Many women that do not already ride a bike will get nothing out of walking into a typical bike shop. These shops have a lot of similar characteristics; they are greasy, have un-friendly and un-approachable staff, they do not speak well to the bike curious customer and their show floor often features nothing but high-end racing and mountain bikes.
Luckily, this is changing. Thanks to the next generation of retails shops, women finally have some options.
Great retail spaces that have great products to sell and have friendly and approachable staff are popping up across the US and are helping encourage more women to ride.
Some great examples include: Huckleberry Bike Shop in San Francisco, Clever Cycles in Portland, Hudson Urban Bicycles and Adeline Adeline in New York City, Hub and BeSpoke in Seattle, and Pedal Chic in South Carolina.
This trend needs to continue, because it’s working.
We can’t be afraid to sell the sexiness of cycling in our marketing campaigns and merchandising displays. Just like transportation cycling cannot be an afterthought to sports, women cannot and should not be an afterthought to merchandising and marketing campaigns.
If we want more women to ride bikes we need to spend money on marketing the cycling lifestyle, specifically to all different kinds of women.
We can all help sell cycling to women by continuing to do it ourselves and encourage others to join us, one woman at a time. Because unlike mass marketing campaigns, being a positive roll model costs nothing, and there is no method of getting women on bikes more powerful than holding your friend’s hand and helping her get on a bike, on the road, for the very first time.