British Cycling claims over 100,000 new female riders in last six months

'On track' for target of one million new female riders by 2020 ...

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.”

Acknowledged by the Telegraph as a leading cycling journalist, John Stevenson has been writing about bikes and cycling for over 30 years since discovering that people were mug enough to pay him for it rather than expecting him to do an honest day's work.

He was heavily involved in the mountain bike boom of the late 1980s as a racer, team manager and race promoter, and that led to writing for Mountain Biking UK magazine shortly after its inception. He got the gig by phoning up the editor and telling him the magazine was rubbish and he could do better. Rather than telling him to get lost, MBUK editor Tym Manley called John’s bluff and the rest is history.

Since then he has worked on MTB Pro magazine and was editor of Maximum Mountain Bike and Australian Mountain Bike magazines, before switching to the web in 2000 to work for CyclingNews.com. Along with road.cc editor Tony Farelly, John was on the launch team for BikeRadar.com and subsequently became editor in chief of Future Publishing’s group of cycling magazines and websites, including Cycling Plus, MBUK, What Mountain Bike and Procycling.

John has also written for Cyclist magazine, edited the BikeMagic website and was founding editor of TotalWomensCycling.com before handing over to someone far more representative of the site's main audience.

He joined road.cc in 2013 and these days he lives in Cambridge where the lack of hills is more than made up for by the headwinds.

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