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How to encourage more women to cycle?
 
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Old 21st February 2012   #101
Velociodonor
 
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A doughnut?
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Old 21st February 2012   #102
Velociodonor
 
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A soufflé?
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Old 21st February 2012   #103
Velociodonor
 
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A pancake? (It is Shrove Tuesday, I should've guessed this second.)
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Old 21st February 2012   #104
bodieanddoyle
 
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No. Work actually. Dealing with the glamour that is end of season returns...
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Old 21st February 2012   #105
MrDrem
 
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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.
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Old 21st February 2012   #106
cafewanda
 
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^^ 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 :-).
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Old 21st February 2012   #107
MrDrem
 
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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.
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Old 21st February 2012   #108
cafewanda
 
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Aah. So now the truth comes out. It's down to you not getting her a 'good' bike!

Sort it out mate :-)
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Old 21st February 2012   #109
MrDrem
 
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That's certainly a part of it, but the showers and secure parking are the main reasons.
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Old 21st February 2012   #110
pootsmanuva
 
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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!

Last edited by pootsmanuva; 21st February 2012 at 22:06.
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Old 21st February 2012   #111
hoefladonor
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...
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Old 22nd February 2012   #112
missmouse
Quote:
Originally Posted by MrDrem View Post
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!
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Old 22nd February 2012   #113
Balkidonor
 
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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
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Old 22nd February 2012   #114
missmouse
:)
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Old 22nd February 2012   #115
cafewanda
 
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@ Balki - Now that's how you sell cycling :-).
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Old 25th February 2012   #116
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:


  1. 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?


  1. 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.
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Old 25th February 2012   #117
bodieanddoyle
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bodieanddoyle View Post
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.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Velocio View Post
You should post it up here.
Quote:
Originally Posted by bodieanddoyle View Post
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...
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Old 26th February 2012   #118
missmouse
^ Not sure whether to thank or curse you - speaking from direct experience, this is TO DIE FOR.
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Old 26th February 2012   #119
missmouse
Thanks for your interesting comments Kevans!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kevans View Post
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:
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Old 26th February 2012   #120
bodieanddoyle
 
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It'll give you all a decent reason to get out and ride.
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Old 28th February 2012   #121
Doctor Cakedonor
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.
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Old 7th March 2012   #122
missmouse
Thanks for sharing that Doctor Cake :)
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Old 7th March 2012   #123
Multi Groovesdonor
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kevans View Post
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:


  1. 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.

Last edited by Multi Grooves; 8th March 2012 at 10:55.
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Old 7th March 2012   #124
Pistanator
Quote:
Originally Posted by Multi Grooves View Post
I had a session recently with a couple of women
.
Ooooh, you lucky c***!
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Old 7th March 2012   #125
bazschmazdonor
Quote:
Originally Posted by Doctor Cake View Post
Mr Cake
Is he a consultant?
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Old 9th March 2012   #126
Ste_S
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bazschmaz View Post
Is he a surgeon?
Corrected
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Old 9th March 2012   #127
pistaboy
 
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Have you seen this?

Any thoughts?
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Old 9th March 2012   #128
cafewanda
 
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Crikey that's an improvement from the early days!
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Old 10th March 2012   #129
missmouse
Better, and some good quotes, but boy do I find these things patronising. No mention of ss or fixed bikes either which are surely perfect for riding around town.
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Old 14th March 2012   #131
bothwelldonor
 
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They couldn't even make the models in that picture ride their bikes.
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Old 17th March 2012   #133
Oliver Schickdonor
 
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I haven't posted in this thread yet as I haven't had time. There's basically no big secret why women cycle less than men. It's been researched many times. What everybody then gets worried about is how to follow on from that research to actually increase cycling among women. There's no magic formula, no silver bullet. It's just continuous, plodding work, just as it is with helping men to cycle.

I think that there are basically only two points that survive detailed scrutiny of the differences between men and women in this respect. (It has to be noted that the discrepancy is not as extreme as is sometimes made out.)

(1) Reduce gender stereotyping--stop girls and women being discouraged from physical activity, stop silly segregation between 'male' activities and 'female' activities in general. There is very little that either gender can't do, and it mostly has to do with reproductive functions. :)

For instance, there's no doubt that many more women than at present could become good bike mechanics, or could acquire mechanical skills to become proper bike nerds. Women's and men's abilities don't differ that much; I always use the brother-sister comparison. Imagine that every woman has a brother and every man has a sister. If one of them is good at mechanics, it's very likely that the other one will be, too, although they may of course disincline away from what they're good at because of their upbringing, or to differentiate themselves from their sibling.

Of course, some people find it attractive to distinguish themselves by their femininity or masculinity, but I'm not talking about how people dress and how they look, just about the associated stereotypes that say 'you can't do this, you can't do that, you have to do this, you have to do that'. And I mean that to apply to men in the same way, although their gender stereotypes don't specifically militate against physical activity.

You'll note that part of what I do here is to downplay the differences that are often perceived between the genders. I don't do that to implicitly confirm my view or as a strategy to make it seem more plausible. I genuinely believe that it isn't the case that the differences are that extreme, and, again, I mostly talk about the stereotypes, as they hide the general complexity of people's personalities.

(2) As more women are primary child carers than men, they tend to take more local trips. There are, however, barriers to local trips, especially with children. Remove those barriers (long story how to) and more people, not just women, will cycle more for local trips. (There is of course no reason why more men should not become primary child carers from a certain age onwards, e.g. to reduce the gender stereotype that men should work and women should look after the children, and to reduce the importance of this point.)

There are, of course, all the usual barriers which apply equally to men and women, e.g. the need to reduce trip distances that people have to take in London. (Average trip distances for mundane journeys in London are ridiculous. It's one of the biggest barriers to cycling in general, and it's important for minor aspects like the much-discussed problem of dressing up for a job; it's perfectly feasible to combine that with cycling if you don't have to go too far. If you have to travel 14 miles across London every day, you need showers and changing facilities at work, all of which costs time.) Or the need for supportive peer groups--men often cycle because their mates do. The more women know women who cycle, they will do, too, but again that's nothing that's specific to women, it's just simple common sense.

At the end of the day, as usual, cycling just needs to become normal, as normal as it is for most people/women on here. 'To make cycling normal' is cycle campaigning in a nutshell.
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