Recreational cycling website is by women for women12/06/2008 News
When Laurel-Lea Shannon, a health and fitness writer, took up road cycling six years ago, she noticed that most of the cycling information on the web and in magazines is written by men for men.
“As a woman cyclist, a lot of that information isn’t relevant or interesting to me,” she said.
“Instead of being frustrated, I started a website: Women’s Cycling.ca – cycling information that’s tailored by women for women.”
Women tend to have longer legs and shorter torsos than men. Women benefit from bicycles that are designed with a different geometry than a man’.
“If you’ve ever seen a small woman perched precariously on the saddle of a man’ bike, straining for the handle bars and pedals, you get the picture,” said Shannon.
Women also tend to ride for different reasons than men, more for social and health benefits than for competition.
Recounting why she took up the sport, Shannon said: “I got interested in cycling because I was concerned about my health. Heart disease runs in my family. I realised I was on a slippery slope ─ if I didn’t start doing something more vigourous than walking for daily exercise, I knew I could be in for problems as I aged.”
What she hadn’t counted on was how much she would enjoy cycling:
“It’ so much fun. Many women feel cycling is unsafe. But if you join a cycling club, it’ safe and you meet new people. And the health benefits of cycling are amazing.
“I’m now in the best shape of my life. I weigh less than I did when I was 18 years old, and even better, I’m healthy and fit.”
Women’s Cycling.ca covers topics ranging from how to prevent female genital discomfort caused by poor bike posture and badly fitted saddles, to how to change a flat tyre.
The website, founded in 2006, has training tips, nutritional advice, health and fitness news, bike maintenance articles with audio clips from a female bike mechanic, and it promotes cycling advocacy.