Women in Collegiate Cycling

Collegiate Cycling is a true co-ed sport; although men and women always race separately with the exception of a few team events (Co-ed Team Relay in mountain biking, and Co-ed Team Sprint in track cycling), the victories are always team victories for the school, combining the results of both genders for an overall rank. This means that no one is marginalized and all participants, regardless of gender, are of equal value to the team. This goes way beyond the points, though. Much more importantly, the spirit of Collegiate Cycling is one of true team camaraderie across genders, where everyone supports everybody else, from developing a new rider to making lifelong friends to cheering on the athletes at the National Championships. 

Organization wide, USA Cycling’s membership is approximately 12% female, while USA Cycling Collegiate boasts 20% female membership. While 20% is great, this number has plenty of room to grow, and it falls on all of us, men and women alike, to recruit, retain, and develop our female membership so that women can have the same opportunities in our sport as men.

For team leaders wondering how to increase their team’s female membership, check out our Team Leader’s Guide for tips on recruiting and retaining more women. A helpful hint, though: the key is developing and maintaining an atmosphere that is both welcoming and respectful to female cyclists, both new and experienced. If the attitude is there, the rest will fall into place.

For women looking to get into the sport, be sure to ask about Intro to Bike Racing clinics at your conference’s races. These clinic/races provide a relaxed, easy introduction to racing your bike so that the intimidating nature of bike racing is no longer as big a factor. And always keep in mind the development opportunities for women in collegiate cycling: the Kowalski’s Markets Collegiate All-Stars team at the North Stare Grand Prix and USA Cycling’s own National Development Program.

This Article Updated April 23, 2014 @ 04:04 PM For more information contact: