We all know the theory, we should be using our cars less and travelling more actively, to improve or health (mental and physical), to save money, to save time and to tackle the climate crisis.
However according to Cycling UK in 2019 on average, males of all ages made three times as many cycle trips as females.
Males also cycled 3.7 times as many miles.
This gender discrepancy between the numbers of males and females getting on bikes has fascinated me for a number of years and so many times as an advocate for active travel I would hear the words;
I would like to cycle but ……
1. I’m terrified of traffic
2. I don’t want to get hot and sweaty
3. I have too much stuff to carry
4. I don’t want to look like a cyclist
5. My bike is broken, and I don’t know how to fix it stuck again.
6. I’m worried I’ll get lost
7. I don’t have anywhere to store a bike
All very real barriers but there just seemed to be too many …. And these were especially stopping girls and young women benefiting from riding a bike.
So in the midst of lockdown one, last Spring Phil Crompton, chair of Nottingham Ridewise and I sat down for a zoom call to discuss just why that was ?
Many discussions later ….
The result was our book ‘We All Ride Bikes Now’ – which although a work of fiction explores all the barriers stopping girls and young women from getting on their bikes.
We tried to make the characters inspiring and relatable so that our readers could see themselves and find signposting to the solutions not just a load more problems.
So far response has been positive, and we are just on our second print run.
Stephen Bennett – Ex - Chair of the Transport Planning Society said
''I really did enjoy '' We All Ride Bikes Now''. It brings to life the real travel choices we make every day and captures the joy and excitement of cycling. It should encourage all young people to take opportunities and seize the moment - you never know what might happen.''
Lillian Greenwood - MP for Nottingham South and Transport Select Committee member
''As Anna discovers when she gets back on her bike, cycling's cheap, keeps you fit, clears your head and can change your life!''
All proceeds will go to the charity Ridewise https://www.ridewise.org.uk/
a Nottingham based organisation which has helped thousands of people learn to cycle, repair their bikes and campaigned for better cycling facilities.
Copies are £10 p&p (within the UK) and can be obtained by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org