How to encourage more women to cycle?

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  • A doughnut?

  • A soufflĂ©?

  • A pancake? (It is Shrove Tuesday, I should've guessed this second.)

  • No. Work actually. Dealing with the glamour that is end of season returns...

  • So, I've just stumbled upon this thread, and thought that I'd throw my tuppence worth into the hat for you.

    I ride to work daily. Fast, and as traffic. I've had a couple of coming together with cars/vans, but nothing serious so far. Do I put my wife off cycling? Not consciously, I try to encourage her to, but she won't, and an amount of that is down to how I cycle.

    What would get her to cycle? Simple. Showers at work. Or near work, with safe bike parking.

    Oh, and me buying her a better bike.

  • ^^ Start with the bike, then throw in one of BD's famous cheesecakes (or may be a sponge cake if he's versatile) plus a ladies drinks and that should work.

    Actually, the bike plus a ladies ride, including a BD cake might work better :-).

  • Could the cake be something wheat and citrus free? :)

    The bike would get her cycling more certainly, and I'm keeping an eye out for something for her. We dropped out of the last bridges ride partly because she was feeling fedup at having such a rubbish bike* :(

    *I would like to make it very clear that noone in anyway was anything but friendly towards her/us, and she had a great time, but was feeling fedup in herself, so we left at Wandsworth bridge.

  • Aah. So now the truth comes out. It's down to you not getting her a 'good' bike!

    Sort it out mate :-)

  • That's certainly a part of it, but the showers and secure parking are the main reasons.

  • The first few years I commuted in London I didn't have access to showers - you just learn to manage...don't cycle at a sweaty pace, get panniers/front rack, tramps wash in sinks at toilets.

    My current job has parking that is bike racks in the middle of Victoria so not terribly secure. Next!

  • never ever done the showering post-cycle thing. I just don't cycle that fast. they had showers at the last office I worked at but I only used them if I'd run in, and even then only a handful of times before I decided I couldn't be bothered. partly this is because I have a slightly epic showering and post-showering routine...

  • So, I've just stumbled upon this thread, and thought that I'd throw my tuppence worth into the hat for you.

    I ride to work daily. Fast, and as traffic. I've had a couple of coming together with cars/vans, but nothing serious so far. Do I put my wife off cycling? Not consciously, I try to encourage her to, but she won't, and an amount of that is down to how I cycle.

    What would get her to cycle? Simple. Showers at work. Or near work, with safe bike parking.

    Oh, and me buying her a better bike.
    Thanks for your thoughts on this MrDrem!

  • I recently showed a friend of mine the on-one pompetamine...

    "Meh... its ok"
    "It glows in the dark"
    "Sold!"

    Arrived a couple of weeks back... She's just paid for some cycle training. :D

  • :)

  • @ Balki - Now that's how you sell cycling :-).

  • Hi. Just came across this. I'm an LCC member too. My two bits to add to what's been said on safety, numbers etc:

    • Somewhere to store bike clobber and get cleaned up at work. Many women aren't necessarily vain but their employers and society dictates that they get dressed and made up for work. I work in jeans most days but it's not an option for many women. I also agree that showers aren't necessary but people who don't cycle don't necessarily know that so maybe some practical points on commuting by the LCC taking into account women's particular needs?

    • Promote the fitness benefits. I hadn't really thought about the point made by hoefla about distance and hills but I've just realised that it's true in my experience. Most of my colleagues who don't cycle are surprised by the distance of my commute and the hills involved. It's really not far or a big deal, but if you don't cycle it seems like hard work and arriving all sweaty doesn't appeal. A number of my women friends also say they aren't fit enough. However, some start to think about doing it when I point out that cycling is my only exercise and by working it into my lifestyle I don't spend any extra time or money to get fit (and I eat as much as I like).

    Maybe one more thing and just to be clear, this is purely a personal view and may not be the experience of others: I feel that the LCC scares some people off cycling rather than encourages them due to the amount of emphasis it puts on hazards to cyclists, dangerous roads, accidents and cyclists killed. There are lots of accidents on the roads not involving cyclists. Campaigns to raise awareness and to make cycling safe is important and I do my bit to support but many people cycle for the joy of it first and naturally build it into other parts of their life. Perhaps a little more emphasis on that? I was an LCC member for years but let my membership lapse. Just rejoined last year but I've already stopped reading the magazine.

  • Not hazelnut - can't stand the little buggers...

    I have a recipe for a chocolate and raspberry cheesecake that'll make your bollocks tingle! I'll copy it and bring it tonight.

    You should post it up here.

    I will. MUCH Later. I'm in the middle of something at the moment.

    Right, here we go:

    Chocolate and Raspberry Cheesecake Brownies

    Makes 16 big, fat, fuck-off brownies...

