Bike shops don't always have a great reputation amongst women - far too many of us have had bad experiences such as being ignored, or spoken down to. Thankfully, those shops are in the minority (they just leave a lasting impression) - the vast majority are trying to welcome women in.
Giant in York is one such store, and they recently hosted a women's night in association with women's organisation Breeze, to encourage more women to join the thriving local riding community.
The Thursday evening event attracted over 40 female cyclists into the store, which features a dedicated 'Liv' area with women's kit ready to try and buy. It was organised by York’s Breeze Champions, a group of 6 volunteer ride leaders who plan and lead free, social rides for York’s growing community of female cyclists.
After topping up everyone’s glasses with fresh bubbles, a dynamic panel hosted an interactive Q&A session in the store’s dedicated Liv ladies’ area. The discussion ranged from clothing suggestions, to alleviating common apprehensions about joining a group ride.
The panel, which included local Breeze Champions and representatives from Yorkshire Lass Cycling Club, also shared some inspiring stories about their cycling experiences.
Following the Q&A, there were plenty of opportunities to socialise over drinks, nibbles and bakes, plus a number of mini sessions to help attendees get the most out of cycling. This included a workshop demonstration of how to replace and inner tube and some quick-fire bike maintenance, hosted by our in-store Breeze Champion, Nicola Doody. The store also delivered a ‘clip-in clinic’ which provided a chance to try spd pedals and cleats on a turbo trainer.
Store Manager and Liv Ambassador, Nicola Doody, said: "It was really overwhelming to see so many enthusiastic female cyclists together! Here at Giant York we are really committed to helping women get the most out of cycling, whatever type of riding they do. Breeze rides are always sociable and welcoming so great for newcomers, or experienced riders wanting to enjoy some great company and relaxed riding. The bonus is that we always include a coffee and cake stop! Thanks to my fellow York Breeze Champions (Deborah, Michelle, Ruth, Mary and Nicky) for baking and for helping to plan such a great event."
It was announced today that Stronger ambassadors will now have the power to award bike shops with a 'Strongher seal of approval' - stores will need female staff, changing rooms and a decent percentage of kit for women to be able to receive the stamp. We're sure Giant York would qualify!