With the tour de France taking place at the moment we can’t get away from the reality that cycling is a male dominated sport. Men have weeks of racing whilst women have 1 race.
There are less opportunities for women in all areas of cycling. When people think of a professional cyclist they do not think of a female. When we think of a road cyclist we picture an image of a male. We can all play a part in changing the imagery of a cyclist to a female one!
However, our world view of what a cyclist is, is changing. More women are cycling and the more we share it and become visually present within the culture the more that females can become accepted and less of an afterthought. This will in turn give us more opportunities. Read my previous blog Women Are Strong! on why cycling is great for women.
There are huge benefits for females to take part in sport and why not cycling? We can challenge ourselves, it’s great for our mental health, it provides social networks and can be done well into our later years.
Promote Yourself as a Cyclist
Rides like Rapha Women’s 100 are great as it forces women to promote themselves as cyclists. The more female cyclists there are, the more opportunities we will have. Do you notice in the cycling stores there is a huge selection of clothes for more males, whilst there is a small corner for women's clothing. Things are changing slowly, but if we keep the momentum going and inspire others to cycle merchandisers will realise that we want more too. This goes beyond clothing, most bikes and equipment is designed with the male rider in mind. Saddles would be a prime example. There are options, but usually less availability and variety.
Learn and Help Other Women
We can learn a lot more from our female counterparts. So if more women cycle we can share our experiences with each other, help others out and feel inspired by other women.
If more women cycle, then there would be more and fairer races. I can imagine that anyone who has raced in cycling has felt the lack of women competitors than that of men. As a result the standard is very varied and it doesn't feel like a fair race. Women’s cycling in the UK is gaining in popularity and there are more races to gain experience at entry level. Again the more women that race or take part in events, the more equality and opportunities will have.
Be an Inspiration
We can all play our part in being an inspiration to other women to get out on their bikes.
For me I started racing in my 30’s, but we all have our own inspirational stories. To help inspire other female cyclists, share in the comments what makes you an inspiration.
Become more through your cycling and book a free discovery call with me!