Sky Ride drives growth in women cycling

Is the bike trade placing enough emphasis on non-sporty cycling in its product ranges?
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BikeBiz Award-winning Sky Ride is playing a leading role in British Cycling's strategy to get more women on bikes, which has announced it is on track to get one million more women cycling over the next seven years.

According to the organisation, over a third of the 100,000 women engaged in the project so far have been via Sky Ride, the free guided bike rides taking place around the country, including large-scale traffic-free rides in cities like London, Birmingham and Manchester.

On the racing/challenge side of cycling, 24,000 women have taken part in British Cycling sportives so far in 2013. Female member base of British Cycling has jumped 19 per cent since the strategy was announced.

Based on those numbers, is the bike trade over playing the sporty side of the women's market? Has it got its product mix right? Or are the British Cycling stats an anomaly?

British Cycling's chief exec Ian Drake said: “The introduction of the Women’s Tour from next year can only build momentum further. We know that British Cycling has a long journey ahead to change the culture of our sport but we are heading in the right direction.”

Maria Miller, Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport, said: “It’s fantastic that British Cycling’s women’s strategy has got off to a flying start. The approach to promote both recreational cycling as well as sportives to women is clearly paying off.

"With great role models such as Laura Trott and Becky James, an increase in women’s races, a Women’s Tour announced and more female coaches coming through, the sport is in a great position to keep up this momentum.”

Three time BMX World Champion Shanaze Reade said: “For too long cycling has been seen as a sport for men. It’s fantastic to hear that over a 100,000 women have dusted off their bikes and got involved in British Cycling programmes across all disciplines so far this year. The more women that cycle, the more their friends, sisters and mums will be inspired to give it a try – we’re starting to close that gender gap and I look forward to seeing even more women enjoy all that cycling has to offer.”

Pic: British Cycling

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