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Here at CyclingTips we’ve spent the past few months working hard on our #WhyItMatters campaign. You’ve probably seen the videos, or the articles, or heard about it on our podcasts, or on social media. We’re doing everything we can to increase the coverage of women in cycling, to make sure that our coverage is funded directly by the community via VeloClub, and to find out how much the coverage of women’s cycling matters to you.
Throughout early February we asked you to fill in a survey, to tell us what you like, what you don’t like, who’s covering women’s cycling well, how we’re doing and, ultimately, how best we can provide the service you’re looking for. We want to know how we can tailor our coverage to best suit you, to make sure that we’re filling gaps that need filling.
We’re delighted to say that it was the most successful survey we’ve ever run here at CyclingTips, and we’ve run a few. Thousands of you responded, and for that we’re very grateful. Here’s just some of what we learned from your responses.
Race content is important to you.
In the past our coverage of women’s cycling has perhaps focused less on racing and been more tailored towards the recreational cyclist. Based on this latest survey, we should be focusing most of our energy on race coverage. 41% of you said such content was “really important” to you and 43% said it was “somewhat important”. Combined together, that’s a healthy percentage that want to know what’s happening in the racing world, and other areas of the survey confirm this too.
Written articles are the preferred medium.
Almost 60% of you listed the written word as your medium of choice while podcasts and videos made up about 15% each. While CyclingTips is investing a lot of time and energy into a range of media formats, the written word will always be a key ingredient in our content mix. On that note, be sure to check out the great stuff Abby Mickey and Jose Been have been writing for us!
PREFERRED CONSUMPTION METHOD
You want live coverage of races.
We’re with you on this one too. Thankfully it seems like live coverage of women’s races is improving and becoming more commonplace. Here at CyclingTips we’re not resourced to be a production house for live coverage, but whenever we can host a livestream we will, and whenever we can’t, we’ll do our best to point you towards a way to watch the racing. In many ways live coverage is the backbone of the sport and the sport as a whole benefits from more of it.
In general, you feel that coverage of women’s cycling is lacking.
Around half of you felt like race reporting was being done well and likewise for issues-related coverage. But on the whole, there was a feeling from this survey that there simply isn’t enough coverage of women’s cycling out there.
We completely agree. After all, that’s what prompted us to start this campaign in the first place. You want to see more content across the board, on equal billing with men’s — rather than being secondary — and you want it yesterday. We hear that.
You get your women’s cycling content from a whole bunch of places.
Cyclingnews, VeloNews, Instagram, YouTube, BikeRadar, Cycling Central, Cycling Podcast Feminin, Peloton magazine, VoxWomen, others — as you rightly pointed out, there are a lot of outlets besides CyclingTips providing great coverage of women’s cycling. We applaud them all for their efforts and encourage you to keep visiting!
WHERE ARE YOU CONSUMING CONTENT?
You have lots of favourite riders but want to meet more.
It’s not surprising that you know and love riders like Marianne Vos, Annemiek van Vleuten, Lizzie Deignan, Amanda Spratt, Ceylin del Carmen Alvarado and Ruth Winder — these are bad-ass women who are brilliant at what they do. We can certainly do more to help their personalities shine through — not just their results — while also introducing you to the up-and-comers and other interesting players in the sport.
Coverage of women’s sport is important to you for a whole range of reasons.
At the end of the survey we asked you why coverage of women’s cycling matters to you. It might seem like an obvious question, but as we’ve learned over the past few months, everyone has their own reasons. Here are just some of the reasons you think it’s important:
– Female riders work as hard as male riders, and don’t get as much recognition.
– Women’s racing is often more exciting (and less predictable) than men’s.
– It’s important for young girls to have role models to look up to.
– For balance, equality, and fairness.
– Because more coverage means greater sponsor value which means more money in women’s cycling.
WHAT’S BEING DONE WELL
If coverage of women in cycling matters to you — whatever your reason(s) — you can help. Here are three simple steps you can take that will have a meaningful impact:
1. Consume, share, and engage with the content. Not just here at CyclingTips. As noted above, there are plenty of outlets providing great coverage of women’s cycling. Engage with any and all of them! Click on the stories, share them with your friends, leave comments — it all helps.
2. Support the supporters. Spend your money with brands that are supporting women’s cycling, whether it be bike brands, clothing brands or our VeloClub program (more on that below).
3. Follow the characters. Our sport is full of wonderful personalities that have so much more to offer than their prowess on a bike. Follow their racing results, sure, but follow them on social media too – it all makes a difference.
Of course, if you support our mission, why not support us directly? Every new VeloClub member means more direct support for our women’s cycling coverage. Thanks to the community’s help we’ve already raised enough to get the terrific Freewheeling podcast off the ground, hosted by former pro Abby Mickey.
We’ve also increased our coverage of the biggest women’s races on the calendar. And with just a little bit more support, we can send reporters to all of those major races, making us the only major cycling outlet providing on-the-ground coverage at some of them. If you haven’t signed up to VeloClub already, please consider doing so. Every little bit helps.
Thank you to all of you that took the time to complete our survey. We greatly appreciate your time and your input. We are listening, and we are working hard to make sure we’re doing what we can for women’s cycling, and to make sure you’re getting the coverage that you want to see.