eileithyia"]jan, unfortunately you and I are the converted and as someone else has said on here we might not be the best people to comment on why the rest of our sex do not cycle.

But I've only been converted for the last three years - at the age of 48! Cycling to work is the bravest, most avant-guarde thing I've ever done. I spent a whole year looking at routes, thinking about traffic, adapting my way of cycling before I took it up. Its for me, and my health, but I had no external support (apart from Malcolm, who has been fabulous all the way). Its why I feel so angry when its implied that "bad hair day" is what's stopping women!

look at the roads people and see the problem - and tonight our local rag reports the death of a 51 year old cyclist (male) who got in the way of a road race between a high-powered saloon and a large 4x4 ...


Jan

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Mick F
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Postby Mick F » 19 Sep 2008, 9:25pm

"What can we do to encourage more women to cycle?" as per OP

Make it illegal for them do drive cars?
Mick F. Cornwall

mhara

Postby mhara » 19 Sep 2008, 9:41pm

If I was a non-cycling woman I'd being getting enraged right now that some-one, somewhere has decided that women who do not cycle are a problem. :shock:

Obviously the 64% of women who don't cycle don't think they're causing anyone a problem, least of all themselves. And if some idiot questionnaire came round, or some daft researcher asking me why I didn't do something I never wanted to do anyway I'd probably also give some flippant answer such as hair-do's, or sweat. :twisted:

This year in Exeter the paper has been full of women - and I mean in their tens of thousands added up over the year - running marathons and half marathons and doing midnight charity walks and parachuting and canoeing and abseiling, and other energetic things that cause sweat and/or hair disarrangement. And having a great time.

None of them fell wailing to the ground begging forgiveness for not having cycled anywhere.

I can't think of a less successful way to start appealing to any body of people than to say 'Hey, you're a problem, I'm going to encourage you not to be.'

Yeah, well, that'll work :? :roll:

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Mick F
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Postby Mick F » 19 Sep 2008, 9:47pm

mhara wrote:If I was a non-cycling woman I'd being getting enraged right now that some-one, somewhere has decided that women who do not cycle are a problem. :shock:

I can't think of a less successful way to start appealing to any body of people than to say 'Hey, you're a problem, I'm going to encourage you not to be.'

Yeah, well, that'll work :? :roll:


Right! Well said. Utterly agree.
Mick F. Cornwall

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jan19
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Postby jan19 » 19 Sep 2008, 10:06pm

Mick F wrote:"What can we do to encourage more women to cycle?" as per OP

Make it illegal for them do drive cars?


sorry Mick, but that's not exactly helpful.

Jan

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Postby kwackers » 19 Sep 2008, 10:54pm

It seems to me that many hobbies/activities (and indeed industries - such as mine) that have fewer women than men involved spend an inordinate amount of time trying to work out why women don't do it and how things can be changed so they will...

I reckon if women want to do it they will, unless there's something actively keeping them out why worry?

To turn it on it's head - think of hobbies/activities that have a predominately female membership - do they sit around asking why men don't do it and wondering what they can do to get men involved?

When it comes to trivia like 'sweaty' or 'bad hair' in my experience people in general (men and women) use such things as excuses - they don't really want to do it and need a reason. If they did they're usually pretty capable of looking past such trivia on their own.

All imo of course...

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Mick F
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Postby Mick F » 20 Sep 2008, 7:34am

jan19 wrote:
Mick F wrote:"What can we do to encourage more women to cycle?" as per OP

Make it illegal for them do drive cars?


sorry Mick, but that's not exactly helpful.

Jan


It was a silly statement, but I did hope it might lighten the story so far.
Short of forcing people to ride bikes, there's not much you can do.

I think that we (both male and female) on this forum are wasting our time in trying to figure out why someone doesn't cycle. We cyclists are not best placed to figure out an alien species and what makes them tick.

Lead a horse to water, but you can't make it drink!
Mick F. Cornwall

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Postby eileithyia » 20 Sep 2008, 8:13am

Well said Mhara, most women do not see cycling as an option as a form of transport, and do not see there is a problem in getting them started as it is not something they would consider, this goes back to my post of not living in an environment where cycling is a normal everyday activity.

The girls around me do not cycle and I see no families encouraging them to do so. On a camp site a few years ago a group of (all ages all sexes) were preparing to go for a days cycling, a girl from a neighbouring caravan was aghast that we were cycling as "ladies do not cycle" Looking at her mum I could what she meant; fat, smoking and settling down with OK mag! Yes I know I am stereotyping but these this is the entrenched mindset that is the problem.

Jan you are a convert whether you have only been cycling 3 years or longer and that's good.
Personally I think there is an age/maturity thing going on here as well. I know quite a few ladies who have taken up cycling in later life.
A life crisis possibly, middle age spread, divorce, partner taking it up, other health issues, a desire to introduce a healthier life style to children,.
With maturity I would add less worry (possibly) re messed up hair, looks etc., knowledge it can be fixed. But I think I would add that these people are probably adopting a whole healthier lifestyle; walking more, doing other physical activities with families.
Like I said; matured and got past the going out/night clubbing/finding a bloke scenario.
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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Postby Cunobelin » 20 Sep 2008, 8:20am

It is down to local level


I don't know how they do it, but Every time I visit St Ives in Cambridgeshire I see loads of women on bikes, and it is not uncommon to see groups on a Sunday morning of woen on decent bikes in club strip.

Equally in Edinburgh this week there were a lot of women on bicycles

I don't know ahatthey doe in these two areas but it seems to work!

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Coffee
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Postby Coffee » 20 Sep 2008, 10:23am

Cunobelin wrote:It is down to local level


I don't know how they do it, but Every time I visit St Ives in Cambridgeshire I see loads of women on bikes, and it is not uncommon to see groups on a Sunday morning of woen on decent bikes in club strip.

Equally in Edinburgh this week there were a lot of women on bicycles

I don't know ahatthey doe in these two areas but it seems to work!


Hey, I'm one of those women in St.Ives, do you cycle while you are here? Wear a 'Cunobelin' name tag and I'll ping my bell at you. :-)

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Postby thirdcrank » 20 Sep 2008, 1:42pm

Coffee

If you can't recognise him from that mugshot, what use will a nametag be? :lol:

Cunobelin

As you were going to St Ives,
Did you meet a man with seven wives?

Could it be that polygamy is the key to getting more women cycling? :?: Or have I got the wrong St Ives? :?