The bike festival aims to encourage more women and non-binary to take up cycling.
The Glasgow Women on Wheels Cycle Festival is taking place throughout September with the aim of getting more women and non-binary people started in cycling or incorporating it more into their daily lives. It is also a celebration of the sport in advance of the 2023 UCI Cycling World Championships, which will be held in Glasgow.
The festival is the result of a partnership between Bike for Good and Scottish Cycling and is part-funded by Glasgow Life, as well as sponsored by Glasgow City Council, The Scottish Government, Climate Challenge Fund and People Make Glasgow.
The festival is running an event every day of September bar one, with a range of physical and theoretical sessions to get women into cycling. Physical sessions include a variety of types of cycling, including lessons for beginners, regular social led rides, long road cycles, and taster sessions for cycling forms like track cycling, mountain biking and BMX. Cycles start from various locations in Glasgow including Kelvinhaugh, Pollock Park, and Glasgow Green. Also on the agenda is a cycle catering to families and the launch of a cycling group for women of colour.
The programme also provides talks to help put the new cycling training into practice. A talk on periods, pregnancy and menopause while cycling took place on 13 September, with another on the topic of safety while cycling on 27 September. There are also two film screenings, Motherload and Ovarian Psycos, films that focus on cycling from a feminist perspective.
The latest report on Glasgow from Bike Life, the UK’s largest assessment on cycling, released in 2018, showed that of all people regularly cycling in Glasgow, only 32% were female. The last UK-wide survey in 2019 reported that 76% of women never cycle, 36% of whom would like to start. Barriers to cycling experienced by women can be a greater concern for safety than men, and street harassment. The festival aims to be as inclusive as possible, and all-trans and intersex women, non-binary and gender fluid people who feel comfortable in events that focus on the experience of women are welcome to attend. The full festival programme and area to book tickets can be found here.