Women who cycle

15 October 2021

Women who cycle


The world of cycling is mostly dominated by men and here at Frog, we would like to help change that! Government statistics show that in 2019, 75 percent of all cycling trips in England were made by men. As well as cycling three times as frequently as women, men cycled almost four times further than women.


At Frog we want to help encourage all children to cycle and feel confident on a bike from a young age, and to show especially girls that cycling is for everyone!


Whilst in the past many notable bike races only allowed men to enter, times are changing and it is becoming increasingly recognised that women are interested and very capable of competing in the sport too!


So, what better time to take a look at some of the most inspiring women who have taken the cycling world by storm…


Famous Women Cyclists


Photo attribution: www.teamjumbovisma.com

NAME: Marianne Vos

STARTED CYCLING: 6 years old

LOCATION: Netherlands

DISCIPLINES: Road, Cyclocross, MTB, Track


Marianne Vos is among the most talented female cyclists throughout the globe. She has achieved two Olympic gold meals, triumphed three times at the World Championship Road Race, obtained seven wins of the World Cyclocross Championship and won five times at the UCI Women’s Road World Cup.


Check out Marianne's Pro Cycling stats >>


Photo attribution: www.suipedali.it

NAME: Fabiana Luperini

LOCATION: Italy

DISCIPLINES: Road


Fabiana Luperini is a celebrated professional cyclist. She has won the Giro d'Italia Femminile a record five times, with four consecutive victories in 1995–1998 and a fifth ten years later, in 2008. And, she has won the Grande Boucle Féminine three times consecutively, from 1995 to 1997. In 1998 she won the Tour de l'Aude, and in 2006 she won the Iurreta-Emakumeen Bira.


Check out Fabiana’s Pro Cycling stats >>


Photo attribution: Nicola, CC BY-SA 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons

NAME: Victoria Pendleton CBE

STARTED CYCLING: 9 years old

LOCATION: UK

DISCIPLINES: Road


Victoria Pendleton specialises in track cycling and over the years has received many accolades, including being one of Great Britain’s most successful female Olympians.


Victoria has won 9 world titles, including a record six in the individual sprint. In 2008 she won the gold for the sprint at the Beijing Olympics and in 2012 won the gold for the keirin and silver for the sprint at the London Olympics.


In 2009 Victoria was appointed Member of the Order of the British Empire (MBE) and in 2009 Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE) for services to cycling!


Check out Victoria’s cycling history >>


MEET OUR FEMALE AMBASSADORS

As we said, we really do love to help inspire children of all ages, backgrounds and disciplines to cycle. And we want cycling to be seen as a female sport or hobby too. Here are three of the fantastic female ambassadors that help us to do just that!


ARIA

Aria, who is just 9-years-old, learnt to ride a bike much earlier than her older brothers. Her parents took a different approach with her and started her off with a balance bike when she was 4. At 5 years old she progressed to a pedal bike which she managed to ride almost instantly!


Aria was already running at this age at local fun runs and with a real competitive streak she wanted to race! They found a local 'scootathlon' for her age which involved a run, scoot on a scooter finished with another run. After this she was hooked and it was a natural progression into triathlons.


Aria trains for triathlons with a swim and running club but likes to do her cycle training on her own. Living in Cornwall cycling is one of her favourite hobbies and she loves the freedom of being able to take her bike on different adventures so it's never a chore! This may change as triathlons become more competitive as she gets older but for now, she is happy doing what she loves.

MIA

Mia is nearly 5-years-old and loves riding her red bike! She’s been a keen cyclist from an early age starting on a Frog tadpole balance bike and working her way up to a first-pedal Frog bike.


Mia uses her bike almost every day, travelling to the parks, cycling off-road and at trail centres, exploring mountain bike trails and going on long bike rides with her mum, dad and younger brother. Cycling is a huge part of their lives and Mia enjoys every minute! Especially when stopping for a well-earned snack en route.

JESS

Jess who is now 10-years-old, has been riding a bike competitively since she was 8, starting off on stabilisers but actually progressed better on a balance bike.


Jess enjoys MTB, enduro riding & Cyclocross but her favourite discipline is BMX & dirt jumps.


Jess is currently BMX National champion and is working towards the World Championship in Paris next year. Jess enjoys keeping up her bike fitness by racing her Frog bikes either XC or CX & this is important as it is a good variation of bike skills & fitness.


FROG’S FEMALE CYCLISTS

There is more good news! The number of cycling trips made by women in England rose by 56% in 2020 the Department for Transport (DfT) statistics show. Obviously, Covid-19 had a huge part to play in this rise, but many have kept cycling as a part of their everyday life, and long may it continue!


