Welcome to the Women in Cycling Series.
Why run this special focus?
Anecdotally we have noticed an increasing number of women on their bikes – both on the bitumen and the dirt – so we decided to look into the figures. While the whole sport of cycling is booming in general, with recreational participation by adults (aged 15 or older) increasing by more than 35% since 2005*, making cycling/BMX one of the top four physical activities in Australia; leading the charge has been women’s participation. Research suggests that female involvement has grown by 50% since 2005, which is nearly double the growth of male participation throughout the same period*.
We were keen to find out why so many women of varying ages, abilities, fitness levels and backgrounds were drawn to pedal power and – at the same time – encourage and support other women to get involved.
Inspiration – Stories
Running over eight weeks, we will profile eight different and inspiring Townsville women in cycling where we’ll get to know them and find out what they get out of the sport.
Please note: We haven’t included National Road Series Champion Ruth Corset in this series as we have done a number of stories on this phenomenal rider and mentor in the past, but she is a crucial part of Townsville’s cycling community and an inspiration for many female riders, not just here, but across the country.
Opportunity – Skill sessions and rides
Thanks to local sporting clubs Townsville Cycle Club and Rockwheelers Mountain Bike Club, plus Top Brand Cycles – ladies will have access to various skills sessions and guided social rides throughout the initiative (some are free and others have a small fee to cover insurance costs, or event entry in the case of the Time Trial). Numbers are capped so get in early to secure your spot!
Women in Cycling facts*
- Women ride for fitness, fun, to improve their health, to socialise and to challenge themselves
- Feeling unsafe on the road, work commitments and lack of time are the top three challenges that inhibit Australian women from riding more regularly
- 52% of women currently ride alone
- 61% of women describe their skill level as intermediate
- Women currently ride an average of three times a week
- 92% of women enjoy reading stories about women’s cycling
- 51% believe that media coverage for women’s cycling is improving
* Figures are from a survey conducted by Cycling Australia of 2,400 women in October and November 2013 that was developed with the support of Cycling Australia’s Women’s Commission, and implemented in conjunction with Mountain Bike Australia (MTBA), AustCycle and the Amy Gillett Foundation. More info and full report here.