I don’t know about you, but I’ve been loving the #ThisGirlCan adverts on TV. With great footage of women enjoying a wide variety of sports coupled with fantastic slogans such as “I jiggle, therefore I am” and “Sweating like a pig. Feeling like a fox.” it’s hard not to get on board with the positivity from this uber upbeat campaign.
As a woman partial to a number of sports (cycling, swimming and running) I immediately got on board and signed Speeds Cycles up to the campaign. However, this decision was not just fuelled by my own passion for health and fitness.
During January, we have seen a phenomenal number of women take to two wheels. Normally, our female customers are interested in hybrids, such as the Trek FX range, which enable them to commute to work comfortably, lose weight and get in shape and take the kids out for rides around the park – and that’s awesome. In fact, that’s what the #ThisGirlCan campaign is about.
But during the last month we have seen a considerable number of women choose road bikes instead, and for me that’s incredibly inspiring.
Women on Road Bikes
The aggressive nature of the road bike’s design, with it’s dropped handlebars and slim, slick tyres, tends to put most women off, especially those new to cycling.
However, I can personally say that riding a road bike is phenomenally good fun. Personally, I feel that my road bikes, whether they are geared, single speed or fixed, offer me freedom and independence, and my road bikes allow me to cover distances I just couldn’t do on a hybrid. And it appears I’m not the only one with a passion for this style of bike.
We’re seeing a rise in female customers choosing road bikes. During January, we helped:
Abi – Abi is a young student residing in Rednal preparing to ride from Land’s End to John O’Groats as part of her DoE. Abi is going to be riding this popular cycling challenge with a number of her friends later on this year, and was looking for a comfortable, high quality alloy road bike that she could use to train on and for the event itself. We paired Abi up with her perfect match, a Trek Lexa SLX, the top bike from the Lexa range.
Andrea - Andrea and her husband Chris live in Bromsgrove and have both been looking at road bikes for a while. Like Abi, Andrea wanted a bike that enabled her to cover some distance comfortably. She had a budget of around £1000, and with this in mind we decided that her best match was the same bike as Abi, the Lexa SLX. (Chris is considering treating himself to an Emonda SL6 – the Emonda range also includes Women’s Specific Design (WSD) models.)
Anna – Anna wanted a road bike that she could use for both training and her triathlon events. Anna is new to triathlon but keen to do well, and wanted a quality road bike at a reasonable price. Together we decided that the Trek Lexa S was the best fit for her needs, as it is the same model I personally started on and I now use mine as a winter bike.
Sylvia - Sylvia knew right from the get go that she wanted a high end carbon road bike, as she already owns an alloy road bike and a mountain bike. Like Anna, Sylvia wants to compete in a number of triathlons this year and wanted a bike that would be comfortable but quick. Based on her needs we decided that the best bike for Sylvia was the Trek Silque SL, which is a hybrid design that utilises the comfort considerations of the Domane frame design but the speed and handling of the Madone forks.
Georgina - Georgina is yet another budding triathlete (can you see a pattern emerging here?) who wanted an entry level road bike that would enable her to compete in local events. Georgina wanted a competitive edge, so this bike and the accessories fell within her price range and the bike has the scope to either be upgraded ata later date for better performance or used as a winter road bike.
Jen – Jen originally wanted t purchase a new hybrid bike as her goal was to improve her fitness and enjoy some additional leisure riding. Jen had been riding an old mountain bike, and after some initial research and a chat with her friends she decided to check out the road bike options. After test riding one or two models Jen became hooked on the idea of a road bike and opted for the Lexa SL, which utilises the trip chainset gearing of a hybrid but offers the racy position of a road bike.
2015 Silque SL -RRP £2200
2015 Lexa S – RRP £650
2015 Lexa SLX – RRP £1100
2015 Lexa SL – RRP £750
Women in Cycling Clubs and Competitions
Not only are we seeing a rise in women on road bikes in store, we’re also noticing a rise in the number of women joining local cycling clubs and riding regularly. Even during the last few weekends, when the weather has been sketchy at best, I’ve seen a number of female cyclists working hard on the roads.
When I joined the Saracen Road Club last June I knew that the club had a handful of female riders, but in the last six months the club has grown considerably and the Saracens now have enough women riding regularly to enter a team in the Midlands Women’s Time Trial Series; and I’m delighted to say that I am one of the women on the Saracen’s team!
My first event is in April, so I’m getting in some miles on my Trek Lexa S and some lengths in the pool in preparation! The series is partly sponsored by Trek Bicycle Store Coventry - so I’ll certainly be riding some of my events on my Trek Domane 5.2 as well as my fixed.
The Saracens aren’t the only cycling club to have a female contingent, there’s also Bromsgrove Olympique and Halesowen. Personally, I love riding in a mixed group, as I find it helps to push my limits and encourages me to be more competitive. However, if you’re looking for a female only cycling club then be sure to check out Hopwood Ladies and Women on Wheels.
#ThisGirlCan Ride On Two Wheels
You only have to watch the #ThisGirlCan advert to know that this campaign isn’t designed with just the superfit in mind. It’s aimed at women, of all ages, across the length and breadth of the country.
It’s designed to encourage women to get involved with one form of sport or another. Whether it’s cycling, spinning, swimming, running, dancing or working out, there is a sport out there that you will enjoy. It’s about shrugging off the fear and worry about the way we look when we work out, and about embracing the fact that when we look a mess it’s because we are at our best.
This Girl Can – Cycling with friends
This Girl Can is all about getting women together, socialising and supporting each other online. having fun and getting fit and healthy in the process. This national campaign is being run by Sport England and is Lotto funded. It’s a great campaign, with a great message, and over the coming months Speeds Cycles will be incorporating the message and ethos of the campaign into our daily practices.
I am already offering solo rides to female customers on Thursdays, but I will soon be starting a female only ride from around Bromsgrove for women only that will start outside our store. More info on this to come soon! If you’d like more information on the #ThisGirlCan campaign, road bikes, local cycling clubs, the Midlands women’s TT series or anything else I’ve written about feel free to email me!
Be sure to follow the This Girl Can campaign and Speeds Cycles on Facebook.