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Why women don't enter sportives

(19 Posts)
CMOTDibbler Wed 25-May-16 21:58:30

I saw this earlier, and thought it was interesting.

As I'm running a sportive (note, never open your mouth in a meeting) this September I'm keen to do what I can to encourage other women to have a go, but wondered what others thought?

MrSlant Sat 04-Jun-16 10:38:15

Sorry, it always takes me ages to remember we have a cycling topic, I normally just search race names and then settle into them with 'threads I'm on'.

I would be scared to enter anything because a) Women are in the minority b) we tend to not be as fast obsessive about winning as the men I see and c) because I don't want people to see me and laugh because they think I'm doing it because I'm good when obviously I'm rubbish. Went to a TT last night and it was 90% men, everyone waited on the finish line (because they wanted to see if they'd gone faster than the man who turned up with an actual bona fide TT bike when they only had wheels that cost over £1k hmm) and the women, although obviously fit and good cyclists came in a good 5 mins after everyone else had finished. It's a lovely route and I'll probably ride it on my own but the prospect of everyone standing there watching me finish has put me right off joining in.

Saying that I've taken DS1 to a couple of sportives this year and there have been maybe 10-20% women riders which impressed me.

RudyMentary Sat 04-Jun-16 10:41:16

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

CMOTDibbler Sat 04-Jun-16 13:37:51

So maybe it's a matter of image for sportives then. It's a day out cycling somewhere you might not have been before, where someone else has worked it all out, signposted it, provides food and drink, sends mechanics out if you have an issue, and gives you a cheer and a medal at the end for doing it. You get a time, but it's not a competition and people go off at different times anyway.
The one I'm organising is round the vale of Evesham

MrSlant Sat 04-Jun-16 13:52:00

Yes, I think if it was sold to me as a great opportunity to do a signposted ride with a bit of back up it would completely change my view of it. The way you put it has made me want to google where Evesham's located, is it hilly? Everywhere round here is ridiculously hilly, I'd like a nice rolling course please grin.

MrSlant Sat 04-Jun-16 13:53:23

Oooh, not too far. What distances?

Sadik Sat 04-Jun-16 14:02:00

This is an outsider's view, (I'm an antisocial git, and cycle in order to be up on the hills on my own), but I know quite a lot of people who do the two sportives near here, the Tour of Pembs & the Preseli Angel.
I'd say nearly all the women either don't have dc or have teenagers/older All the couples with young children - even if they're both cyclists - it's the man who enters organised events & the woman who ends up looking after the dc. So maybe a créche???

MrSlant Sat 04-Jun-16 14:02:23

Found it, now I want to enter, you wrote very persuasively up there grin bike grin.

MrSlant Sat 04-Jun-16 14:05:31

<narrows eyes at Sadik> I may also know quite a few people who do the Tour of Pembs and the Angel. You make a very good point about the women being the ones left with the children. Although I don't do those two because of the bloody great steep hills grin.

BuggersMuddle Sat 04-Jun-16 14:08:00

From my perspective some of the cutoff times / average speeds required for specific events don't give me much wriggle room in the event of mechanical problems or punctures. (Etape Caledonia I'm looking at you).

Having said that I do enter events, but only those where I'm confident I'll come in ahead of the broom wagon and not finish last (I actually have never come close to being broom wagoned, as in practice I'm faster on the day and they often give much more time than they advertise, but it still puts me off certain events that are known to be fast).

prettybird Sat 04-Jun-16 16:10:01

For me it's a concentration thing.

Whereas I can do a road run (as in running wink) - whether that be a10k,1/2M or (a long time ago blush) or a full Marathon, I could do it at my own speed and in my own wee world. The only person I was racing against was own pb. I might eu with a friend or someone at a similar pace for a bit or try to catch/overtake people if I was feeling good but I only had to think of me.

In group cycling, you need to stay concentrating and watching other people's wheels - otherwise you crash/have to work too hard on your own hmm. It's too much like hard work - both mentally and physically.

