Women’s cycling participation – the latest research

I’m always interested in research relating to women’s cycling. It helps me and others understand what barriers women see to cycling. Is it the lack of safe places to ride? Is it the blokey bike shops? Is it that they have to wear a helmet even for a short trip? (in Australia where I live helmets are mandatory for any type of bike). A US group called PeopleForBikes commissioned the US Bicycling Participation Study in late 2014. They measured all kinds of riding by all kinds of people, including women. Here are six important and interesting findings from the study:

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It’s not a ‘lady’s bike’, it’s a women’s bike

There’s been quite a lot of discussion of late about how to make bike shops and cycling in general more attractive for women, and while I’ve not weighed in to the various discussions until now I thought I’d put in my views.I’m reasonably well qualified to do so. I work in a bike shop and although I’m relatively new to it (two years) it gives me a unique perspective because I can still remember back to when I was a customer of women’s cycling gear. One of my own issues is actually about the use of the word ‘lady’ instead

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Simple bike maintenance tips for women (and men)

If you’re a regular reader of this blog you probably know that I work in a bike shop. I’m not a mechanic, but I do just about everything else in the shop, including checking-in the majority of bikes that come in for repair. So as a result I’ve learnt heaps about simple bike maintenance and here’s a few tips: Keep it clean Keeping your bike clean has a number of benefits, and not just cosmetic ones. Of course it’s nice to keep your beautiful bike looking good, but keeping it free of dirt and grit will actually make it last

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How to find the right bike if you’re a short woman

One of the interesting/rewarding things about writing a blog is that you can check out how many people are viewing it. My analysis isn’t particularly sophisticated, but it is very interesting to see what topics are the most popular with my readers. By far the most popular blog posts I’ve written are about bikes for short women. I can’t be sure why this is occurring but my best guess is that short women are not getting the information they need when they visit a local bike shop. To me it’s a sad indictment of the bike industry because there are

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‘Wheel Women’ encourage a bunch of real women to ride in Adelaide

I arrived in Adelaide on Sunday to enjoy the annual Australian festival of cycling. The first thing I did was head for the tour village to join a women’s only ride led by Tina McCarthy from Melbourne. Tina runs her own business called Wheel Women and she’s one of the most enthusiastic advocates of women cycling I’ve ever met. So when Tina decided to visit Adelaide she naturally thought of organising a ride. She used social media to promote it and within a couple of days of announcing it she had 50 women signed up. It was a 30 km ride from

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Every woman’s guide to pack your bike for air travel

At this time of year if you live in Australia you’ll notice that road cyclists are all talking about who’s going to the Tour Down Under. I’m going this year and I’ve lost count of how many other Sydney-siders are heading to South Australia for the annual festival of cycling. Most people have done it a few times so they’ve got the bike packing thing all sorted, but there’s always a few new people going along. If you’re not really confident about packing your own bike then make a quick call to your local bike shop and ask them to

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Women Who Cycle’s 2014 Christmas Gift Guide

Every year I compile a Christmas gift list of things I like, and that I think other female road cyclists will like as well. So here’s the 2014 edition. Ginger & French mug These fine bone china mugs from England are not cheap but they are a cut above you typical coffee mug. I’ve already placed my order and will enjoy a lovely cup of tea from mine when they arrive. Gold bicycle pendant I already have one of these gold road bike pendants and always get comments about how nice it is and how appropriate it is for me

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Focus on women’s bikes and accessories strong at Trek

You may have read my blog post a couple of months ago about women’s product development at Specialized. I also made contact with a few other companies at the same time and so here’s the women’s development story from Trek. I would have preferred to have spoken to someone from Trek, instead here’s some Q&A via email from Emily Bremer who is based at Trek HQ in the US and among other roles is responsible for the marketing of women’s products.     How many people at Trek work on women’s product development? Are they all women? Women’s specific product

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Cyclists beware of angry butcherbirds in Spring

Last year I wrote a post about Springtime bird attacks, and either I didn’t heed my own advice or the birds in my area are really bad this year, but last week I was attacked by a very aggressive butcherbird! For those who don’t know about this little ‘terrier’ of a bird, it’s an Australian native and about half the size of a magpie and usually grey or black & white in colour. Since being attacked by one last week I’ve done a little research on these aggressive little so-and-sos. As well as having a hook at the end of its

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Every woman’s guide to getting started in triathlon: Part 1

The sport of triathlon continues to grow in popularity and one of the things I’ve noticed is that women and men are signing up in equal numbers to test themselves in this challenging three discipline sport. I do confess to not knowing a great deal about triathlon (despite completing four Pink Triathlons) so I asked the women of Balance UTS Tri club for their advice on how to get started. Several of them responded and I’ve compiled their answers below. Stay tuned for Part 2 next week……….   What advice can you give to women who are just starting out

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