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.
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.
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).
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.
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!
Girls such as Izzy, who’s just cycled through South America:
There’s no one type of cycling for girls. Some girls love BMX:
And some girls really enjoy mountain biking…….
Guess what – girls also like riding cyclo-cross really fast as well:
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:
You don’t have to go very far to enjoy cycling. It’s a great way to travel around near your home……
…..get to school…….
……. plus cycling is also a great family activity when you’re away on holiday.
You’re never too young to be a girl on a bike – or should that be a girl on a balance bike?
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
What ever type of cycling your daughter does, it’s bound to bring a smile to her face……
…. even if it does mean you’re on the way 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……..
especially if you’re posting a letter to Santa!
However, it’s certainly a lovely summer days activity too……
…. if only those wonderful summer days lasted a bit longer!
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…….
…… and sometimes a girl needs to protect herself from the inevitable bumps that come her way……
… and lots of girls just get on their bike and ride!
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…..
…. and these days you don’t even have to wait until you can pedal to get on two wheels:
Of course, you may be a girl who prefers to take the stabilisers route…..
… until one day you’re away and free!
When you’re a girl starting out cycling, you need someone to help you……….
…..and then one day you suddenly don’t!
So, if you’re a parent wondering whether to buy your daughter their first bike….
….. or one slightly bigger……
…. or whether to sign them up for some “learn to cycle” lessons…….
…… or let her cycle to school……..
…. or rent bikes whilst you’re on holiday……
please just DO IT!!!!
If you’re a girl yourself, looking here for inspiration of other girls on bicycles……..
….. and wondering what types of bike girls ride……
… or what girls wear while they’re cycling…..
and wondering if you should give cycling a go…..
… 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:
- Best girls bikes – as recommended by girls who ride bikes
- Cycling with kids can make you feel like one in a million
- The best bikes for a 6 year old girl
- The best children’s books about cycling 3: characters who ride bikes
- Review of the Hoy Bonaly 20 kids bike
- E-bikes and child bike seats – all your questions answered
- The best 16″ wheel bikes for 4 and 5 year olds – 2019
- The best 24″ wheel all purpose kids bikes for ages 7 – 10 years