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Strava stats show UK lags behind global average in gender-balanced commuting

Joseph Delves
11 Dec 2019

End of year report highlights trends including the growth of indoor cycling

Hoovering up stats from its 48 million worldwide users, this year Strava recorded over 19 million activities per week across 195 countries. This huge dataset allows it to draw some interesting conclusions about cycling trends in each of these locations.

Looking back over the year’s data, we can see that in 2019 in the UK the median cycle commute covered 8.3km, and in total, the app’s UK members offset 28,270 metric tons of CO2 by commuting over 112.6 million kilometres in total.

Less positive was the finding that women in the UK are 12% less likely to commute by bike than men. This is the percentage of those who record their rides on Strava, the gap could be much larger in reality.

That 12% compares to a global gap among the app’s users which averages 6.7%. In the UK one of the few exceptions to this is London, which does slightly better in terms of gender parity, with a smaller 2.7% gap.

Potential reasons for this might be the comparative lack of infrastructure for safer cycling outside of major urban centres. France, Germany and Spain, which have more developed facilities, all do better in this respect.

For sociability or security, women are also more likely to go out riding in a group. With a report commissioned by England Athletics finding almost half of female runners saying they don’t feel safe when out alone, it's likey cyclists suffer similar worries.

Either way, 37% of rides logged by women in the UK were undertaken as part of a group, as opposed to just 27% of rides by men.

Heading indoors

With a huge 7.5% of UK adults using Strava, the company can also pinpoint other emerging trends. Indoor cycling continues to be a growth area.

June saw a year-on-year increase of 4.7%, while winter weather in January saw 9.7% more people training indoors than had during previous years.

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