Why (especially teenaged) girls aren't keen on cycling

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It just seems to me so ridiculous that such a good way of getting about is seen to be "uncool". I posted on cyclechat about this and there were some interesting replies.

"They aren't keen on exercise full stop (apart from walking around shops)."

"Add into the mix the current obsession with *celebrity* where female rolemodels are not exactly fit & healthy, but anorexically skinny, so it's much cooler to smoke and not eat as any fule noes that if you're above a size 6, you're a fat slob who doesn't deserve to be acknowleged as a human being. Besides which, once you've starved yourself to a socially suitable size, one doesn't actually have any energy left for exercise... and as any fule noes once more, exercise plays havoc with the carefully applied make-up and ruins the hair..."

"The Kid does have an ancient bike that she gets to school on, but it's only since she's aquired a boyfriend with a bike that she's been interested in getting something decent."

"My kids had little interest in bikes, walking for pleasure, mountains etc but they now do all of these things. The trick is not to force it and they'll grow up to appreciate them and you've just led by example and osmosis."

"As for it not being cool, it could be
(a) not wanting to get all sweaty and put the boys off
(b) it being seen as a male thing to do not a female"

"Don't let them use other forms of transport too readily. Or, perhaps, ban cycling."

"My daughter won't ride because the lid messes her hair and all the other girls think shes uncool. Bizarrely those same girls think her mums cool because she cycles/runs/etc.etc - go figure!"

"The UK just gives way too little prestige to sportspeople (except footballers!) and also money for sport in schools has been removed in favour of... well, I'm not sure where the money's gone, but to other stuff. Hence the 'it's not cool' tag for cycling. When I was doing GCSEs I cycled to school and the girls thought I was mad, but the boys thought I was cool cos I had a Saracen (which I now wouldn't be seen dead on ha ha ha ha ha!!!)"

"Firstly, don't try and market the cycling thing as what's cool. Market the idea of free transport long before they're able to drive angle. Market the idea that instead of begging you for lifts they can just take themselves shopping or to meet friends whenever they want.
Sadly, as they're teenage girls, you could probably also market the weight thing.
Then market this cyclechic site:
http://www.cyclechic.co.uk/index.htm
I have often been asked where I got my 'handbag' from when it's a pannier off this site. Plus if they really hate standard helmets and you want them to wear one there are some great cool ones on there."

"I've seen a marked increase in teenage girls in my area recently and I reckon it's because of the current trend for leggings and long t-shirts/jumpers. Sounds ridiculous but an outfit combining the two is totally practical for cycling without resorting to lycra.
The numbers are still depressingly low though."

"Much is down to how it is portrayed in film. How are adults portrayed in film on bikes?
Only two adult film characters I can think who rode bikes are Pee Wee and the 40 Year old Virgin. Other than that it is just kids.
How could you ever expect them to buy into that club?"

"Cycling being cool !!! I don't think it's cool, it's just a form of transport.
From a very early age, as most people, i've had a bike. Not to be cool, but just to get around, as you don't need a licence and you can ride the thing anywhere, whether you were allowed to or not."

"There's another film as well.. the one with the famous scene where a woman who dances takes her bra off in front of her boss while she's talking. URRGGHHHHHHHH Flashdance! There we go. She cycles everywhere and is portrayed as cool doing it. Pity about the 80s hair do though..."

"The 10 year old loves it, the 13 year old won't cycle, period. I don't think it's a 'cool' thing, I think it's more a pig-idle thing."

"The imprtant thing for teenagers and teenage girls in particular is to give the impression you never try hard for anything."

"We need Hello and OK (or what ever the correct mags are - I don't read them so don't know), to run a regular feature on which celeb was seen on their bike that week with photos to start to influence some of the girls."


The Guardain has also picked up on this issue. Also you can read the entire thread on cyclechat.

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