Sacred Rides, one of North America's leading mountain bike adventure companies, has just completed an extensive survey of women mountain bikers. To gain a better understanding about women’s motivations for mountain biking and the barriers they face, the survey polled 710 women from around the world and offers some great insights for members of the industry to help them encourage more women to take up mountain biking - and who wouldn't want that?
Details and survey inside,‘Women of Mountain Biking’ Survey Results Announced Women Weigh In On Why They Mountain Bike (Or Don’t)
TORONTO (September 1, 2010) – Since its birth on the flanks of Mt. Tam in California several decades ago, mountain biking has traditionally been a male-dominated sport. And until now, most people in the industry didn’t really understand why. That’s about to change.
To gain a better understanding about women’s motivations for mountain biking and how to encourage more women to ride, Sacred Rides Mountain Bike Adventures, one of North America’s leading tour companies, recently completed a comprehensive online survey of women who mountain bike.
The survey was conducted in coordination with the International Mountain Biking Association (Canada) in July and August of this year. A majority of the 710 women who participated in the survey (73%) have been mountain biking for at least three years. Ranging in age from 19-60 and hailing from 13 countries, the respondents came from all walks of life but shared one common trait: a love for mountain biking.
“Understanding who rides a mountain bike is of major importance to both industry leaders and those who advocate for the sport,” commented Lora Woolner, Director of IMBA Canada. “Only 12% of IMBA’s current members are women, and we would love to see this number increase. As such we recognize and endorse all efforts that help get more women on mountain bikes.”
“In most places around the world where we ride, we’re used to seeing a lot of guys on the trail,” states Mike Brcic, founder and president of Sacred Rides Mountain Bike Adventures, “and we’d like to see more women. This survey will help us to further improve our women’s skills camps and epic trips to better meet the unique needs of our women riders. We also hope it will motivate the industry to better serve female mountain bikers.”
Some of the key findings from the survey include: •The vast majority of mountain biking women participate in numerous other outdoor pursuits •90% of respondents got into the sport through an invitation by a friend or partner/spouse •Enjoying nature and building friendships wins over competition as a motivation to ride •Mountain biking needs to soften its image to connect with more women •Intimidation and fear of injury are keeping many women off the trails •One of the best ways to grow the sport would be through women inviting other women to give it a try
Implications for the mountain bike industry and media The survey results speak directly to the mountain bike industry (bike, gear, and clothing manufacturers). Women are calling for increased customization, better fits, and lower prices—and of the media, they are asking for more women to be featured as sports leaders and role models.
About The Survey The online survey was conducted July 20-August 20, among 710 women ages 18 years of age and older. Participants learned about the survey primarily via Sacred Rides’ Facebook Page and via various media outlets that posted/printed the press release associated with the survey’s launch.
The margin of error associated with a sample of this size is ± 4%.
About Sacred Rides Sacred Rides Mountain Bike Adventures, founded in 1996 in Fernie, British Columbia, has always been committed to leading and innovating the sport of mountain biking, by developing such programs as Mountain Bike University and yoga/mountain bike retreats, and offering women’s only camps and trips.
Voted “#1 Mountain Bike Tour Company on Earth” in 2009 by National Geographic Adventure magazine, Sacred Rides is committed to promoting mountain biking as a force for good in the world. Through their Keeping Rides Sacred program, the company has donated thousands of dollars and countless volunteer hours to community projects in the areas where they ride. Sacred Rides is also proud to support the work of their sister organization Bikes Without Borders.
About IMBA Canada The International Mountain Bicycling Association (IMBA) Canada is a non-profit association whose mission is to create, enhance and preserve trail opportunities for mountain bikers throughout Canada. Since 1988, IMBA has been bringing out the best in mountain biking worldwide by encouraging low-impact riding, volunteer trailwork participation, and cooperation among different trail user groups, grassroots advocacy and innovative trail management solutions. IMBA’s Canadian office has been up and running since 2005.