Provide a Reason to Ride
Once more women begin to ride, we need to give them more incentive to continue the activity. Making all of the health benefits associated with cycling such as reducing cholesterol, blood pressure and coronary heart disease more publicized is a good way to keep woman motivated and aware of the benefits.
Cycling also reduces the signs of aging by increasing blood circulation, which helps to flush-out toxins and bring more oxygen and nutrients to skin cells. What woman doesn't want to preserve her youth?
And let's not forget one of the most motivating factors of all: weight loss. Though the amount of calories burned depends a lot on weight, speed and time riding, most cyclists burn anywhere from 400 to upwards of 1,000 calories per hour of cycling! This may be enough incentive for women to stay with the sport and to push themselves to either rider faster or longer in order to burn more calories and stay fit. It's up to other cyclists to provide the reasons to those who might be interested.
Convert Recreational Cyclists
Perhaps the more difficult part is turning interested recreational women cyclists into competitive cyclists. High levels of testosterone in men often instills a need to prove one's athletic prowess, while females are generally less motivated by the desire to beat the opposition.
There are definitely women that will never be convinced to give racing or even riding faster a try. However, evidence from other sports show that there are plenty of competitive women that want to test their limits. So why not cycling? Many may not want to sign up for a local criterium or mass start event as their first race because it can be intimidating for any novice, men and women alike. Factor in the low number of women participating and you can see why it may not look all that fun to race.
Because of this, there is a definite need for more entry-level races that create a more relaxed environment that recreational cyclists can easily transition to. Creating simple, non-technical courses for beginners or a weeknight race in a laid back atmosphere that encourages anyone to participate is a good place to start.