More men than women.


Legendary Member
....and why do you seldom see men on horses?


New Member
Cycling in club groups tends to have a very macho atmosphere IME, even when the blokes are well past retirement age, not just when it's the young bucks.

As for women cycling, well, a lot of non-cycling women I know think cycling is too dangerous. Many is the "You cycle 50 miles *alone*? You are brave!" It's at that point I'll remind them that I live in Norfolk, not Afghanistan and that it's generally fairly normal and safe for a woman to venture out in public on her lonesome.... Sometimes I despair of the attitudes of too many of my sex.


Senior Member
Sunny Wakefield
User76 said:
On a similar vein, and this could be contentious, why do you not see many black people (enthusiasts) geared up and riding in groups? Even fewer Asian people.
It's probably a culture/class thing to some extent. Buying a decent bike and kitting it out purely to cycle round in a big circle is a bit of an odd thing to do.
You would've thought though that black people would have an advantage with cycling- I'm thinking of how Kenyans seem to do pretty well at distance running, and the 100 meters final tends to have more black people.

You tend to find higher BME populations in inner city areas- perhaps not the places that spawn cycling clubs- more football and boxing.


Edinburgh RC has a very strong female membership and often on the Sat morning ride, the men would be in the minority in the group I would be riding in. Indeed, I think the club has produced more top end women cyclists who have made the transition to professional athlete than men.
HeyWayne said:
Why is that?

I very rarely see ladies on bikes - and less so the 'enthusiasts' (geared up and in groups).

I suspect they are at home doing the dishes etc;)

Puts on flak jcket and takes cover. Incoming!


Well-Known Member
threebikesmcginty said:
I was in Kingston (Upon Thames not Jamaica!) yesterday and there were a few ladies out and about on bikes.
That's where I live.
A surprisiingly large number of the women in my street keep their bikes in their front garden because they use them so often. It's mainly for short journeys but I have seen one lycrad roadie (no sadly not Mrs Snake)


My Library


crappy member
South West
HeyWayne said:
Why is that?

I very rarely see ladies on bikes - and less so the 'enthusiasts' (geared up and in groups).
On a trip to San Francisco last December I saw loads of keen female cyclists - almost as many as men. It really caught my eye!

In the UK you do see very few 'serious' female cyclists - very very few.


Über Member
NE Hertfordshire
General perceptions are the problem

Firstly - cycling is scary. Wafflycat, you may be brave for doing 50 miles all on your own, apparently I am ludicrously brave for a mere 10 mile commute. Yes, I'm on my own, but it's not like there is at any point no other human being in sight (albeit in their cars).
So I'm alone, and surrounded by big terrifying vehicles which are all out to get me (my mother - on the rare occasions she cycles - rides on the pavement 'because it is safer')

Secondly - it involves getting sweaty. You get to wherever you are going and you will be unpresentable.

Thirdly - it messes with your hair. Either the helmet crushes it, or you don't wear a helmet and get all wind-tousled. Needs re-doing on arrival, either way. (My mother again - doesn't even wear pull-on jumpers so they don't mess with her hair)

Fourthly - lycra, which is of course not optional but utterly compulsary. It's not attractive that stuff which cyclists 'have' to wear. You might get seen by Mrs X over the road in your not-quite-big-enough lycra cycling shorts and then it will be the End of Times. (You could, of course, buy the next size up - but plenty of women would rather squeek in to a smaller size than buy a nicely fitting larger size).

Fifthly - it involves getting wet in the rain. Or hot in the sun. Which may make you sweaty and/or ruin your hair and/or make you look less than perfect.

Sixthly - it just takes so long (though this isn't female-specific). I mean, why would you spend 50 mins cycling to work when you can drive it in 20? Or cycle the mile round to a family member's house when you could just hop in the car?

So, all in all, going to the gym is much better - no weather consideratios; yes you get sweaty but it's deliberate and you get to fix that afterwards - it's not like you have to go out shopping looking like that, like you would if you cycled in to town; and there's no danger from other road users out to get you.

At least, they seem to be the impressions I get from family and colleagues.

Jane Smart

The Queen
Dunfermline Fife
Well I am a woman and love cycling, I also do 50 miles or more alone, on the roads. I don't mind getting my hair a mess ( I am married so long as my husband finds me attractive, I don't care:girl:) and getting wet and sweaty means I have had a good work out.:sad:

The wind and rain is a challenge, or can be, but I still go out in it.:smile:

I know what the OP means though, as I joined a club and more often than not, I am the only woman in the group. I am trying to encourage other women to join, but it is not easy.

I love MTB biking and also my road bike, so I must be a general cyclist if there is such a thing :smile:

When I first staarted cycling last summer, I used to carry my mobile phone and my lipstick. Now it is my mobile phone ( in case of emergencies ) and my repair kit and spare inner tube. :sad:

I am now proud of my helmet hair after a good ride :biggrin:


Über Member
So true Maizie.

I was tutted at and called mad several times after a weekend camping in High Wycombe. I cycled the 25 minutes or so to and from the station. Mental :smile:

I find a lot of male cyclists on my commute are really arsy and competitive unfortunately. The proper cyclists I meet on the FNRttC etc are very nice, but the boys on my stretch of the Uxbridge Road are dreadful. Rude and compelled to attempt to overtake very closely while actually not cycling faster than me a lot of the time. They're very much commuters and don't cycle for pleasure I don't think.

It is also the clothing and appearance thing. I don't really care who sees me in lycra and am happy to cycle to ladies' lunches carryingfacial wipes and dry shampoo etc for emergencies if I'm in 'normal clothes'. Not everyone is comfortable to arrive in disarray.
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