Audax has taught me that women are by and large amazing at long distances. Mind over matter triumphs over male physical prowess. Obviously the men that are good, both mentally and physically do best. Long distance and ultra distance is a much more level playing field and the popular ‘celebs’ are female. Emily Chappell, Lael Wilcox, Jenny Graham, Judith Swallow etc etc.Actually, I am very competitive. I just tend to assume that if I am the only woman, I will be too slow for the group.
Probably yes. I'd say it was a societal issue where women, and men, are increasingly expected to conform to an ideal. Sweaty and red in the face are not generally considered to be a good look for a young woman and it's not just cycling but participation in any form of exercise that is becoming an issue for adolescent females. In no way looking to open a debate, something as simple as wearing a helmet could be enough to prevent young women from cycling, not only from looking a bit silly when it's on but also from your hair being particularly unkempt when you take it off. This is before you even consider the excellent points that @mudsticks has been making.What is interesting is why girls and boys both learn to ride bikes as kids and after around age 11, and the move to high school, many girls stop riding bikes. Is it the perception that it's a boy thing? Is it uncool to be seen riding a bike as a girl?
Then perhaps there's a general lack of confidence with kids, the confidence to go against the flow, perhaps if we remedy that things would be better all round, in so many ways for society.I agree. Having taught in mixed and single sex secondary schools, I would say girls in single sex schools are less inhibited about taking part in subjects like Science, sports, metalwork etc. simply because there are no boys there. It doesn't take much to put kids off anything and social conditioning and peer pressure is a huge influence on their behaviours.