Women’s cycling is more exciting than it has ever been. In 2018, a woman broke the speed record, UCI finally got talking about introducing a minimum wage for pro women riders, and statistics show that more women are riding bikes than ever before. This is largely thanks to the fact that clubs, sponsors, and the industry in general are providing the space and resources to get more women riding. Part of this strategy has to do with offering women’s only rides, tours, and training camps. These opportunities don’t exist because ladies can’t hack it with the guys, but because cycling with other women has been proven to improve confidence and motivation while helping to build communities of female riders. Not to mention, there is also just something awesome about an all-women group pushing each other to achieve their goals.
Even if you’re used to riding with the guys, trying an all-women event can be an incredibly empowering experience and a great way to meet other inspiring ladies. So, whether you’re looking to try something new, get a friend into cycling, or to take your training routine to the next level, here are some ideas for women’s only events to try in 2019.
Women’s training camps
Whatever your level, training camps are the perfect setting to improve your cycling skills, socialise with like-minded people and even enjoy discovering a new cycling destination. Here are some of our favourite women-only cycling training camps.
Girona Women’s Cycling Camp
This is a great opportunity to participate in a unique women’s cycling training camp in Girona, Catalunya. Girona provides a stress-free environment to cycle in (no potholes or crazy traffic) so all you have to think about is getting the best out of the ride. The itinerary showcases the best of Girona’s cycling and its huge variety of terrain. There will be two ride groups throughout the week led by experienced (female) guides. The camp brings together women from all stages of their cycling development, from beginner through to seasoned racers, all committed to riding hard and having a great time!
Women’s Only Alpine Training in the Swiss Alps
Kudos Cycling also offers great women’s only cycling packages that are perfect if you want to improve your cycling technique, knowledge or fitness. These camps are for women cycling clubs or groups of female friends wanting an active week away with some of the added luxuries in life after a long day in the saddle. Their packages are tailor–made to a suitable level for the group and will incorporate a combination of different ride types allowing you to take in the scenery while also pushing your cycling abilities. So, go grab a group of your girlfriends and get riding in the Swiss Alps.
The Women–Only Training Camp, Costa Blanca, Spain
For women who are focused on a racing season, charity event or simply want to improve fitness and skills on a bike, this training camp is organized into various ability groups, so you can achieve your personal goals. Their female coaches guide your training over 6 rides which are complemented with specific stretching sessions and advice on strengthening key muscles.
Mountain Bike Women’s Skill Course
In the UK, CycleWise offers women’s only MTB skills coaching course, which are ideal for those lady mountain bikers who want to improve their own personal riding skills in a relaxed and friendly all-female environment. This mountain bike course covers all the core skills techniques required to be able to ride with confidence and control. In addition, at the end of the course you will be given personalised feedback and an action plan to help you improve further.
Fundraisers can be a great way to motivate yourself to ride and meet other like-minded women. Here are three opportunities that also exist to raise money for issues effecting women around the world today.
Women V Cancer: London to Paris
A huge success in 2018, with over 500 participants, Women V Cancer is holding another London to Paris Bike Ride in 2019. This is an opportunity to cycle from London to Paris and raise funds to fight breast, cervical and ovarian cancers. This amazing women-only challenge will start in London in early September, and take you on a picturesque three-day route, through rolling hills and quaint villages, to the French capital.
Dalmatian Coast Cycle 2019 – Women Only
Be a part of Team Genesis and cycle along the Dalmatian Coast with amazing women who are supporting fertility research. Team Genesis is an organization committed to raising fund to support vital medical research into infertility, miscarriage, stillbirth and premature birth. This ride starts in Split and extends over 6 days, exploring the stunning Dalmatian Coast.
Goldilocks: A Women’s Bike Ride
Goldilocks is a non-competitive, fully supported women’s cycling community. With multiple locations and variable routes available, there is a Goldilocks event that is right for just about everyone. In 2018, Goldilocks began partnering with Operation Underground Railroad to end sex trafficking. Their events help raise both funds and awareness.
If you’re just looking for a reason to get out and spend a few days in the saddle pushing your limits with other women riders, there’s also something for you.
Women’s Tours International 2019
For a unique cycling experience with other inspiring women, Women’s Tour is your veteran organization. They’ve been creating small, inn-to-inn road bicycle tours for women since 1995. Their trips are fully supported with two guides and a vehicle to serve you on the road, carry your luggage, provide your meals, show you the routes, and fit you to a bicycle if you need one. All you have to do is show up and ride. These trips are designed for women of all ages, abilities and interests. Whether you come as a group or alone, you’re sure to go home with new friends.
Donnons des elles au vélo
Although not exclusively for women, Donnons des elles au vélo is a great initiative powered by a women’s only team that gives amateurs the opportunity to ride the course of the Tour de France one day ahead of the men. Riding to raise awareness for the demand of a women’s Tour de France, this is an opportunity to ride with a fierce group of women on one of the world’s most famous and challenging courses.
Of course, these are just some ideas to get you started. There are lots of smaller, local events organized for women, and an increasingly vibrant online community where you can find other women to ride with. If there’s nothing in your area, why not take the initiative to start something yourself? There’s a good chance you might just be surprised by the response.