From a “Women on a Roll” report, we’ve schooled that confidence is a pivotal factor to removing some-more women on bikes.  On a webcast this week, we listened from 4 heading League Cycling Instrictors who common some tips on building women’s certainty by thorough education. 

Our 4 panelists included:

  • Lesly Jones, Black Women Bike DC
  • Jennifer Laurita, heading LCI coach
  • Maria Sipin, Women on Bikes SoCal
  • Claire Stoscheck, Cycles for Change

During a wide-ranging conversation, we discussed how to change perceptions and tempt women to turn bike educators and students, as good as best practices for a classroom. Watch a full 40-minute video or review a panelists tip tips — and favorite memories — below.


1.  Change people’s expectations:  In many cases, women (and men) competence have fake assumptions about bike preparation — both a calm and a village

Jen: “People are mostly surprised, not usually by those who learn a class, though what they get out of it.”

Maria: “People travel into category meditative it’s going to be a rival atmosphere and it’s all about a bike that we hurl in on and how we dress — though like Jen said, people are unequivocally astounded how many they get out of it. They also get a some-more well-rounded perspective of bike culture from how opposite a classroom looks to them. They competence have suspicion it would be one form of form or one form of cyclist.” 

Claire: “It’s this notice that keeps people from going to those classes.” 

2.  Keep it social: Entice women to attend by creation it some-more than a classroom (or parking lot) experience

Maria: “I’ve also seen a direct in people wanting bicycle preparation in some-more amicable settings and unequivocally blending it up. Not usually awaiting to get a dry curriculum and incorporating it with some-more venues, like going out to eat or revisit a chronological landmark.” 

Lesly: “I learn classes by [WABA] though one of a things i’m some-more ardent about is saying some-more women of tone on bikes. so with a black women bike DC group, not usually do we do monthly rides, we do preparation — we have an arriving convention on roving in a winter, roving during night, we apparently support bike to work day… being on a highway in rush hour — so those are things we try to do to respond to a requests we get around cycling and mixing it with some form of organisation ride.”

3. Make your classes open and welcoming spaces

Maria: “It’s all about creation them feel acquire and being open and pure in your selling materials and being transparent about expectations and training objectives about a category so they aren’t thrown into this locus where they competence feel uncomfortable. Create a space for an open contention and to mislay any rival aspects from biking… and be gentle and welcoming overall.” 

Claire: “I consider a lot of women are meddlesome in training to float a bike for a initial time… We’ve taught substantially over 60 people to float a bike this summer and some of them have turn a many extraordinary bike advocates. One lady schooled to float in Apr and is already roving around with her child in a trailer now in September… So we determine it’s about formulating a protected space that’s about ancillary any other.”

4. There are advantages to an all-woman setting: In Nov 2012, a first all-female LCI seminar took place in Long Beach, Calif., and, nationwide, women’s-specific, women-taught classes are in direct and on a rise.

Jen: “An all-female category infrequently removes obstacles to learning. People have to turn rather exposed in a classes in sequence to learn… and infrequently in an all-female sourroundings that’s usually easier.”

Maria: “I suspicion it was a good perk to have a womanlike training a category and have an all-female conspirator to be partial of a seminar.  What vehement me about that was that a vigour was off and we knew we could ask my instructor all kinda of questions — eventuality he many embarassing ones.  You usually felt some-more comfortable.  It’s like going to a doctor’s bureau and there’;s a rason since we infrequently select a medical provider who can describe with us since we can get all sorts of embarassing questions out and yo ucan ask her about anything. and to us, carrying an all-female group, was critical since we unequivocally could have all these critical conversations and we could tell jokes between some of a sections and we were usually unequivocally open and we consider that unequivocally enhuanced a training trust so much.”

Lesly: “The some-more women LCIs out there, a some-more of us teaching, we consider a improved it is for learning. “

5. Cater to moms: Remember that women mostly have additional considerations than their masculine cycling counterparts.

Claire: “With a bike library, a proceed to preparation is initial give people entrance to a equipment, s we lend bikes to folks from several low-income communities. When they take a protected cycling class, they’re means to get entrance to bikes and trailers.” Cycles for Change also creates certain to offer childcare and healthy snacks during a classes.

6. Shorter classes are some-more accessible: Especially for women, with work and domicile responsibilities, time is of a essence.

Claire: “Our ‘train to trainers’ march is like a LCI training, solely it’s precipitated into dual hours and on a specific topic. I know that sounds impossible, though a lot of a communities we’re operative with are operative poor. They don’t have a lot of time have; they have millions of responsibilities and it’s unequivocally critical to honour people’s time and situations. We’re anticipating to build ability in those communities that we’re lending bikes to to have trainers in their communities with their denunciation and in their informative context.”

7. Offer courses/materials in opposite languages: Reach out to new audiences in culturally competant ways

Claire: “Promote training in opposite languages and from opposite cultures. we consider traditionally it’s been a spandex, recreational, white masculine training LCI classes… We offer other classes with interpretation into Spanish.” 

