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Answers sought as to why cycling boom is leaving women behind

An online survey to identify the key barriers preventing women from cycling is being hosted by British Cycling.

The survey, which can be found here, is aimed at helping to create an exciting programme of activities designed to get more women on their bikes by 2013.

While Britain is enjoying something of a cycling boom and participation in the sport is dramatically increasing, the gap between male and female participation is widening.

Currently only 2.3 per cent of British women cycle each week, compared to 6.8 per cent of men. British Cycling believes more can be done to reverse this trend and is encouraged by the fact that women quote cycling as the second most popular activity they would like to take up after swimming.

British Cycling’s Chief Executive, Ian Drake, said: “Cycling is growing at a staggering rate and we want to make sure women are part of this trend by creating cycling opportunities that fit around their lifestyles and needs. But first we need to understand what is preventing them from taking up our sport, so we would like to encourage women to share their views and experiences with us via our website.”

British Cycling aren't the only organisation to tackle cycling's gender gap. Last year Sustrans launched its Bike Belles website with the tag line "What every woman needs to know to get out and about by bike", and with the specific aim of encouraging more women to take up cycling by presenting by riding in a much more female-friendly way.

Together with its partners Sport England and Sky, British Cycling wants to get 125,000 more people cycling once per week and one million more people cycling once per month by 2013. British Cycling is currently working with the Women’s Sport and Fitness Foundation to develop initiatives that appeal to women.