So this weekend the blog has been quiet. That has been because I was teaching toddlers how to ride at the Scottish Cycling, Running and Outdoors Pursuits event. After getting home all I could do was go for a lie-down and wait for the next day, this has led to me thinking about something that struck me over the weekend.
So my question is, where do all the girls go?
Over the three days, I saw more girls try and have fun on our mini-BMX course. They all seem to disappear as life goes on, despite some of them coming off the course with the biggest smiles I have ever seen. Is it a more societal question about women and their gender or is there something that cycling clubs are not doing?
This question has puzzled me for a few years. Whilst working in retail the manufacturers kept telling us that the next big thing for the UK bike market would be e-bikes. I will say e-bikes can sell but none of the distributors have mentioned the reasons that e-bikes will not sell in the UK compared to mainland Europe.
In Europe, e-bikes sell in big numbers because they have proper cycling infrastructure and better weather, without this they will not take off in as big a manner here. Your other thing is e-bikes are not sold in bike shops, they are sold in e-bike shops which are similar to our car dealerships in the UK and very different from bike shops.
Now that I have ranted about that, my point is the women’s market was taking off in the UK and the distributors were more interested in selling shops on bikes that do not sell and ignoring the high-end women’s market which was bustling. This is why I think the women disappear from cycling, they are basically ignored. They do not seem to count.
This is a huge problem that cycling has to sort out. It is more important than all the drugs issues, it needs some serious thinking. If we look at BC, their women’s coach was off delivering packages to a private male team and motor pacing Bradley Wiggins, why was the women’s coach not training our women’s squads, who despite what Brailsford says had a huge chance of taking medals.
As a man, I can not understand why we constantly talk down women’s sport and all I can think is that the old white men in charge of most sports are scared of women.It is the only reason I can think of for this denigrating stance that bodies take.
This stance is why women disappear and can we blame them whilst the shops and the governing bodies both seem to ignore them.