I am so excited to be involved in the British Cycling #OneInaMillion campaign (those who know me might spot me in the video – how cool is that? 🙂) because cycling really did change my life when I first got on a road bike as a 13 year old girl 🚴🏽♀️.
About the campaign
British Cycling’s campaign is to close the gender cycling gap and get one million more women on bikes by 2020. Since launching this ambition in 2013, over 800,000 women have been encouraged to take up cycling. However, two thirds of frequent cyclists are men (compared to countries like Denmark where the numbers are far more equal).
(This information is from British Cycling and their new women’s cycling hub can be found here: www.britishcycling.org.uk/womenscycling )
Why I got involved
When I saw that they wanted people to submit videos for their campaign, I just wanted to get involved because I like filming and thought it would be a good opportunity. It was only when I was listening to people talking about the campaign after submitting the video, that I really reflected on why I wanted to be involved:
It is great to be involved in a campaign to encourage women and girls to participate in cycling because I have always been involved in activities that weren’t as popular with girls. When I was younger, I did karate with my brother. I loved it but locally, there weren’t many girls doing it. I was once told by a boy that he “couldn’t punch me” because I was a girl (it was a sparring activity and should have only been gentle contact anyway). Obviously, I just punched him first. I’m currently studying civil engineering at university, where only about 10% of my year are female.
Cycling and women’s participation has come a long way since I first started cycling in 2012. This year has been a mega year for cyclocross in terms of participation. My local league had to increase the number of entries for women because it got fully booked. However, there is still a long way to go before it is really equal. I did my first cycling coaching course, just turned 18, and was the only female there (and the only ‘young’ person). This could really put people off. When I raced mountain bike last season, I was surprised to ‘win’ a race (in my category) because I was the only person competing.
I love the community feel of being #OneInaMillion and the women’s cycling community. I don’t think anyone should feel scared or intimidated to start cycling or volunteering in cycling. I ride, race and coach because it’s fun – why should anyone miss out on the fun and freedom cycling gives?