I have been riding for nine years and had the opportunity to live and immerse myself into the cycling culture on three continents. I am far from being a professional cyclist but I do like pushing myself whether it is racing a 330km Tour du Mont Blanc or completing the 2650km Haute Route Triple Crown. I ride my bike because I enjoy it and it offers so much more than just burning calories.
I am usually the only (or one of two) woman on the group rides I am joining. One thing I am always want to make sure is that I am respected as a cyclist.
But I found that cycling is “sexy-fied” on social media. With a huge discrepancy between women and men in cycling I am always excited to come across female cyclists on social media. A lot of these girls wear nice cycling clothing and an expensive bike is in the picture too. But I am disappointed some of them are not cyclists at all and show cycling in a wrong light – especially for women’s cycling.
Don’t get me wrong, I have nothing against looking good on a bike. But some of these pictures convey the wrong message about women’s cycling.
If I was new to cycling, the sports itself would look quite intimidating – especially for a woman putting myself into tight clothing on a bike feeling vulnerable riding on the road. Now if I additionally would see those perfectly shaped, insinuating “female cyclists” on social media I would get the wrong impression about cycling. With my imperfect body to put in tight clothes (and let’s not start with the “I-am-too-fat discussion”) I would be completely disheartened to start cycling.
But cycling is not about looking good; it is about adventure, nature, friends, discovery, community – besides that it is a fantastic workout.
If you are looking to escape from a stressful day, a bike ride works magic! If you want to just talk with your friends, take a spin to the next coffee shop. Post-ride coffee tastes wonderful! With your bike, you will be able to see countries, regions or even your local neighborhood with a completely new perspective.
This is how you can get started:
- Take those pictures I mentioned above on social media with a grain of salt.
- Women’s cycling is growing. Check for women-specific group in your area.
- Find a cycling friend who can help you get started.
- When you are in Mallorca, it would be great to have you come along to my rides as well!
Let’s start the cycling adventure!