All the surveys and stats show that many more women are getting on their bikes. From commuters to mum and kids in bike seats, and from leisurely riders to track addicts, the numbers of women on two wheels is fast growing. Many women are also choosing to cycle with all-female groups. And why not? Traditional cycling clubs can be male dominated and unless you’re a confident female these clubs can feel overly testosterone fuelled. Yet, this doesn’t mean that women are happy to sit at the back of the peloton. Many women are keen to join the competitive world of cycling.
In Scotland, two cycling schools set up for women offer the place for female riders to learn the skills to race on the road and track. The Scottish Cycling initiatives include the Scott Contessa Road Race academy and the Female Track School.
This is a coach development initiative by Scottish Cycling aimed at raising the profile of female coaches within the cycling community. Supported by Scott Sports, a name famous within road cycling for equipping the Orica Green Edge pro cycling team and the UK-based Scott Contessa Epic women’s team, the Scott Contessa Road Race Academy programme offers a structured and welcoming introduction to female riders.
Many riders are new to road racing and the programme helps them to build towards a weekend of closed road circuit coaching and mock racing practice. Once you have trained with the Academy you’re ready to take on a host of cycle races and time trial events, whether they be women-only or missed gender.
With the opening of the Sir Chris Hoy Velodrome in Glasgow, the interest for the public in track cycling has keenly risen. Scottish Cycling have teamed up with female cycling group Filles A Velo to run a female track school this summer. The aim is that female riders who have yet to gain their track accreditation will sign up to as many of the coaching sessions as possible with the content progressing from one week to the next. The last event of the mini-series is a “Go-Race” format event, which is ideal way for newbie track riders to practise their new skills.
Cycletta events for fitness and fun. Women-only bike events that are all inclusive and non-competitive. See humanrace.co.uk/events/cycletta