Photo credit: Becky Mursell
In a bid to spread awareness of gender disparities in micromobility, three entrepreneurs have begun their cycle from London to Amsterdam where they will be guest speakers at the International Cargo Bike Festival and Fully Charged Live Europe events.
The trip marks the launch of the ‘She’s Electric’ campaign which aims to inspire and enable more women to use electric bikes as a mode of transport in their everyday lives.
Georgia Yexley, Caz Conneller, and Jeyda Hesleton – respective founders of Loud Mobility, Cyclechic, and Fettle – set off from London on November 23 and completed more than 100 kilometres in their two-day journey to Amsterdam.
“Cycling to the Netherlands has been an absolute joy. We’ve been on cycle lanes the whole way and it’s been incredible to see so many people using all different kinds of bikes as their mode of transport. People aren’t dressed in hi-vis or Lycra. They’re just going about their day,” Founder of Cyclechic and Loud Mobility’s Director of Culture Caz Conneller told Zag Daily.
Indeed, image is one barrier that Caz feels deters women from using bikes in their everyday lives.
“In the UK we seem to have an image of cycling just being sporty and that puts women off. A lot of women fear that they may not be fit enough, they might get out of breath, or they may not make it up the hill. That’s where an electric bike comes in and can answers all those questions.”
Concern for safety is another barrier that deters women from using bikes and certainly contributes to the fact that only 11% of women cycle regularly versus 27% of men.
“Safety is the biggest fear that puts women off. Women often feel petrified or simply don’t think they would be able to cycle on the roads amongst traffic,” Caz said.
In 2022, Sustrans research found that 83% of women feel more empowered by riding an electric bike.
“We found through our role models in ‘She’s Electric’ that the electric bike is much more practical and fits in with women’s lives. It gets them to where they need to be quicker and they don’t need to get there out of breath, hot and sweaty. They can even get there with a healthy glow,” added Caz.