Women’s Cycling

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Women’s Cycling2021-03-22T11:53:14+00:00

North Argyll Cycle Club

The last two years has seen a growth in the number of women taking part in all types of cycling and at North Argyll Cycle Club we have been celebrating a record number of women members. The number has doubled since 2015 and the committee has gone from being all male in 2018 to having five women members for 2021 including a Women’s Officer to help promote cycling to women and engage them in club activities.

There are also some rising women stars in the club including Shona Maclachlan who in 2020 was recruited to join the Glasgow-based Cycling Club Torvello and is hot on the feels of Catriona MacGilvray who in 2019 smashed the Scottish National Women’s 100 Mile Time Trial record adding to her list of championship wins.

After a tricky 2020 the club is ready and organised for 2021 with a regular no-drop social Tuesday evening ride. A no drop ride is where the whole group stops and waits at regular intervals so no one gets left behind. It is great for confidence building as well as the social aspect helping you make friends to arrange other rides with too. Charlotte found the social rides were ‘a great way to meet fellow cyclists and gave an incentive to get out on the bike’. The Tuesday rides combine road riding with different options including the Sustrans Cycle Pathway, Loch Creran Loop and Glen Sallach hill climb. The Loch Creran route is perfect for all abilities, being relatively flat, using the Sustrans cycle path up to the loch itself before a quiet road lapping round it. For more challenging riding you can add on the Glen Sallach hill climb and sometimes if there is sufficient demand a faster road group sets out for a longer ride too. So there is something for everyone and if you are new to road riding or nervous of traffic, come along as you won’t be the only one!

Regular off-road mountain bike weekend events are being planned for the winter months as well as a weekly mountain bike night ride leaving Benderloch with a loop over Ben Lora. The key to enjoying winter night riding is to make sure you have warm kit (especially gloves) and super bright front lights which make some amazing difference to how you can feel riding in the dark.

In the summer months the club organises time trials and APRs (Australian Pursuit Rides) which are faster paced and against the clock. ‘If you are keen to improve your speed then time trials are a great start as you are only chasing your own best time. The first one I went to I was super nervous about but once you are riding the great thing is you forget about being anxious and just enjoy the cycling’, said Moira who is recommending it as a good next step once you have given road riding a try.

Strava, an App that a lot of cyclists use to record their mileage, found an incredible 69% increase in women logging cycling activity in 2020, with the biggest increase in the 18 to 29 age group with a 108% increase, while the 60+ age group clocked up an impressive 63% increase. Virtual time trails within the club were rolled out through the App during the pandemic and these were well participated and gave everyone a sense of togetherness.

These statistics have been echoed at club level. Christina found that, ‘like lots of other people, I’ve cycled more miles than I’ve ever ridden before during lockdown’, and Moira said, ‘I completed my longest and wildest off road ride as well as starting night riding, something I was always too scared to do previously’. Charlotte agreed ‘the positive side of the lockdown was being able to increase my mileage’, which lead to her being awarded one of the most improved riders prizes at the AGM in 2020’.

It is great that women’s membership is going from strength to strength and we are looking forward to welcoming even more members in 2021.


Frequently Asked

The club is very aware of some of the barriers that prevent women and girls from taking up cycling, and we work to tailor our events much more with these barriers in mind – finding ways to help people overcome them and make our club a welcoming one for all.

How do I come on my first ride?2020-12-23T10:57:43+00:00

Please let us know on via our Facebook page or contact the ride organiser.

Will I get left behind?2020-12-23T10:56:30+00:00

Different rides are drop rides or no-drop rides which should be made clear before the ride. Generally group rides are no-drop, though the group may split up at key areas (on a climb or for a town sign) but will regroup afterwards.

Do I need a road bike for road rides?2020-12-23T10:55:57+00:00

No you don’t, as long as a bike is road-worthy you’ll be ok. Some people join group rides on hybrids or mountain bikes, but road bikes will make it a lot easier!

I have a friend who wants to come for a ride, can they come along?2020-12-23T10:55:16+00:00

Yes definitely, make sure they know what the ride pace is like and have them make contact with the ride leader before the ride. If they are under 18, it is mandatory that they are accompanied by an adult.

Am I insured?2020-12-23T10:54:22+00:00

Club rides are covered by British Cycling insurance for the club. This provides third party liability insurance for club officers in the event of an incident. This is why you must be a member to ride the club rides.

Where can I contact members?2020-12-23T10:53:17+00:00

A good point of contact is through the NACC Facebook page found HERE. Group rides are normally posted here. Please come say hi!

Where does the club meet?2020-12-23T10:51:00+00:00

Weekday rides normally meet at the car park by Cafe Lora in Benderloch. Weekend rides normally start at the north side of Connel Bridge. Best to ask the ride organiser first as they may have a different starting point in mind!

How do I join the club?2020-12-23T10:51:24+00:00

Please join through the British Cycling website, the link should be found on the “how to join” page linked HERE.

Women’s cycling question 032020-11-10T10:36:12+00:00

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Women’s cycling question 022020-11-10T10:35:19+00:00

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Women’s cycling question 012020-11-10T10:31:40+00:00

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“There was a time when I felt like the token woman and it felt very much a club for boys but it’s different now; it’s fantastic and a lot of it is down to social media. Women are very much in the driving seat.”

Christina, Committee Member

“I cycled a lot in my teens, then never really got back to it. I bought a road bike two years ago and thanks to the club got cycling regularly with a club social group and went on to complete the Lochness Etape and the Oban Sportive in my first year.”

Moira, Committee Member

“From then my passion for cycling grew and my confidence started to build when I joined the club and people were recognising my improvements. I was not sporty in my teens and there was a stigma attached to cycling so it was never an interest of mine, but I wish I found my love for cycling sooner. I am determined to get a wide age range of women enrolling within the club and help break the women in sports barrier.”

Charlotte, Woman's Officer