Cycle advocacy, but not as we know it
Frocks On Bikes is focussed on helping women who don’t already cycle to discover the convenience and ease of using a bike as everyday transport.
Frocks On Bikes’ focus is making everyday cycling accessible. We believe that women – all women – should be able to choose a bike amongst their everyday transport options. That’s all and everything that we aim for!
Women shouldn’t feel dissuaded or prevented by irrelevant things – such as their age, shape, colour, fashion preferences, fitness, political views, hair styles, personal wealth, opinions on sustainability, or feelings about bikes themselves.
So if you’re keen to run events and organise services under the Frocks On Bikes banner, you commit to taking real care to avoid your “Frocks On Bikes” activity being seen as too closely aligned to a specific thing – and thereby dissuade some women from taking part.
It’s trickier than it sounds – there are so many great overlaps between Frocks On Bikes activity and other good things! It’s very easy to start blending Frocks activity in with other things you do, or with other groups’ activities that overlap. But this risks losing the “everywoman” appeal that makes Frocks On Bikes unique.
What would this mean in practice?
- If your main focus is getting more women into regular road cycling or mountain biking – e.g. doing it as a dedicated activity rather as transport – well done! But this isn’t Frocks.
- If you intend to charge a membership fee or have mainly paying events, this isn’t Frocks.
- If the ways you like to promote women’s cycling as transport will be perceived as particularly:
- green / environmentally-focused / sustainability-oriented, or
- dedicated to fashion / dresses / being especially stylish, or
- focussed on women’s fitness / weight loss and health, or
- aligned with a particular political candidate / political party / clearly left- or right-leaning group, or
- anti-car or pro-bikes to the exclusion of everything else, or
- getting women to become enthusiastic about bikes themselves (e.g. enjoy tinkering with their drive-trains after dinner)
…then be careful! There’s a very high chance that women who only need a little help starting out in transport cycling – but who don’t happen to be into these things – will think “That’s not for me, I’d feel out of place in that kind of group.”
This is sad when it happens, because these affiliations and attitudes aren’t necessary for people to enjoy the convenience and freedom of bikes as an everyday transport choice.
We’ve heaps of advice on how to get the balance right. Contact us if you’re keen to use Frocks On Bikes’ brand for your activities!