Professional female cyclists are paid much less than their male counterparts, with many of them working part time as well as racing in order to keep doing what they do. The prize money they receive is also much lower, women’s cycling receives much less media coverage, and in general there is far less funding and far fewer opportunities.
As a sport, professional women’s cycling is undervalued.
As a mode of transport and a source of fun and exercise, there are also fewer women in the UK who cycle. Bike shops tend to be male-orientated, with most of the shop floor dedicated to men’s bikes and clothing. This is true of our own shops, because the large majority of our customers are male, and the majority of people who apply to join the Co-op are also male.
We want all this to change. Over the coming years, we want to see a 50/50 split of men and women coming into our shops. We want to see more women cycling on the roads and tearing down mountain bike tracks. And we want professional women’s cycling to be taken more seriously.
If you’re organising any women’s cycling events, be sure to let us know so that we can help you publicise them, and if you have any thoughts or comments then please leave them below.
This week’s famous cyclist
Eileen Sheridan, aka ‘The Mighty Atom’
Eileen Sheridan, standing at only 4ft 11 inches, remains one of the giants of cycling. Below is one of the posters that we hung in all our shops last year to highlight the incredible accomplishments of several women cyclists in history.
Also well worth watching is the trailer for ‘Come on Eileen’, a short film about Eileen Sheridan (clicking the picture takes you to the video’s website):