How to start a biking club for women

I think for most women we like to do things, doesn’t matter what, with our friends and family.  So joining a bicycle club if you have one in your area is a wonderful idea, but if you don’t have one around you, it’s a good idea to go ahead and start one.  When I first started riding my bicycle I felt like I was the only woman in the woods and on the trails.  Today, I see just as many women riding on the trails as men, sometimes more.

The unfortunate part, being in today’s world, us women have to be much more careful than men do when it comes to personal safety so riding with a partner is important, especially if your riding in the woods like I do.  My mother has recently started riding with me again so hooray for her – way to go mom!!

Starting a bicycle club for women helps get yourself and others cycling more often.  When you have other riders that look to you for support and depend on you to be there for a group ride you are less likely to back out.  Because your members have something in common, you’ll find you will share questions / answers about cycling, bicycles, where to ride, how to ride, what to wear, bug repellent, etc.

You will need organizing skills, knowledge of what your local women bicyclers need, how you can fullfil their needs, how to get your community involved (educational flyers and marketing) and some even turn into a sort of bicycling activist group.  There are specific reasons that will entice women to join your bicycle club:

  • ride more often
  • safety in numbers
  • comradery
  • bike in new places
  • learn how to ride better
  • share knowledge, ideas, experience

You can schedule a series of activities and post them at your local bicycle shops and bicycle trails to draw more women riders, such as:

  • trail rides
  • recreation rides
  • charity rides
  • training rides
  • races
  • workshops / clinics
    (get with your local bicycle shop and see if they have an expert that can demonstrate how to put the proper pressure in your tires, safety on the trail or road, how to use the clips vs the regular pedals…)

Your local bicycle shops may support your club by offering discounts to your members on equipment and/or provide a meeting place.  In return you can acknowledge the bicycle shop in your newsletter and other appropriate club products or marketing.  You can also network yourself with other larger bicycle clubs in your state.

To get started you can simple schedule group rides and post signs, make calls and/or send emails letting everyone know when and where the group ride will be and make it the same day and time each week so that it just becomes part of the club members routine.  As your club grows you can add additional days / times for rides.  Keep looking for new members, have a regular newsletter, establish your identity, produce a leaflet to be displayed at your local bicycle shops, develop club leadership roles, etc.

I’m not going to blow sunshine here… this will be a lot of work, but an energetic club with lots of volunteers can get a whole bunch done, not only for yourselves but for your community as well.

Remember my motto… if you’re not moving, how can you get ahead?

I have a few women’s bicycle clubs on my links page:  http://www.biking4women.com/bicyclelinks.asp but if you have a women’s bicycle club and would like me to link to your website, just send me an email.

Ride, live, have fun!!

Cindy 🙂

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2 responses to this post.

  1. Hi Cindy! Thanks for the link on your site, however you have the email contact and URL incorrect.

    http://www.velogirls.com

    As one of the first women’s cycling clubs in the US, my best advice is to start small. You do not need to give birth to a teenager. Start with one or two rides a month and piggy-back on known resources (your LBS, women’s fitness center, etc). Allow the club to grow as your resources grow. To create a sustainable organization, you need more than one person to manage, lead, organize, etc.

    Good luck to all of you!

    Lorri

    Reply

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