Ride Race LikeALassie is new initiative to get more girls participating in sport, the organisers see the West Lothian Cycle Circuit as an asset which will provide a focal point for riders.
Before you read on, help us build the circuit, donate here: https://www.crowdfunder.co.uk/letsbuildit
Only 20% of UK Go-Ride members are female and there is a marked and recognised drop-off moving from U12 and U14 categories.
There are currently less than 40 girls racing in U14/U16 categories across Scotland and they are spread across mountain biking, cyclocross, road, track and BMX.
This small but mighty group carry a broad range of attitudes and ability towards riding and racing. Ride Race LikeALassie is an initiative working to create a social and information-sharing network for Scottish female cyclists under 16.
Some clubs have a lone rider, others have larger groups, but wherever they are, we hope building links across this community will influence a positive environment to help girls enjoy and remain in cycling.
We are supporting the West Lothian Cycling Circuit because a centrally located cyclists’ facility could provide a fantastic focal point for this group to support and spend more time together, for more regular coaching sessions, info sessions and cafe-time.
We also see a facility such as this as an opportunity to help with key integration across the age groups, with opportunities for older girls being more visible to younger ones.
Recent initiatives by clubs such as Edinburgh Road Club to bring teenage girls into assistant coach roles and create programmes of mentoring have the long-term goal of strengthening the link into U14 where many girls are lost to cycle racing.
A regular meeting place for larger numbers of riders could be influential in this goal.
Our first event, Race LikeALassie, is on 7th March and will see female U16/U14 riders from 10 clubs across Scotland come together to spend a day of fun, friends, food and to meet some experts – experts to give specialist girl-specific advice on being an athlete – fuelling, training, avoiding injury, keeping motivated.
We are also planning events for younger riders later in the year and hope this project will continue to encourage young female cyclist across Scotland for years to come.
Follow LikeALassie on Instagram.