50 Inspiring Girls to Ride
Young women seem to be drifting away from sport. But athletes, coaches and groups are helping girls discover the fun of cycling.
There are many ways to encourage girls to ride now and to foster a lifelong love of the bike. You can help, too.
One of the oft-cited reasons that girls don’t ride bikes is a lack of visibility: you can’t be what you can’t see. If you aren’t seeing other girls doing cool stuff on bikes, you’re less likely to want to start pedalling. So let’s start changing that narrative right now, with a story.
Three boys and one girl are standing on top of a bmx track at a World Cup in Zolder, eyeing the massive first jump. “Three of the guys weren’t sure about the jump. They looked at it and decided that they would ‘ just roll it a couple times’ to get a feel for it,” says bmx Nextgen coach Brendan Arnold. “And then, Daina, one of our girls, says, ‘Boys, I’m just going to send it for ya.’ She went off the big hill and sent this 38-foot monster step-up, landed it on the backside. Girls are absolutely capable.”
“In Europe this year, I saw that a lot of girls are doing jumps that the guys are doing, and doing them better,” Arnold adds. “Five years ago, you couldn’t have imagined that would happen.”
Of course, Canada has a rich history with successful female Olympic medallists, world champions and World Cup overall winners. But while we might have top performers at the highest level, are we doing enough to bring more girls to cycling?