Women's inclusion in cycling clubs

AndreaJ

Veteran
I’ve been riding with a group since January, it’s more of a social group rather than an official club which was set up following a Facebook post by someone looking for some cycling buddies. There are 12 of us altogether and I’m the only woman.
Originally there were more women who set up their own ladies ride with a different route and meet up time but they don’t do it anymore although I’m not sure why as I went on the earlier ride.
I’ve not had any problems with the men in our group, never been made to feel uncomfortable or too slow, we all agree that it’s been good to have some company and find new places to go.
 

Big T

Guru
Location
Nottingham
My club has 42% female membership. They have a women‘s only club ride on Fridays. They have 10-12 mile Breeze rides on Thursday evenings. They have a Tuesday evening ride open to all members with 4 different speed groups - the slowest being 12mph. They have a handful of very committed ladies who organise all of this. I think that’s the key - some ladies feel intimidated by riding with men, many dont, but giving them an option of a slower ride or a ladies only ride if they want it seems to work. The organising ladies know what works and proceed accordingly.

There are lots of faster ladies who are happy to join in with normal club rides at 17-18 mph.
 
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Petrichorwheels

Well-Known Member
I passed a womens club out by Frodsham the other week. I forget the name but they had cool kit.

In my old club women weren't even allowed to join until the 80s ! How mad is that ?

very mad.
I'd love to know what the objections were, for surely they must have been voiced as the dread move to admit them was proposed.
 

Petrichorwheels

Well-Known Member
I like how it's all men answering, this what's wrong with women's cycling.

Unless I have skimmed too fast, i didn't think the subject of the thread was "what's wrong with women's cycling".
And anyways, 2 points.
1 - how do you know for sure what gender (or whatever the term de jour is) respondents are?
2 - it's an open forum - folks of whatever gender/persuasion/whatever or none can respond - by responding/giving their tuppenceworth of thoughts they are not stopping whoever responding.
 
They have a handful of very committed ladies who organise all of this. I think that’s the key - some ladies feel intimidated by riding with men, many dont, but giving them an option of a slower ride or a ladies only ride if they want it seems to work. The organising ladies know what works and proceed accordingly.

I see. So the problems - where they occur - are due to lack of organising commitment by ladies.
I guess that's possible ...
 

Petrichorwheels

Well-Known Member
Personally as a long-time attendee and sometime leader of group rides, open to whoever turned up, and not being a racer but a touring ambling sociable rider, I always preferred rides with a mix of men and women. And since the rides were open to whoever turned up they usually were a mixture. In all my years of going on/leading such rides I can honestly say that I don't recall ever coming across what I would call a "gender issue", or anyone of whatever gender complaining that they weren't catered for equally and with empathy. But then these rides were in fresh air, not on the internet of course.
If any "eyeing up" went on, it also worked both ways.
which ditto is also entirely normal natural.
In a non internet kinda way.
 
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Ripple

Über Member
Location
Kent
I'm a woman and I prefer to cycle on my own. I tried quite a few local cycling clubs but they all seem to be obsessed with racing, more racing, even more racing. There are women in these clubs but when you look at the club's website about the riders you see "she raced here and there". No just leisure cyclists. I ride for my pleasure and not for racing.

Cycling on my own also suits my introvert personality because I don't need to talk to anybody. ^_^ and I'm the boss of setting up speed, tea breaks and "I need to take a pic of that flower" stops.

I do few rides with other people though.
 

Milzy

Guru
It’s the women who are fanatical on racing in our club & the men just want to do long rides & get really fit without been too serious.
 

Big T

Guru
Location
Nottingham
Are they happy to reduce their speed to fit in with the advertised ride speed?

16-18mph is the advertised ride speed. There are often 4 groups going out - Steadies (12-14), Intermediates (Inters)(14-16), Advanced (16-18), Fast (18+). Plenty of Ladies do the Inters and Advanced, Steadies is mostly Ladies, Fast is mostly men, but all of the rides are open to everyone.
 
I don't really know much about cycling club culture, especially in the UK, but if the local club isn't keen, why not start a group? It can be an informal thing at first using Farcebook or meetup, or even the local paper, and move onto a more organised structure later on. With social media as it is now, there's never been a better time to get the world out.
 
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