As advocates of women in cycling, we wanted to share with you some of Frog’s very own female cyclists:


Freya Harrison

How old were you when you started cycling?

I remember my parents picking me up from school at the end of term when I was 4 or 5 and bringing my bike to ride home. This was a special treat as the childminder usually picked me up and I only really rode my bike on the weekends. I will never forget this one ride though as it's where I rebelliously rode off down the hill home, taking my feet off the pedals and catapulting over the handlebars, ending up in A&E, and a scar under my chin that will be with me forever. After a 17 year hiatus, I won a place in the Ride London 100 through the ballot and bought my first road bike in 2014 and have been hooked ever since!


What disciplines do you enjoy?

Mostly long endurance rides and spinning classes, when I don't fancy the rain!


How often do you cycle?

I try to cycle on average 3-4 times a week, more in the summer and less in the winter.


How far on average do you cycle?

80-100 miles


What do you love about cycling?

Where do I start?! The physical and mental endorphins first and foremost. I love the freedom and mental release of cycling as well as being the best way to get around London and beat the traffic! There's nothing better than a long ride with friends in the sunshine. But, also getting out solo, first thing in the morning, to get set up for the day ahead. Oh, and I can't forget the great tan!!


Why would you recommend cycling to other women?

It's a great way to get fit, socialise and a free way to travel! You're only ever one bike ride away from a good mood!

Val Benyon

How old were you when you started cycling?

I remember cycling up and down the street we lived in Edinburgh and using my bike to get to friends houses to play. I think I was about 9 or 10 when I started cycling for exercise on a regular basis. It helped with fitness for horse riding (particularly show jumping and eventing which requires a bit more stamina).


What disciplines do you enjoy?

I own a mountain bike and my preference is to ride off-road, but I also use it on the road. Discipline suggests I’m a serious cyclist which I don’t consider myself to be – I just enjoy it.


How often do you cycle?

I cycle most days even if it is just a quick circuit to clear my head.


How far on average do you cycle?

Not very far – probably about 60 miles! (Shameful compared to my colleagues I know!)


What do you love about cycling?

I enjoy being outdoors and it really helps me clear my head / arrange my thoughts.


Why would you recommend cycling to other women?

I think there are fantastic benefits for anyone who wants to try cycling. I use it to ensure I get some form of regular exercise outdoors, time away from my screen and space for me to arrange my thoughts.

Karen Southgate

How old were you when you started cycling?

5 years old.


What disciplines do you enjoy?

I really enjoy riding on the local cycle track and cycling on the canal rides.


How often do you cycle?

I cycle as and when my hectic work and family life let me, as I also run a few times a week with a running club.


How far on average do you cycle?

It depends on what charity rides we are training for and what time I have available.


What do you love about cycling?

I absolutely love freewheeling downhill and admiring the scenery around our mountains and countryside.


Why would you recommend cycling to other women?

Because it’s so enjoyable and great for fitness.

Theresa Rosser

How old were you when you started cycling?

3 years old.


What disciplines do you enjoy?

Karen and I ride together a lot. We really enjoy riding along the canal and visiting our local cycle track.


How often do you cycle?

I try to fit in as many rides around work and family life as possible. I also cycle around running after work.


How far on average do you cycle?

It depends, as if we are training for a charity ride then we tend to do a lot more riding than an average week.


What do you love about cycling?

The freedom it gives you and of course the fun of going downhill.


Why would you recommend cycling to other women?

Cycling brings me lots of enjoyment and it’s great to get some fresh air and exercise too.


WOMEN’S CYCLING GROUPS

Due to the increase in interest from women, female-only cycling groups are popping up all over the globe, with many ladies joining to be with like-minded people and to make new cycling friends. No men allowed!


So, if you’re interested in joining a local cycling group, be sure what exactly it is you are searching for, is it for social rides, training or both. There are many groups to choose from, with some locations offering more than others, so do take a look around for the one best suited for you.


On meetup.com you can find out what’s happening in women’s cycling Meetup groups around the world and join a group near you.


Our partner Herne Hill Velodrome run a women’s only cycling club offering park laps, skills sessions and club rides.


You can also find a club using the British Cycling website by selecting the ‘women-only sessions’ or ‘suitable for female cyclists’ filters.


Here are 8 of the best women’s cycling clubs according to Red Bull.


And, HSBC let’s ride has lots of free, fun women-only bike rides across the UK for all abilities.


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