Girls on bicycles

I don’t know about you, but I get sad when I hear about girls who don’t cycle.  Girls in general do less sport and physical activity than boys, particularly as they get older.

However cycling is so much more than just a sport or form of exercise – it’s a method of transport, a family bonding activity, a way to escape from the stresses of daily life. Cycling is freedom. Cycling is fun.

Cycling is something every girl should be able to do. We need many more girls on bicycles – and of course safe places for them to ride.Girls on Bicycles

There’s a complex web of issues as to why more girls don’t cycle, including (but not limited to)

  • unsafe roads;
  • lack of decent cycling infrastructure;
  • body image;
  • self confidence;
  • lack of female cycling role models;
  • some “girls bicycles” which are designed to look pretty rather than to make riding fast, fun and safe;
  • parents and societal expectations on what activities a girl does; peer pressure;
  • ratios of boys and girls at cycling events and venues;
  • not as many Mums cycling as Dads. 

You can probably come up with more reasons.

Girls on bicycles - at the pump track

I’ve been trying to think about how we can get more girls on bicycles (or tricycles, balance bikes, tandems, unicycles, cargo  bikes and other ways of getting out and about and active).

Girl on a bicycle

One of the ways I can help is to showcase more girls cycling.  I’m in a position to publish lots of photos of girls on bicycles, to prove it’s a fun activity that normal girls of all ages are out there doing (when there is a safe place for them to ride). 

Girls such as  Billie-Jordan Butler, who is Tri England Eastern AG Champion for 2016 and 2018.

Billie Jordan Bulter - a girl on a bicycle

Girls such as 6 year old Ruth Jones, who rode from Lands End to John O’Groats last year and is now turning her thoughts to learning to ride much faster!

Girl on a bicycle - Ruth Jones from Family ByCycle on the HUPcc

Girls such as Izzy, who’s just cycled through South America:

Bikepacking with kids in South America

There’s no one type of cycling for girls. Some girls love BMX:

Girls on mountain bikes - showcasing what girls on bikes are capable of

And some girls really enjoy mountain biking…….Girls on bicycles - mountain biking skills for girls

Guess what – girls also like riding cyclo-cross really fast as well:

Girls on bicycles - HankChief proper bikes are ridden fast

Not all girls want to race their bikes.  A 7 year old girl going on a 20 mile family bike ride can act as an inspiration to parents wondering if their daughter could do the same:

Girls on bicycles - Rich M 7 year old daughter on a 20 mile ride

You don’t have to go very far to enjoy cycling. It’s a great way to travel around near your home……Girls on bicycles - cycling as a way to get around - Katie Noble

…..get to school…….

Girls on bicycles - cycling to school

……. plus cycling is also a great family activity when you’re away on holiday.

Girls on bicycles - on a family holiday

You’re never too young to be a girl on a bike – or should that be a girl on a balance bike?
Girls on bicycles - from a very early age

Whether you’re pulling a wheelie, or riding a pump track, a balance bike gives so many girls their first taste of the freedom cycling brings

Girl on Balance Bike at Pump Track

What ever type of cycling your daughter does, it’s bound to bring a smile to her face……

Girls on mountain bikes

…. even if it does mean you’re on the way to school!

Girl cycling to school

Girls can cycle year round – regardless of their age. Cycling certainly doesn’t have to stop over winter – you just need to get wrapped up warm……..

Girls on bicycles - riding all year round

especially if you’re posting a letter to Santa!

Girls on bicycles - posting a letter to Santa by bike

However, it’s certainly a lovely summer days activity too……

Girl on a bicycle - on a summer's day

…. if only those wonderful summer days lasted a bit longer! Girls on bicycles - cycling in autumn

If you’re a girl on a bicycle you certainly don’t need to sacrifice style. Some girls ride fast and need to show they’re the one to beat…….

Girls on bicycles - Matilda Harries

…… and sometimes a girl needs to protect herself from the inevitable bumps that come her way……Girls on bicycles - mountain biking girls

… and lots of girls just get on their bike and ride!

Girl on bike wearing normal clothing

You’re certainly never to young to be a girl on a bicycle.  If you’re too young to pedal yourself you just need to ask for a  lift…..

Girls on bicycles - sisters on bikes

…. and these days you don’t even have to wait until you can pedal to get on two wheels:

Girls on bicycles - learning to ride a bike

Of course, you may be a girl who prefers to take the stabilisers route…..

GIrls on bicycles - learning to ride a bike using stabilisers

… until one day you’re away and free!

Girl on a bike - having fun

When you’re a girl starting out cycling, you need someone to help you……….

Girl cycling on her bike during the cold winter months

…..and then one day you suddenly don’t!

Teenager on a bicycle

So, if you’re a parent wondering whether to buy your daughter their first bike….

Girl on a bike - learning to ride in a dress

….. or one slightly bigger……

Girl on a bicycle - moving to geared bikes such as the Scatto race bike

…. or whether to sign them up for some “learn to cycle” lessons…….

Girls on bicycles - Fit 2 Learn

…… or let her cycle to school……..

Girls on bicycles - cycling to high school

…. or rent bikes whilst you’re on holiday……Girls on bicycles - in Yorkshire

please just DO IT!!!! 

If you’re a girl yourself, looking here for inspiration of other girls on bicycles……..

Girl on a bicycle - Katie Love Cycling on a Scatto

….. and wondering what types of bike girls ride…… 

Girl on a bike - girl riding a bicycle

… or what girls wear while they’re cycling…..

Girl on a bike with a dolls seat

and wondering if you should give cycling a go…..

Girl on a bike - having fun on bikes is part of childhood

… I hope I’ve convinced you that the answer is “yes”!

All the wonderful photos of girls on bicycles in this post were shared on the Cycle Sprog Facebook and Twitter accounts on International Women’s Day 2019, as well as on the Family Cycling UK Facebook Group

Thank you to everyone who has helped to showcase girls cycling – and to those of you whose photos I haven’t managed to use in this post, I’ll be writing more in the weeks and months ahead, so keep a look out! If you sign up to our Cycle Sprog newsletter, you’ll get to know when we get new posts.

Other articles you may like to read whilst you’re here:


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