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British Cycling makes final push for one million female cyclists

New campaign looks to break the stigma around road cycling and offer guidance to riders

Joe Robinson
31 Jan 2019

British Cycling is beginning its final push towards getting one million women on bikes with its latest campaign #OneinaMillion focused on tackling the common myths and misconceptions that traditionally prevent women from travelling on two wheels.

In March 2013, the body announced its plan to get a million more women riding bikes regularly by 2020. So far, 800,000 have been encouraged but the disparity between male and female cycling still runs deep with two-thirds of frequent cyclists being male.

Therefore, through this latest campaign, British Cycling will attempt to close that gap by firstly breaking the rumours and worries that build up before taking your first bike ride and also telling the story of those who have already been inspired to start riding.

To start off, seven myths of cycling have been tackled and disproven such as 'cycling isn't safe', 'you need loads of gear and a wardrobe full of lycra' and 'I'll get a sore backside'.

This comes after a British Cycling survey in 2018 found that 64% of women say they do not feel confident riding their bike on the roads, a quarter higher than men.

The campaign has also offered avenues for those new to cycling to feel better included and more informed such as guidance towards traffic-free riding, the option of women-only rider and also tips and tricks on how to deal with problems such as inevitable punctures and lacking motivation.

The #OneinaMillion campaign also focuses on widening the approach women take to cycling by providing information around various events across the year, local clubs that you can join and all you need to know if considering racing.

Multiple Olympic gold medalist Sir Chris Hoy is among those backing the latest campaign and offered his thoughts on how to close the gender gap in cycling to the BBC in a recent interview.

'Cycling, in all its forms - whether it's commuting, competing, coaching or as a career - must be just as appealing to women as it is to men,' said Hoy.

'If we are to close the cycling gender gap we need to show women that it is safe, you don't have to be super fit or have a wardrobe full of lycra.'

British Cycling chief executive Julie Harrington also spoke on the latest campaign, looking at the wider implications that could be felt if more women take up cycling.

'Cycling is increasingly being understood as a fundamental part of the solution when it comes to issues of public health and air quality,' said Harrington.

'However, change will not come unless people feel safe on the roads and we know this disproportionately affects women. We want women to know that cycling is safe and there are plenty of easy and accessible options available for people wanting to get started.'

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