Jen: “I’m removing some-more and some-more requests for materials in so many opposite languages. I’ve seen educators formulating networks that say, we know someone who can interpret into Chinese, into Spanish. That’s one trend I’ve unequivocally noticed.”

8. Maintain and maintain your relations with your students… and associate bike educators

Maria: “For me, we always start out by pity my practice and tell them that if we can do it anybody can. we try to make myself accessible and settle a attribute after a class, too.” 

Jen: “Every time we do a category we build a small something… People need to know there’s a subsequent level, either it’s usually to try that category again or pierce on to a subsequent tier — like going on a highway ride. we tell my students during a finish of my classes: ‘I’m yours forever. Send me an email, a year later, 3 years later, whatever, ask me to do your village event.’ Women, we think, tend build a lot some-more networks and ceaselessly entrance that. We juggle a lot of things during once and whoever can assistance us to juggle improved we’ll rest on.  I’ll assistance somebody, somebody will assistance me.”

Lesly: “I’ve unequivocally left from a category environment to assisting my students get from indicate A to indicate B. [Education] is an ongoing routine — it’s about creation yourself available. I’m a same approach [as Jen]: Any tyro that’s ridden with me, we can float again.” 

9. Mechanics trust is key: Confidence also includes simple slashing skills

Claire: “It’s critical to be self-sufficient on your bike — if you’re good during roving a bike, though as shortly as we get a prosaic tire and we count on a on a masculine to repair it that’s not good for your liberty and self sufficiency. Many shops have been doing, for many years now, women and trans nights, where it’s a protected space. Even some-more than a area of roving a bike, a universe of regulating a bike is unequivocally masculine dominated.” 

Jen: “I know that’s one of a vital pluses of a womens-only scenario. Sometimes a man’s bent is to rescue. Even in a category where we can have a training moment, it competence be a masculine stepping brazen and a lady stepping back. So a women’s classes are good to approach to say, ‘We’re all here together, either we have a credentials trust or not.’ That’s power. Get out here there riding, and, if we get a flat, we can repair it yourself and get home.” 

Maria: “Learning how to change a prosaic is a game-changer for sure.”

10. Learning your approach around a bike emporium is important, too

Maria: “I consider certainty unequivocally starts when we start meditative about biking or when you’re picking your bike. Sometimes you’re fearful you’re going to collect a wrong bike and uncover adult somewhere and people are going to be looking during we since your bike isn’t suitable for a ride. So removing that initial support helps so many for augmenting confidence.” 

Each of a panelists also common a favorite memory from one of their classes.

Jen: “I recently did a learn to float category and a 13-year-old child was in a category whose relatives did not tell him he was entrance — they duped him into coming. During a class, this boy was so self unwavering — a tears were there. The father helped wrench all day and came to me and said, ‘Can we assistance him? He’s struggling.’ When we got him to ride, a father starts crying, this big, 250-pound, Italian guy.My son pronounced to me I’ll never learn to ride; I’m too different,’ he told me. So a father’s crying. The mother’s crying. We became family that day.” 

Lesly: “A immature lady came to a three-hour learn to float class, and during hour dual mins she looks adult and says, ‘I can’t trust it’s holding me this prolonged to learn how to ride.’ we said, ‘How aged are you?’ She said, ’26.’ we pronounced it’s taken we 26 years, since are we angry about 2 hours and 15 minutes?’ And she said, ‘Oh my gosh, you’re right,’ and she left with a large grin on her face.” 

Maria“One of my highlights is removing compliments from people who unequivocally conclude a attraction toward gender temperament and opposite mercantile backgrounds or introducing products that are flattering cost fit or not formidable to access. I try unequivocally tough to create  a curriculum that is thorough of opposite people and opposite practice and that unequivocally motivates me in how we learn classes and how we use my denunciation around opposite people.”

Claire: “One story that stands out in my mind is about this woman, Ruth, who we helped learn with some other colleagues in Ecuador. She’s center aged, wasn’t in a best of figure — portly — and had been told all her life that it’s too late for her, bikes are for kids, bikes are for boys, unequivocally not for center aged women who aren’t fit. She listened that summary her whole life. Finally, she gets an invitation from one of a other women in a classs. We had 8 sessions to graduate, dual months to graduate, dual hours a week. It indeed took her 4 months, so it took her twice as long. But, let me tell you, once she finally schooled she took off. She started travelling to work each day on a unequivocally bustling streets of Quito. She mislaid a lot of weight and she couldn’t stop articulate about how free it done her feel. Finally, she felt independent, and, to her, a bicycle meant freedom and that’s usually so pleasing to me. I think biking can move a lot of leisure to women who face passionate nuisance when they take open travel or walking, though on a bicycle we can usually zip divided and not understanding with it. so that story of leisure unequivocally resonated with me.” 

Click here to learn some-more about a League’s Smart Cycling module — and find an LCI convention or category in your area!