Canadian Cycling Magazine - - INSPIRING GIRLS TO RIDE -

Un­for­tu­nately, we’re prob­a­bly not do­ing enough. U.S.based Peo­ple­for­bikes has found that in the States, boys and girls from ages three to nine ride at same rate. Start­ing at age 10, there’s a sig­nif­i­cant drop-off for girls – and we can as­sume those statis­tics would be sim­i­lar in Canada. That gap con­tin­ues to grow as the girls get older.

The Cana­dian As­so­ci­a­tion for the Ad­vance­ment of Women in Sport and Phys­i­cal Ac­tiv­ity (caaws) re­cently re­leased a re­port show­ing that 41 per cent of girls age three to 17 don’t par­tic­i­pate in any sport. That per­cent­age grows to 84 per cent in adult women. Even scarier: if by the age of 10, a girl has yet to play a sport, the re­port sug­gests that she will only have a 10 per cent chance of “liv­ing a phys­i­cally ac­tive life” in her adult years.

While some women find their way back to cy­cling as they get older, the peak time to be learn­ing skills is in those early years, leav­ing those who start rid­ing later in life at a dis­ad­van­tage. Fur­ther­more, with rates of child­hood obe­sity on the rise and ac­tiv­ity for kids at an all-time low, those pre­teen years are some of the most im­por­tant for stay­ing ac­tive.

Don’t panic, though. The cy­cling sys­tem isn’t bro­ken, and ac­cess to ev­ery level of cy­cling has im­proved for girls in re­cent years. We can get more girls on bikes.

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