the addition of the mountain bike version in the Western Cape, the field has
increased even more as more ladies have taken up this discipline compared to
road cycling.

women wanting to compete in or just enjoy a specific sport on a regular basis
is a very challenging prospect with responsibilities such as work, home and
families taking up most of their time. Their focus and reasons therefore for
starting a sport like cycling more often than not differs from their male
counterparts. For women cycling is more about maintaining or getting fit,
losing weight or taking up a specific challenge, whether it be their husbands
or partners wanting them to join them in the fun or finishing a big event. 

support and understanding towards beginner female cyclists have improved over
the past few years with e.g clubs introducing regular rides for beginners and
ladies, the challenge still remains to bridge the gap between absolute novice
and racing riders. Velo Girl took up the challenge two years ago to provide regular
skills workshops and clinic specifically geared towards beginner female

acknowledged that in order for ladies to feel more comfortable and confident
with and enjoy the sport fully, skills & a basic understanding and
knowledge of your bicycle & riding is required. This was however not always
being translated correctly by advanced riders to newcomers in cycling and
especially ladies. The result was that ladies more often than not gave up after
2 or 3 years of riding despondent with their progress instead of continuing to
enjoy the full benefits it could provide.

the two major disciplines in cycling, mountain biking has shown the most
positive growth amongst ladies due to various reasons, the most noted being the
safety aspect as well as the ‘family focused’ nature of the sport.

this reason most of the Velo Girl skills clinics focuses on this specific

workshops are specifically geared towards women’s needs in cycling and is
presented in such a way that information is easily understood and participation
The skills events created an opportune time for Velo Girl to ascertain
the needs of women in cycling and responses to the clinics proved that women
are still the growing force in the sport.

These events have especially proven to be a great source of support
and comfort for ladies
who might feel insecure about their abilities or
technical / mechanical knowledge of their bikes. For this reason workshops are
presented over 2 modules on weekends, spread a few weeks apart to allow ladies
to make the necessary changes to their bikes before moving onto actual skills

order for any sport to continue to enjoy positive growth, support of newcomers
as well as support of development programs geared towards young people is

Partnerships and sponsorships are also vital to the
ongoing sustainability of these projects and to the growth of the sport of
At present there are great initiatives
in place geared towards providing development programs for young riders and
organisations do want to support and become involved in women’s cycling. 

female cyclists not only have the responsibility to inform their provincial and
national cycling organisations of their needs but also to support initiatives
designed specifically around these. Only then will organisations, companies and
sponsors see the full value of supporting a minority group in cycling, such as
female riders, on an ongoing basis.

Girl will be presenting 4 skills clinics starting from April this year
throughout the Western Cape under the Pedal Power Association banner. All these
clinics are geared towards absolute beginner cyclists and their needs. They
will also be presenting beginner ladies clinics at the very popular Dirtopia
Festival in the Western Cape during May. For more information on the content
and cost of these events visit the Velo Girl website and click on Girls Skills
Clinics, or contact Jolande on 0824803189 / velodynamix@telkomsa.net


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