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There’s no beating around the bush, cycling is 100% a male dominated sport. From the lack of female races shown on TV to the sexual and moronic ways some companies think it’s acceptable to sell woman’s apparel, the odds seem to be against us. Just type in ‘female cycling’ on on google images and the second suggestion will be ‘sexy female cycling’. Yawn.

Cyclist pinching women's bum
Does this even need a caption??

But as it’s unchartered territory for so many of us, it also makes it so much more exciting.

Taking up cycling is one the best things you can ever do for your fitness and your body, with rides regularly burning around 1,000 calories each. Just try and do that on the treadmill. It’s also super low impact, meaning that if you’ve ever suffered from shin splints or sore joints from other cardio, this is the exercise for you.

Not only does it burn fat like there’s no tomorrow, it also gives your legs and arse one of the best workouts out there. No it won’t give you massive thighs, as muscle takes up less space than fat, so expect leaner legs and a perkier bum. Need I say anymore?

female cyclists cycling on a road
It doesn’t feel much better than soaring down a huge hill you’ve just conquered

One upside of not having a lot of females in the world of cycling, is that when we do get together and ride/ chat, it’s never taken for granted. Women can be the most encouraging, helpful and inspiring people, especially when you’re all tackling an awful climb together and the top is in sight! Joining a club and riding with women will be something that you’ll never regret. Not only will you make friends, get fitter and put the boys to shame, but you’ll also realise how fab we can be when we all encourage each other. Yes that’s a bit cheesy, but you don’t realise how true it is until you can experience it yourself.

Being a minority also gives us a step up when it comes to races. Instead of being in a pack of 40+ testosterone fuelled MAMIL (middle aged men in lycra), you’re much more likely to be in a smaller pack with only a few people in your way for a place on the podium. Plus, you can come dead last and still confidently say “Yeah was a tough race, but still managed to claw my way into 9th place”. They will never need to know that was 9/9. Shh.

Why cycling? What’s wrong with Zumba?

Sure Zumba may be the safe bet and cycling may not be the easiest or the most comfortable sport to get into as a woman, but the results are 100% worth it. It’s not just an event in a church hall you drag yourself to once a week, it becomes an actual part of your life and so much more than a sport. So many women I’ve spoken to have cited their partners as the reason for getting them into cycling, but I would love to see more women getting other women into it too! Whether you’re reading this as someone who’s never given cycling a go or are a die hard fan, cycling will always need more women to take part, so take it into consideration yourself or try and convince one of your friends. Have fun!

 

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