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  1. #1
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    What Will Encourage More Women To Bike?

    Interesting report from the first-ever National Women Cycling Forum
    What will encourage more women to bike? - Greater Greater Washington

    A sample quip:
    One panelist said bike shops could start by "keeping the bathrooms cleaner."

  2. #2
    see me rollin, they hatin
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    i think in "general", men are a bit more ballsy. most women i know have a fear of getting hurt....so do i, but i find a way to still enjoy myself, yet be cautious. I think most women would enjoy riding fire roads as a start. you dont have to shred hardcore and break bones in order to be a real mountain biker!

  3. #3
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    As Nicole mentioned, focusing on the scenery might be a way to start.

    But really, I think red wine and dark chocolate would do the trick. I wouldn't mind the cold shoulder in bikeshops if they had a Malbec and some nigh end dark chocolate!

  4. #4
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    And here's some documentation on chocolate's health benefits!

    Does A Chocolate Habit Help Keep You Lean? : The Salt : NPR

    YAY!

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by screampint View Post
    But really, I think red wine and dark chocolate would do the trick.

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    Calories burned while cycling knowledge

    Show a list of calorie burned counts for various sports for 30 minut- s and 1 hour of play. When they see how many more cycling is many more women will pick up a bike. Many would rather ride trails then ride roads. Data from Nutrition Data.com Daily Needs calculator found at, as I don't have 10 posts they won't let me post links but that is where I took my data from the numbers below, I didn't pull them out of my hat. I happen to use that site to monitor my diet.
    60 minutes slow (under 10mph) - 267 Walking - 250
    60 minutes MTB - 669
    60 minutes leisure (10 mph) - 447
    60 minutes leisure to moderate effort - 625 calories
    60 minutes running (5mph) - 625 calories
    60 minutes high impact aerobics - 536 calories

    What would you rather do? Cycling in any form is a great calorie burn for the effort put in and so much fun to boot that I never feel like I'm just out getting a work out and being on a real bike is more calories then similar efforts on a stationary. Check out the numbers.
    Last edited by lisa@parkersspace.com; 03-27-2012 at 11:34 AM. Reason: spelling

  7. #7
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    There has to be a place in between a) bad ass "ballsy" men and b) "safe, communal and inclusive."

    There are plenty of women who are attracted to doing things that are not safe, communal, or inclusive, but who aren't as ballsy or bad ass as some men (and yet still enjoy community with follow bad ass girls).

    I feel talked down to almost when I read stuff like this that assumes that women want to play safe sports, sit in a circle and feel included. But I'm not always as gnarly as most men. I want to kick ass and do cool things, but I want to do them carefully, and I enjoy seeing inspiring images of women like me succeeding at a high level.

    I think showing inspiring images of sexy, attractive women (everyone loves pretty girls, even girls) playing and competing with skill. Having fun. Showing that they can be accomplished, skilled, competitive, and feminine.

    Lots of movies from the past fifteen years are starting to show ass kicking hot women...many women are still hung up on not being able to do things that are not considered feminine. It sucks...

    Just my two cents...

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by mtbxplorer View Post
    Interesting report from the first-ever National Women Cycling Forum
    What will encourage more women to bike? - Greater Greater Washington

    A sample quip:
    One panelist said bike shops could start by "keeping the bathrooms cleaner."


    What about those of us that pee in the woods? Make the thicket thicker?

  9. #9
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    Well....

    A previous thread established that women prefer riding to sex......

    Well I am out of ideas.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by mtbxplorer View Post
    Interesting report from the first-ever National Women Cycling Forum
    What will encourage more women to bike? - Greater Greater Washington

    A sample quip:
    One panelist said bike shops could start by "keeping the bathrooms cleaner."
    Buy me another bike. I'll ride more

    Oh wait.. women not already riding.. D'oh!

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    Along the lines of what Christieland And Nicole said, I found another girl who is just about as bad/good as I am, and riding together is so much fun! We are probably semi-wussy to medium on the wussy---> ballsy scale. We can walk scary parts without shame and come up with areas of the trail we want to tackle (even in an embarrassing amount of gear) over and over till we get it...or get sick of falling over. It's not a race and we chat and have fun in the woods. I love riding w my husband too, but I have more/different fun w my bike buddy.

    Oh and wine. Wine is yummy too : )

  12. #12
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    I am glad a conversation started here, because honesty, I don't understand how something so fun and challenging and flexible (bike alone, bike with a dog, bike with a friend, bike with a bunch of friends, bike with a group of strangers, bike fast, bike slow, bike in the street, bike in the woods, etc.!) can be so under-represented by women. I think there is a conspiracy afoot!

  13. #13
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    My wife loves it. She would love to take a skills class for women but they are all on the west coast or in Canada. Lame.

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    Well there is one down south here but is $600 and three days. Overkill.

  15. #15
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    T135, I am planning an informal "women's specific" skills class by just gathering a bunch of fellow female riders and going to the nearest mountain bike park a couple of hours from my home. They offer a day of skills training with individual and group rates. We will call ahead and ask who is available. I know they have female trainers there.

    Maybe there is a mountain bike park near your home where she can go for a day?

