British Cycling says its plan to get one million more women cycling by 2020 is ‘on track’. The organisation today claimed that around 106,000 women have participated in its programmes so far this year.
British Cycling breaks down the participation in its various women’s programmes like this:
Participation in the Breeze programme of female-only rides: 23,000.
Women made up over a third of participants in Sky Ride city events so that’s another 37,000.
Sky Ride Local events have also been popular with women, who again made up over a third of participants: 6,000
Female participation in sportives is up 7 percent on last year: 24,000
Young women taking part in Go-Ride development programme: 10,000
Women taking part in Social Cycling Group rides via the Go Sky Ride site: 4,000
Increase in female members of British Cycling since March: over 2,000
British Cycling also reports a 24% increase in female participation in racing, year-on-year, no doubt helped by a more than 50 % increase in the number of women’s national series events, to 10.
While those numbers do indeed add up to 106,000, it’s possible that some individuals have been counted twice. It’s easy to imagine that, for example, someone might have taken part in the first sportive this year and then joined British Cycling. We’ve asked what attempts were made to prevent duplication, and we’ll update when BC get back to us.
Nevertheless, the raw figures reflect an increase in cycling among women that’s backed up by reports from the bike industry, who say more women than ever are coming through the doors of bike shops.
Commenting on the figures, British Cycling’s chief executive, Ian Drake, said: “In the six months since we launched our strategy we’ve made some great progress and our plan to get one million more women cycling over the next seven years is firmly on track. We’ve got some fantastic headline figures that we’re announcing today. They show that there are thousands of women who want to ride recreationally – a big win for our partnership with Sky, especially the fact that over a third of the 100,000 women we’ve engaged so far this year was through Sky Ride.
“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.”
Our official grumpy Northerner, John has been riding bikes for over 30 years since discovering as an uncoordinated teen that a sport could be fun if it didn't require you to catch a ball or get in the way of a hulking prop forward.
Road touring was followed by mountain biking and a career racing in the mud that was as brief as it was unsuccessful.
Somewhere along the line came the discovery that he could string a few words together, followed by the even more remarkable discovery that people were mug enough to pay for this rather than expecting him to do an honest day's work. He's pretty certain he's worked for even more bike publications than Mat Brett.
The inevitable 30-something MAMIL transition saw him shift to skinny tyres and these days he lives in Cambridge where the lack of hills is more than made up for by the headwinds.