    For the brownie mix:

    280g unsalted butter, plus extra for greasing
    170g dark chocolate(70% cocoa solids), broken
    350g unrefined golden caster sugar
    70g plain flower
    Pinch of salt
    5 medium free-range eggs
    2 tsp vanilla extract
    100g white chocolate broken into small pieces

    For the cheesecake mix:

    350g cream cheese
    75g unrefined golden caster sugar
    1 tsp vanilla extract
    2 medium free-range eggs
    170g fresh raspberries

    Instructions

    Heat the oven to 180C/Gas Mark 4. Grease and line a 20cm square brownie tin.
    To make the brownie mixture, melt the butter and chocolate in a heatproof bowl over a pan of barely simmering water, making sure the bowl doesn't touch the water. Stir until completely melted and combined. Remove from the heat and set aside to cool.

    Combine the sugar, flour and salt in a large mixing bowl, pour over the cooled chocolate and mix until smooth. Beat the eggs seperately before adding to the mixing bowl along with the vanilla extract and the white chocolate. Blend together until you create a shiny chocolatey mixture. Pour this into the prepared tin.

    Next make the cheesecake mixture. Whisk the cream cheese, sugar, vanilla extract and eggs until smooth and creamy. Pour this carefully over the brownie mix, trying to create an even layer. Drop the raspberries into the creamy mix and use a fork to drag the cheesecake mix through the brownie mix to create a marble effect. Try to ensure that all the raspberries are almost fully pushed into the mixture.

    Bake for 35-40 minutes. After 30 minute, remove the tin from the oven and check to see if the brownies are set but still have a slight wobble to them; return to the oven if they need a little longer. Leave them to cool in the tin, covered in foil.

    Once cooled, take the brownies out of the tin, cut into 16 pieces and serve.

    Got there in the end...

  • ^ Not sure whether to thank or curse you - speaking from direct experience, this is TO DIE FOR.

  • Thanks for your interesting comments Kevans!

    Hi. Just came across this. I'm an LCC member too. My two bits to add to what's been said on safety, numbers etc:

  • It'll give you all a decent reason to get out and ride.

  • I'm not entirely sure how much stock you can put in CTC's membership list in respect to sex breakdown because they have me listed as male (hopefully this will be corrected soon).

    In my case, I started cycling as my primary mode of transport due to a few reasons.

    1. Poor public transport links from home to work
    2. Encouragement/support/training from Mr Cake
    3. Fitness

    I think the thing that made the most difference for me (and got me to the point where I rarely consider any other form of transport) was the second point.

    To help me get more confident on the roads, when I first started venturing onto London streets, he would actually cycle behind me to control traffic, taught me about primary position, door zone, how to approach junctions, etc.

    When I first decided to cycle to work, he planned out a route and made sure we cycled it together so that I would be familiar with the journey.

    I think I'm much more confident on a bike now and happily cycle on my own lots of places, but that kind of support made a huge difference in my early days of cycling.

    TL;DR? Training and support are what got me on the bike for good.

  • Thanks for sharing that Doctor Cake :)

  • Hi. Just came across this. I'm an LCC member too. My two bits to add to what's been said on safety, numbers etc:

    [*]Somewhere to store bike clobber and get cleaned up at work. Many women aren't necessarily vain** but their employers and society dictates that they get dressed and made up for work. I work in jeans most days but it's not an option for many women.** I also agree that showers aren't necessary but people who don't cycle don't necessarily know that so maybe some practical points on commuting by the LCC taking into account women's particular needs?

    I think this is a massive issue for many- when was the last time you cycled through the city and didn't see a woman (overly) dressed up?

    I had a session recently with a couple of women (mid/late thirties both mothers with young-ish children) with massive fears of Jamaica Rd (North bound), where there are two difficult and potentially dangerous junctions with big left hand turns that cut straight across the cycle lane and their turn off (a right turn off a major road cutting across fast moving traffic).

    By the end of their second session they'd really mastered how to do and had beaten their fears. However the only way I could achieve this was by me giving up some of my time for free. There's NO WAY I could have given such a comprehensive lesson within their allocated time. It's something I've always done (which has got me into trouble in other areas of work).

    As soon as something is free most do not value it, so, if by the end of someone's 2hrs of council funded training we've only got half way through the syllabus, how likely is that someone to then put their hand in their own pocket to fund the gap in their knowledge? Some may go on riding the the belief they're fine but I've met people that have had sessions but still didn't feel up to riding on roads.

    With comprehensive sessions and uniform standards in those giving the sessions I believe the overwhelming majority would ride on a regular basis.

  • I had a session recently with a couple of women
    .

    Ooooh, you lucky c***!

  • Mr Cake

    Is he a consultant?

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How to encourage more women to cycle?

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