Join a Night Ride – and help to increase the visibility of female cyclists
OVO Energy, the UK’s leading independent energy provider and title sponsor of this month’s OVO Energy Women’s Tour, last night took cyclists on a tour of London’s iconic landmarks to launch its series of Night Rides. The aim is to address the barriers to cycling participation that women face and inspire more women to adopt cycling as a lower carbon mode of transport.
According to research from British Cycling, men account for 69% of the UK’s cycling population, with barriers such as confidence on the roads, cycling infrastructure and concerns over safety the key factors in deterring greater female participation.
Some 63% of the women asked said that current infrastructure models do not make them feel safe, while 66% said the same about driver behaviour.
In response to this statistic, OVO Energy has partnered with BrightSide Bike Lights to offer customers exclusive discounts on products that will help make cyclists more visible and help to ease cyclists’ safety concerns.
In the process, the hope is that the disparity in gender participation numbers can be equalised and more women are inspired to adopt a sustainable approach to transport.
Night Ride events
Last night was the first of four Night Ride events this summer. OVO Energy launched the series in London with a panel discussion chaired by British Cycling CEO, Julie Harrington, addressing the crucial barriers hindering cycling participation.
The panel was formed of double Olympic gold medallist and two-time world record holder, Joanna Rowsell Shand MBE; endurance cyclist and former cycle courier Emily Chappell; Daily Telegraph Women’s Sport Editor Anna Kessel; and cycling activist Jools Walker, AKA LadyVelo.
The OVO Energy Night Ride set out from East London cycling hotspot, Look Mum No Hands, and took in some of the capital’s iconic landmarks. The peloton of cyclists sampled the BrightSide Bike Lights product range and rode bikes illuminated by striking green and rechargeable LED lights.
Adrian Letts, CEO of Retail, OVO Energy, said: “We’re excited to launch the first in a series of OVO Energy Night Ride events as we get ready for a huge summer for cycling.
“Inspiring greater participation in cycling is part of OVO Energy’s ambition to power change and adoption of a low carbon form of transport. We believe this is a powerful step in the right direction to achieve a sustainable future.
“The partnership with BrightSide Bike Lights is something we are proud to be able to offer our customers. It hopefully offers support in addressing one of the barriers that cyclists face.”
Julie Harrington, British Cycling CEO, said: “At British Cycling we have never shied away from the fact that there is an unsustainable gap between the genders in terms of cycling participation. I’m delighted to say that we’ve made huge progress in narrowing that gap in recent years, but there is still much work to be done.
“It’s in all of our interests to make cycling as easy, accessible and attractive as possible to women and girls, so it’s fantastic to see initiatives such as the OVO Energy Night Rides highlighting the barriers and the opportunities around female participation in cycling.”
Following the OVO Energy Night Ride in London, Night Rides will be taking place across the UK, in Manchester on the July 4, Bristol on the July 18 and Glasgow on the August 8.