Cycling UK lays down challenge to inspire a million more women to cycle

TV presenter Angellica Bell is urging all female cyclists to persuade other women to go for a bike ride.
Cycling UK is launching a new campaign to get more women cycling as a new poll reveals 85% of women in the UK never ride, or do so less than once a month
  • Cycling UK launches challenge to inspire more women to cycle
  • 36% of women said they would be inspired to cycle more by friends or family
  • Estimated to be only one million women who cycle regularly in the UK

Official transport figures indicate only a million women in the UK* cycle regularly (at least three times a week), compared to three times as many men.

Many women who don’t cycle or cycle less than once a month say they would be encouraged to cycle more if there was better cycling infrastructure (27%), more considerate drivers (21%) and having access to a working bike (20%).

The findings were uncovered in a YouGov survey** of more than 1,100 women in the UK, carried out on behalf of the national cycling charity for the launch of its annual Women’s Festival of Cycling.

As part of the campaign, the charity wants every female cyclist to enlist at least one more woman to start cycling through July.

Helen Cook, head of engagement, said: “It’s abundantly clear that women are massively underrepresented when it comes to everyday cycling, but our survey also found that 36% of women would be persuaded to get on a bike by friends or family.

“So this month we’re laying down the gauntlet and challenging every woman who currently cycles to persuade at least one other woman to get out for a ride.”

TV presenter Angellica Bell, a regular cyclist who only learned to ride a bike as an adult, is supporting Cycling UK’s campaign.

She said: “I was inspired to start cycling by my step-dad after I saw the enormous impact it had on his life, and so I’m backing Cycling UK’s campaign to inspire more women to start cycling.

“Wouldn’t it be amazing if every female cyclist in this country persuaded just one more woman to take up cycling. Imagine the difference that could make.

“Cycling is not only one of the most enjoyable ways of getting around, it’s great for your health, fitness and the environment. Let’s take up this challenge and all get out on our bikes through July!”

Angellica will be leading a ride of up to 200 cyclists on Parliament on Monday (1 July) to highlight the issue of the under-representation of women in everyday cycling. The Women’s Festival of Cycling takes place throughout July with events around the UK to encourage more women to cycle.

Cycling UK will also be announcing its 100 Women in Cycling on Monday, highlighting 100 inspirational female cyclists from across the country.

Find out more on our website:


Notes to editors

  1. Cycling UK, the national cycling charity, inspires and helps people to cycle and keep cycling, whatever kind of cycling they do or would like to do. Over a century’s experience tells us that cycling is more than useful transport; it makes you feel good, gives you a sense of freedom and creates a better environment for everyone:
  2. * Based on figures in the National Travel Survey: 2017 published by the Department for Transport
  3. ** All figures, unless otherwise stated, are from YouGov Plc. Total sample size was 2,163 adults, of which 1,140 were female. Fieldwork was undertaken between. The survey was carried out online. The figures have been weighted and are representative of all UK adults (aged 18+). Key findings:


On average, approximately how often, if at all, do you cycle? Base: All UK women (1,140)

Every day


Every few days


Once a week


Once every 2 to 3 weeks


Once a month


Less often than once a month




Don’t know/can’t recall



Which, if any, of the following would encourage you to take up cycling/cycle more often than you currently do? Base: All UK women who don’t cycle/cycle less often than once a month (1,015)

If I had more knowledge of how to repair/maintain a bicycle


If there was better infrastructure for bicycles (e.g. segregated cycle lanes, cycle paths, etc.)


If I had a group of people to go cycling with (e.g. a cycling club, excluding friends or family, etc.)


If family or friends cycled with me


Having access to a bicycle and/or a bicycle that works


If I had access to information on the best places/routes to cycle


If I had someone to help me build my confidence on a bicycle (e.g. on main roads, etc.)


Having access to an electric bicycle


If there were more considerate drivers (e.g. cars giving space when overtaking, etc.)


None of these


Don’t know


There is nothing in particular that would encourage me to take up cycling/cycle more than I currently do



Which, if any, of the following people would most likely to inspire you to start cycling/cycle more often than you currently do? Base: All UK women (1,140)

A family member


A friend


A colleague/member of staff at my workplace who is responsible for cycling


A professional cyclist (e.g. an Olympian, etc)


A celebrity (excluding Olympians)




Don’t know


No one would be likely to inspire me to start cycling/cycle more often I currently do


Press contact information

For more information contact the national Cycling UK Press Office on 01483 238 315, 07786 320 713 or email