Is cycling intimidating for women?

stormina
Posts: 7
Joined: Tue Jun 24, 2014 1:22 am

Re: Is cycling intimidating for women?

Postby stormina » Tue Jun 24, 2014 1:54 am

Hello,

this is a very interesting thread and different people have different experiences.
I think it also depends on yourself a lot on how you are and tehrefore on how people react when they interact with you.
I completely understand how some women feel about it but on the other hand I have to say that I have always been ok.
But I also cycled a lot in Europe and maybe my experience in Australia will be different to the ones I had in Europe (I am going to travel to Oz in September/ October for a three month trip).

Greetings from Stormina

softy
Posts: 1663
Joined: Sat Jan 25, 2014 3:44 pm

Re: Is cycling intimidating for women?

Postby softy » Sun Sep 06, 2015 9:30 am

Some of the topics on here have been very interesting;

Ability was highlighted, I really can't see this as an issue, men and women alike ride at different paces, it could be due to age, health, relaxing, whatever, I think the sex of the person is low on the chart when looking at biking.

Lets face it, we all have to deal with traffic, hills, other bad road users. Bikes are sat on and our legs pedal the same crank driving the back wheel, simply the same for everyone.

As far as keeping up, you select a group of the same pace. Also some experts who talk about getting fit say to ride with a tougher group, and say if your not getting dropped you need a stronger group. But not all are so competitive, including both sexes. So what is different with sexes;

Clothes, agree with previous posts
Seats, these can be really personal
Bike sizing

Apart from this I think we can all ride bikes equally.

serrinsk
Posts: 1
Joined: Thu Nov 19, 2015 2:28 pm

Re: Is cycling intimidating for women?

Postby serrinsk » Thu Nov 19, 2015 2:47 pm

Old thread, but replying anyway in case there are women out there new to cycling who might find it useful.

I am a commuter cyclist only. I don't ride on weekends and hate the thought of anything competitive. I used to cycle 26km each way (into headwinds both ways!) between work and home - I'd do one way on day one, then leave my bike overnight and take the train, then return home by bike the next afternoon. I have since moved and I now do about 16km each way, morning and evening with a lovely tailwind.

What I found intimidating when I started riding were the large bunches who would pass without leaving enough room or giving enough warning. I was learning, so I was very wobbly. On my first day in clips I fell off at a traffic light because the bunch parked so close to me I didn't have enough time to unclip or to get to a light pole to stay upright. Lots of exasperated sighs from the "pro" riders around me, and I said to the group generally "you're right, clearly I am an amateur, so why didn't you give me more space!" No response but a few guilty looks.

I eventually learnt to deal with it, and because I stick to the paths whenever possible and slightly adjusted the timing of my departure, I didn't come across them too often. They still intimidated me but I got used to it and ignored them.

Then I moved suburbs (tail winds both ways, yay!). My new suburb has much better paths, and also far fewer cyclists. The old suburb had a route along the river which was popular with groups, but my new suburb has a path along the train so you only really encounter other commuters heading to the city. These people are far less competitive and much more friendly, and they are never more than 2 or 3 people together. They're just getting to work, not racing the Tour de France.

In my old suburb I encountered quite a few other female cyclists. In my new suburb I might see another woman once or twice a week. But I am WAY more comfortable in my new suburb. I think it was probably helpful for me to see other women around when I was learning and feeling like a total n00b. But now I don't really care either way because people along my new route are generally friendly.

In short: I was intimidated by large groups and liked seeing other women cycling as it made me feel a little more confident. However once I got over that, gender has become irrelevant to my cycling.

For anyone starting out, I would recommend sticking to the bike paths on commuter routes - the really serious and scary cyclists tend to use the roads.

I do agree on the clothes and the seats issue. Also why isn't there more hi-vis cycling gear?!

Serenem
Posts: 4
Joined: Wed Jan 06, 2016 5:22 pm

Re: Is cycling intimidating for women?

Postby Serenem » Wed Jan 06, 2016 5:27 pm

I found it intimidating at first. Especially with all the young hot head cyclists on the cycle paths these days. I am used to it now and dont even think about it. It took about 5 weekend rides to get over the fear.

Eleri
Posts: 444
Joined: Sun Jan 17, 2010 12:16 pm
Location: Inner West, Sydney

Re: Is cycling intimidating for women?

Postby Eleri » Wed Jan 06, 2016 9:32 pm

Good on you for persevering Serenem! On the scale of things, I guess 5 weekends isn't all that long.

stevenaaus
Posts: 77
Joined: Sun May 15, 2011 4:52 pm

Re: Is cycling intimidating for women?

Postby stevenaaus » Thu Jun 15, 2017 9:35 am

Busy cycleways are a problem alright. Peak hour in Brisbane is quite daunting. I try to go slow around pedestrians/slow-trackers, but some roadies are absolute shockers.

In the local Giant store, i see there's heaps of women's Liv bikes and clothing... so that's encouraging.

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