Sustrans wants women to 'mystery shop' bike stores

How female-friendly are bike shops? Sustrans wants to find out
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As part of its bid to get more women cycling, Sustrans is calling on women to take to the high streets of Britain and mystery shop their local cycle stores to test their female-friendliness.

The charity believes that the bike trade could be doing more to help the 79 per cent of women who don't cycle, by making their shops and products more attractive to women. Sustrans wishes women to assess factors such as the approachability of the sales staff, the range of products on offer and the appearance of the shop.

Shoppers can log their experiences – anonymously, if they wish – on Sustrans' Bike Belles website.

The observations and suggestions will be later passed to the bike trade.

Melissa Henry, Sustrans' Communications Director, explains: "There are many reasons why women don't cycle, from concerns over safety to feeling too self-conscious. While the bike trade excels at promoting to the experienced cyclist who knows what they are looking for; it may be a bit more off-putting for women who are new to the whole experience.

"If women feel comfortable in a bike shop they are more likely to want to buy something and get out on two wheels."

Those contributing ideas and reports to Sustrans before 21st June will be included in a prize draw to win a floral bike pannier from Basil. 

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