I have a massive amount of respect for ds and his friends in their yourh crit/Kermesse races but I couldn't hurt in that way for that long.

I enjoy cycling to get places and on day trips - just not racing.

CMOTDibbler Sun 05-Jun-16 14:55:26

Sadik, as events require one of us not to ride or there to be a length/ difficulty course that ds (just turned 10) can do, I'd love to offer childcare, but it would be hard to set up, especially not knowing how many people would use it. However, what we do have is a) a pretty much town centre HQ location in easy walk of loads of things to do, and I'm providing a listing of whats on (family cinema, boat trips, soft play, playgrounds) b) other things for children to do (scooter and skate training, circus skills, Bikeability, and an U7 ride) and c) a family orientated ride of 10 or 20 flat miles with leaders on quiet roads/cyclepath with ice cream stop which goes while the big rides are out.
It shouldn't involve group riding as people go off in fairly small waves as its not closed road, and theres no cutoff time, especially on the 40 mile.

MrSlant, if you enter, put MN on the entry and I'll do you a special goody bag!

Next year, I'd like to have demo bikes like cargo, tandem, tagalong and adpative bikes onsite for people to try as part of the community cycling stuff, but one thing at a time!

Anything else anyone can think of that would be a nice addition to an event? Theres good coffee and bacon baps beforehand, bbq/bar/cake after, a few stands from people like Wattbike, and somewhere nice to sit

Sadik Sun 05-Jun-16 15:05:52

I was joking (slightly) with the créche grin Having demo bikes is a great idea - they did that a few years back here, and it was very popular.

CMOTDibbler Mon 06-Jun-16 10:06:48

We're lucky in that there is loads of space on both days (MTB one day, road the other) to have things like a demo bike track, so its a bit more the merrier!

lljkk Fri 17-Jun-16 18:52:42

I don't have any friends who go... ok, I'm lacking friends anyway, but following that, the thought in my mind is:

What if you had a lottery prize for teams. Doesn't matter what time, but of all teams (say of 3-4) who enter, one will a small prize bundle drawn at random. The teams could be restricted to mostly include underrepresented groups, say 2 women minimum, or 2 kids minimum on each team of 3. Or 2 disabled riders of the 3 (not sure you should touch question of ethnicity). Sponsors could provide a small selection of prizes to allow a small number of winning teams.

Or I may be talking bollux. Feel free to ignore.

heron98 Wed 29-Jun-16 14:18:37

I'm a woman and don't enter sportives because the few I have done haven't been worth the money - I don't see why it's worth paying to cycle on roads that are still open to traffic just to get a flapjack at the end.

Notfeelingfestiveuntilxmaseve Wed 30-Nov-16 20:17:09

I enter a few sportives and would love to do more.

The main thing that puts me off is that I have no female friends who cycle (or even male friends that cycle at my speed).

DH is a super keen cyclist, as are lots of his friends, but they are much much faster than me.

I'm quite happy to pop out for a shortish ride on my own (25-40 miles) but beyond that I do get a bit bored of my own company. But I do find sportives of 50+ miles boring on my own.

The cost can also be off-putting. I'm happy to pay £15 but I think £30/35 is too much.

I'm less likely to do the local ones as I know the best roads / cycle routes already. I'm more likely to do ones in less familiar areas and make a weekend of it. We tend to go to Dartmoor for example and do the Dartmoor Demon or Tour of Dartmoor.

iremembericod Wed 30-Nov-16 20:24:15

I do sportives and there are often a decent number of women. Obviously there ARE more men, but not so few women as to put you off.

I do have a number of female cycling friends and we really enjoy them. Flapjack and all.

There are a couple of female only cycling clubs near me so those who want female cycling buddies, have a look locally, there might be the same near you!

iremembericod Wed 30-Nov-16 20:25:39

Did anyone catch Tour de Celeb the other night on C5 ? It was actually rather funny and had all the classic cleat disasters and standard cycling errors.

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