Sarai Snyder, founder of Girl Bike Love and co-founder of CycloFemme and Advisory Board member for Women Bike, an effort of the League of American Bicyclists, is partnering with Clara Beard, freelance cycling writer and commentator for Tour Tracker to create Women Race Bikes.
The collaborative effort will provide race coverage of women’s road, mountain, cyclocross, track and BMX racing, along with stories of athletes, teams, and events, to increase visibility, to honor and grow the sport of women’s cycling.
“It has always been the mission of Girl Bike Love to be The Hub and Soul of Women’s Cycling, telling the stories of women riding bikes.” said Sarai Snyder. “Now with a dedicated following, we are proud to honor yet another aspect of women’s cycling–the athletes who inspire, astound, and empower us. Bringing exposure to women’s professional cycling is perhaps the most important next step to gain large scale visibility and grow the sport.”
Building on the reputation of Girl Bike Love and CycloFemme, Snyder and Beard have assembled an advisory board for WRB of key industry associates, writers, and racers including Meredith Miller, Elayna Caldwell, Kacey Lloyd, Dorothy Wong, Kim Cross, Jayme Moye, Rachel Scott, Lanier Allen, and Steve McCallion.
“The WCA is super excited and enthusiastic about the creation of Women Race Bikes. It is exactly what the sport of Women’s Cycling has needed for a long time.” said Robin Farina, President of the Women’s Cycling Association. “The creation of an all women’s media outlet specifically dedicated to women’s professional racing is a giant step forward and the WCA looks to support wholeheartedly.”
Women’s Cycling Association and Le Tour Entier have formed in the last few years to address the issues of equality in the sport. Along with a strong message from “Half the Road”, a film about the state of women’s pro cycling, the movement for greater opportunity is gaining steam in the US and Europe.
Strides are being made in women’s road racing with the addition of Le Course at Tour de France with live coverage on Universal Sports. However, while women’s cycling and bike racing has continued to grow, there is still not a large scale media outlet dedicated to covering women’s professional racing.
According to a study released by the Women’s Sports Foundation, 96% of all television sports coverage focuses on men.
“We’ve seen substantial growth in women’s pro cycling over the last few years, but we are still missing the comprehensive coverage that these women deserve.” said Meredith Miller, pro cyclist and WRB advisory board member. “Right now it is really segmented and most of the best stories aren’t being told. I’m very excited to work with Women Race Bikes to build that voice.”
In the US, from 2003 to 2012, the number of women and girls participating in bicycling rose 20%, while dropping .5% among men and boys.
In 2011, bicycle riding ranked #9 out of 47 popular sports for total female participation, surpassing yoga, tennis, and softball.
The goal of women race bikes is not just to cover women’s racing but to create more fans of the sport, and raise the aspiration of women and girls to achieve new levels on and off the bike.
“When we women see photos of women racing and telling their stories of perseverance and struggle, when we see women jumping big jumps and railing fast single track, we are inspired to find the strength to push ourselves beyond what we thought were our limit, live our best life and embrace every moment.” said Lindsey Voreis of Co-founder of Beti All Ride. “Seeing women in the cycling media inspires women to ride. The popularity of the sport is growing and women are here to stay and shred for life.
Women Race Bikes is currently live on social media while fund raising continues. The website and App are currently in development.