New all-women cycle tour hopes to take the intimidation out of cycling

By Advertisers – July 1, 2013

Take a look at the cyclist riding beside you the next time you’re driving downtown. Chances are the cyclist will be a man.  Men outnumber women in cycling 3 to 1 according to information released during the 2012 National Bike Summit in Washington D.C.

According to, a variety of reasons for this gender gap exist. Among those listed during the inaugural National Women Cycling Forum held at the summit include lack of safe infrastructure, lack of encouragement and lack of ‘everyday’ female riders represented in marketing and advertising campaigns.

In an effort to close the gender gap locally, Life Time Athletic Events is bringing a new, all-women cycle tour to Austin on Saturday, September 14, 2013.

The Athleta Esprit de She Austin Cycle Tour is Austin’s only cycling event exclusive to women and aims to strengthen Austin’s community of female cyclists. The cycle tour, benefiting Girls on the Run, will start at 7:30 a.m. at Life Time Fitness Austin South. The tour offers new and seasoned cyclists the choice of three untimed tour distances throughout South Austin including a 14, 18 and 30-mile course.  Plus, Life Time is taking the intimidation out of cycling by giving each cyclist access to free Life Time Cycle training rides every Saturday through September 7.

“We want to give women an opportunity to try cycling in a safe, supportive and fun atmosphere,” said Life Time Fitness Athletic Events Regional Marketing Manager, Sarah Lowenstein.

In addition to hosting the free training rides, Life Time will also be offering two free public women’s cycling clinics on August 17 and September 7 focusing on riding in groups, etiquette, safety, nutrition and hydration as well as the technical aspects of cycling including how to change a tire, bike fitting and gear.

“We know the women who complete the Athleta Esprit de She Austin Cycle Tour and training will walk away feeling accomplished and comfortable on two wheels,” Lowenstein said.

Women who don't own a bike can participate in the cycle tour by riding at Cyclepalooza – a poolside stationary bike experience set to the tunes of a live DJ.  All cyclists will receive a complimentary Moxie Cycling Jersey prior to the tour and access to the finisher’s pool party featuring a bubbly bar, tasty tapas and live music.

Designed exclusively for women, the Athleta Esprit de She Austin Cycle Tour is one of 18 nationwide events aimed at creating meaningful and relevant fitness experiences by mixing camaraderie with competition.

Esprit de She

Source (ratio of female cyclists to men):

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