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:

  1. Take those pictures I mentioned above on social media with a grain of salt.
  2. Women’s cycling is growing. Check for women-specific group in your area.
  3. Find a cycling friend who can help you get started.
  4. 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!