The nominations came thick and fast, and we are happy to announce the finalists in the Cycling Initiative of the Year category brought to you by American Pistachios for the Total Women’s Cycling Awards in association with Velo Vixen.
When it comes to making the streets safer to ride on, encouraging the next generation, or inspiring confidence and camaraderie out on the trails, one thing all these shortlisted initiatives have in common is that they’ve been effective and have certainly promoted cycling and women’s cycling.
The winners of each category will be chosen by a panel of expert judges and will be announced at the Total Women’s Cycling Awards ceremony at The London Bike Show in February 2015.
British Cycling Olympic Development Program
The Great Britain Olympic Team Cycling Development Program may be a bit of a mouthful, but length of it's name reflects the scope of it's ambitions. It aims to identify and coach riders aged 15 to 17 and help develop them into the very best riders in the UK, and the world. Young riders who have performed well in training and races are invited to apply, and if successful will benefit from skills and tactics training, physical training programs, plus the support of a skilled team of personal trainers, coaches, sports psychologists and more.
Near Miss Project
Ever felt that worrying blast of air next to your ear which indicates a car has passed you too closely on the road? Most people have, but the trouble is quantifying it, gathering evidence that it happens, how often it happens, and where. This is where the Near Miss Project, spearheaded by research and cycle campaigner Dr Rachel Aldred came in. The data collected from one-day-diaries of the participants provides evidence and ammunition for debates about road safety and infrastructure design, as well as raising awareness of the phenomena.
The Breeze program, organised by British Cycling, is the largest initiative of it’s kind ever run. Hundreds of Champions up and down the country are encouraging more and more women out onto their bikes in their local areas, whether they’ve always ridden, or been out of the saddle for years. Thousands of women have taken part in the program this year, with many going on to participate in sportives and other events. It’s made a huge difference to a lot of women.
Evans Cycles 'One for the Girls' Evenings
These regular evening events have proved popular time and time again, and this year Evans Cycles stepped it up a notch. After consulting through their audiences with focus groups and questionnaires, they tailored the evenings to satisfy the needs of their customers. With talks from experts within the industry, Q&A sessions with mechanics, hints and tips galore plus shopping time and discounts, it’s easy to see why they are so well loved.
Herne Hill Velodrome Women’s Sessions
Every Sunday, the historic Herne Hill Velodrome runs afternoon sessions solely for women. These give women the chance to learn track riding skills in a friendly, supportive and non-aggressive atmosphere. The sessions are designed to be suitable for riders of all levels, and provide a great opportunity for women who’ve always fancied giving track cycling a go but are yet to dip their toes.
When it comes to women’s cycling, the legacy we leave for the next generation is as important as they development we make today. Little Bellas is an incredible example of a grassroots initiative that is making waves. Based in Vermont, USA, their mission statement is all about ‘empowering the next generation of female mountain bike shredders.’ Growing a community around riding and promoting healthy lifestyles are key aims, but most of all LIttle Bellas is about having fun.
A grass-roots event that’s provided a fun, encouraging environment for women who want to hit the MTB trails and meet other women to ride with. There have been a number of Trail Takeovers, taking place in the Forest of Dean, Llandegla and Cannock Chase, and the organisers have even arranged for pro-riders like World Champion 4X rider Katy Curd to lead rides and impart some valuable skills feedback.