50 In­spir­ing Girls to Ride

Canadian Cycling Magazine - - CONTENTS - by Molly Hur­ford

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?

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