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    t135, if there is a local mtb club, maybe you could talk to them about offering a women's skills clinics. I have been to several clinics offered by the Luna Chix in Saratoga Springs, NY. It's a 3 hour drive one way for me, but was well worth it!! I also was able to get the Luna Chix to come to my town last summer to offer a skills clinic for our local mtb club. All I had to do was reimburse (or in this case, provide) lodging and mileage expenses. We donated all the proceeds from the clinic registration fees back to the Luna Chix.

    Formica, I was puzzled by the cleaner bathrooms comment as well. We don't have a bike shop, nor even bathrooms for the most part, near our trails. I thought that was a bit random. IMHO, I think just having more role models out there is the key. And, while I'm not exactly a girly-girl, maybe it would help to let other women know that you can mtb and still be feminine. I was so relieved to hear Tara Llanes fussing over her hair while I was taking a clinic with her several years ago. It helped me realize that you can be a kick-@ss mtb'er chick and still care about how you look.

  17. #17
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    Me in spandex......... Wait what?
    Oh what would make them want to ride MORE, I think showing them the benifits of working out and having fun at the same time.

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by t135 View Post
    My wife loves it. She would love to take a skills class for women but they are all on the west coast or in Canada. Lame.
    Where exactly are you? Many clubs all over the nation put on clinics.

  19. #19
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    how many women have their husbands run out on fun rides while they are home with the kids? I dont have kids, but i imagine that will be a big issue!

    many women may not think they have the time.

  20. #20
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    I know plenty of women who bike, just not many that mountain bike. Lots of road bikers. I see lots of women out there cycling on the roads, too.

    As for finding ways to recruit more women mountain bike riders... why? The trails are crowded enough around here already. If I see another woman out riding I am always happy to say "hi", but if they aren't motivated to get themselves out there I don't feel like I need to encourage them.
    I drank the 29er koolaid- turns out it was POWERade

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by MtbRN View Post
    I know plenty of women who bike, just not many that mountain bike. Lots of road bikers. I see lots of women out there cycling on the roads, too.

    As for finding ways to recruit more women mountain bike riders... why? The trails are crowded enough around here already. If I see another woman out riding I am always happy to say "hi", but if they aren't motivated to get themselves out there I don't feel like I need to encourage them.
    I agree... I like my singletrack just like my powder!

    I would never discourage anyone from mt biking, but I certainly wouldn't go out of my way to push someone who wasn't already willing onto the trail.

  22. #22
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    This is a complex topic. I think there are many reasons why the number of female cyclists lag behind men in all the diverse forms of cycling: road (commuter, recreation), mtb (dh, xc) . Many have posted their observations and ideas here and in articles.

    I agree, that the perception of safety is a significant factor. However, bicycling is no more dangerous for women than men, but women may be less inclined to engage in something that is perceived to be risky especially if they are not confident or lack the skill. The perceived risk also increases as the required skill level increases: riding in traffic, compared to riding trails that are more technical both demonstrate a progressive learning curve and both require specific skill sets. Many females might not progress beyond paved bike paths and many give up trying to progress in their current riding discipline. The reasons are individualized and complex: lack of skills, fitness level (strength and endurance), limited resources to afford a proper bike (and the upkeep), accessibilty to places to ride etc etc. It seems so much easier to slip on running shoes and head out the door than it is to load the bike into a vehicle and drive to a trail, or bike park. But many of us have remained in the sport and and have grown despite barriers, set backs etc. Over time I'm more comfortable and more conditioned to find biking so much more fun and interesting the more I discover about the sport and riding with experienced cyclists

    The number of female cyclists also diminishes with age. Again I would say its the perceived risk (and I would also say that is the same for men as well. eg BMX) and possibly diminished fitness. So keeping women in the sport longer is dependant on more factors.

    How to encourage more women into the sport? Women are a large demographic and it would be in the best interest of people who make a living in the cycling business (retail, manufacturing, sponsorship etc) to wake up if they want to increase their profit margins and focus on attracting female customers. I think providing opportunities to practice skills and providing support to increase fitness levels, and just increasing general knowledge about everything related to biking are good places to start are just the tip of the iceberg.
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  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by formica View Post


    What about those of us that pee in the woods? Make the thicket thicker?
    Gotta move somewhere the leaves don't fall off the shrubbery.
    Go confidently in the direction of your dreams! Live the life you've imagined. H.D. Thoreau.

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by NicoleB28 View Post
    how many women have their husbands run out on fun rides while they are home with the kids? I dont have kids, but i imagine that will be a big issue!

    many women may not think they have the time.
    I've got a friend who asks her husband to stay home with their son while we ride, and he's happy to do it!
    Go confidently in the direction of your dreams! Live the life you've imagined. H.D. Thoreau.

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by NicoleB28 View Post
    how many women have their husbands run out on fun rides while they are home with the kids? I dont have kids, but i imagine that will be a big issue!

    many women may not think they have the time.
    I think this is an overstated stereotype, in that in a well balanced partnership, both folks get to play. At least this is what I've seen with couple who have an active lifestyle. They take turns to various degrees. I can't think of any couple I know where the female half wants to get out and doesn't because the hubby is off all the time. W

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