International Womens Day Sunday 8th March 2020
Celebrate women's achievement. An equal world is an enabled world.
According to statistics, men go on almost three times as many rides than women – and travel four times further!
This isn’t right, and we are doing all we can to close the gap. Over the last two years Bynea’s cycling club female membership has grown from a quarter of the club membership of over 200 members.
Cycling doesn’t just take place on the road; there are loads of places you can get out for a spin to build fitness, gain confidence and have fun, and we are here to help you.
To get going, you’ll literally just need a bike in good working condition and some key pieces of kit. You might want to include gloves, padded cycling shorts and some basic repair equipment just in case you get a puncture. There’s also lots of decent second-hand kit out there to get you started out. I picked up loads of bits and pieces along the way so you don’t really need to spend much at all!
Cycling on the open roads for the first time can seem daunting, but it really doesn’t need to be. Remember that you have every right to be pedalling on the road! However, I started off by driving to the end of a local cycle route with my bike in the back of the car and using these ‘ traffic-free zones’ to build up my confidence on the bike. After a few months I then ‘ventured’ onto the road.
Bynea cycling club is friendly, welcoming, and full of people who can answer your questions, show you around the lanes and help you understand your bike better.
Its never too late to get back on the bike. One of the leading females within the club is Trish Butcher. Trish, joined Bynea Cycling Club so that she could become a better cyclist. Having been a Breeze leader within the Carmarthenshire Program she noticed she was often the only female rider on club runs, so she set up a ladies only ride and Whats App support group, where women could discuss their concerns or plan a ride together when they were free.
It has become a rapid success and the club’s female members have since increased. In July 2019 she received an award at Westminster Parliament recognising her work increasing female cycling as ‘Cycling UK’s 100 Women in Cycling 2019’.
It’s been great to see the progression, many were novice riders two years ago, but now they lead club runs with confidence. Having seen and learning from others, sharing concerns and experience has eased them into riding with the club and making new friends. They run female rides once a month, usually the first Saturday of the month, in addition to all the all club rides on both Saturday and Sunday. Within the mixed club runs, occasionally females are greater represented than males.
The female membership has grown mainly through face-to-face contact, either by recommendation of a friend or by meeting and talking to like minded women in events, such as local events or sportifs. Across the board there is a wide range of female age groups with their youngest female member in primary school whilst the elders enjoy the popular Wednesday ‘Silver Surfers Ride’.
Some have progressed from being a novice rider to recreational riders now competing in events. Many compete in the club’s weekly time trials. While some compete in open events all over the country. Mandy Lane is one of those riders who is new to competing and in 2019 she broke most of the club records.
During 2019 the club promoted a Go Race series for both males and females on the Closed Road Circuit at Pembrey Country Park. This was again supported by club members and further Go Races are being promoted for both males and females in 2020.