We need to attract media attention and television coverage to our ever growing and very exciting sport first and foremost!
*photo courtesy of CJ Farquharson from www.womenscycling.net
Recently I’ve come across a few interviews with fellow woman cyclists talking out about the state of women’s cycling. Don’t get me wrong, I think this is great, however I don’t like the way many are making unrealistic demands. There has been a lot of media activity recently advocating the introduction of minimum wages in women’s cycling. However, I feel this is very premature.
Realistically we can’t be making these kinds of demands from the UCI or anyone else for that matter, if the fundamental problem hasn’t yet been addressed. We need to attract media attention and television coverage to our ever growing and very exciting sport first and foremost!
My question to many woman cyclists out there is, what are you actively doing to improve the state of women’s cycling?
Do you have a webpage? More importantly, are you actively blogging?
Do you have a twitter account and are you tweeting regularly?
Are you active on facebook?
We are living in the twentieth century, where a large percentage of the world’s population is online and this number is growing rapidly. Now more than ever, we have a voice!
Why rely on others to promote our sport, when we could be doing it ourselves at very little expense and effort. Internet marketing and social media is the way of the future and I encourage my fellow women cyclists to embrace this fact and take a stand to promote our beautiful sport.
Already there is a huge increase in exposure of women’s cycling online. There is a great series of You Tube video’s giving the highlights of every stage of the Giro d’Italia Femminile 2011.
People like Sarah Connolly write regular articles on Podium Cafe sharing information about women’s cycling. The UK based team Horizon Fitness has a strong online presence. Photographer CJ Farquharson is at almost all our races and posts great pictures of the racing on her website. Many women cyclists are on twitter actively promoting our sport.
This is great, but I feel that as cyclists ourselves, we need to do more!
In my opinion it is not good enough to have a static website or to do the odd interview with other cycling websites. More woman cyclists need to be actively blogging to educate the general public about women’s cycling and to promote our sport!
Once we have generated a fan base and attracted enough interest to our sport, then we can take the next step to make demands about contracts and salaries to the UCI.
The beauty of women’s cycling is that a huge majority have not only secondary, but tertiary educations as well. Many have come into the sport later in their lives and most have very interesting stories to tell. I encourage women cyclists to share these stories. Let’s make women’s cycling something of it’s own!
Yes, we need to ride off the men’s teams and exposure to some extent, but I truly feel women’s cycling is an untapped market and let’s take advantage of that.
Let’s actively stand for change! As Mahtma Gandhi said: “You must be the change you wish to see in the world.”
Currently I’m busy working on an online campaign to promote women’s cycling via Femme Velo. If anyone is interested in getting involved, please feel free to contact me on firstname.lastname@example.org.