Author Topic: Female Friendly Audax.  (Read 9967 times)

Re: Female Friendly Audax.
« Reply #25 on: May 15, 2019, 04:45:04 pm »
Wobbly - perhaps the first thing for your event would be to attach a map of toilet facilities!

Noted, thanks.

Most events in the calendar are not "newcomer friendly", let alone female friendly.
Things like "The control has changed from last year" or an avalanche of acronyms "WI run control " "VH control", POP at Crapham,  EOL with a £2 surcharge, to avoid the hassle of having to populate fields with words are not cool and not informative.

Don't rely on a single capital letter to explain the toilet or food arrangements at HQ (oh dear I just did it) or along the way.

Move on from the status quo that anything beyond the greasiest spoon in the county is posh: younger cyclists and women in particular are actually health conscious.

And make it bulletproof clear that there is indeed a GPX file and it's easy to use without a plethora of disclaimers

Create a webpage describing the event with photos of the amazing places riders will visit and what to expect and why your event is particularly welcoming for newcomers and the ideal event to step up to xxx distance.

Or just ask Liam how he does it

To be fair you're describing (very well, as it happens) how to attract new people to an event. However, nothing you suggest is specifically aimed at welcoming females.

Given that the thread title is "Female Friendly Audax" (and I'm a bloke) I'm asking specifically for advice for making an Audax more female-friendly.
You're only as successful as your last 1200...

S2L

Re: Female Friendly Audax.
« Reply #26 on: May 15, 2019, 04:54:58 pm »


To be fair you're describing (very well, as it happens) how to attract new people to an event. However, nothing you suggest is specifically aimed at welcoming females.

Given that the thread title is "Female Friendly Audax" (and I'm a bloke) I'm asking specifically for advice for making an Audax more female-friendly.

No such thing... IMO female riders are simply more sensitive to the "we are a bunch of old blokes who has done it before" sentiment...
If you make it welcoming for newcomers (to the event and to the distance) you will get the gender balance you can realistically aspire to

quixoticgeek

  • Mostly Harmless
Re: Female Friendly Audax.
« Reply #27 on: May 15, 2019, 05:00:40 pm »
Wobbly - perhaps the first thing for your event would be to attach a map of toilet facilities!

Noted, thanks.

Having a map of toilets is useful for everyone, but a simpler start point is checking that your controls all have toilet facilities of they are a hall, or cafe. If they don't have facilities, mention it. And make sure they are separated, I'm fed up win finding men in the women's loo at the start of an event.

Quote
To be fair you're describing (very well, as it happens) how to attract new people to an event. However, nothing you suggest is specifically aimed at welcoming females.

For starters, don't call us females. Women, ladies, not females. I can't hear people saying "female" without hearing it as a ferrengi in star trek.


Quote

Given that the thread title is "Female Friendly Audax" (and I'm a bloke) I'm asking specifically for advice for making an Audax more female-friendly.

The thing is for many women, they will also be new to Audax, so things that attract new riders will also be things that help attract new women riders.

Everything that has been said about removing jargon and the like is great.

Personally I think the best thing we could have, is a mentor scheme. Wanna try an Audax, not sure what's involved? Join our mentor scheme. An experienced rider, offers to ride with the newbie, showing them the ropes, explaining what it all involves, answering questions, etc... Make it voluntary on both sides.

On a event Dutch 200, I met a couple who were on their first 200. They had been spanked by a combination of Dutch hills and 70+kph headwinds. They were stressed about being close to the time limit at the control etc... I rode with them from CP2 to the end, answered their questions, gave encouragement, and generally made sure they made it. I think this is worth expanding further afield.

J
--
Beer, bikes, and backpacking
http://b.42q.eu/

FifeingEejit

  • Not Small
Re: Female Friendly Audax.
« Reply #28 on: May 15, 2019, 05:04:00 pm »


Not sure what the scope of the toilet issues are, the highlands is probably the most provisioned area of scotland with public toilets, particularly along the north coast.
https://www.highland.gov.uk/downloads/file/19144/map_of_toilets_in_highland


But then obviously I'm a bloke so...

Excellent! I think I'll print this out for the north coast 600!

Wobbly - perhaps the first thing for your event would be to attach a map of toilet facilities!

Just checked Bettyhill and Tongue.
Google list them as permanently closed, but are not having been shown as under review, and are not mentioned in any of the news reports.

It also doesn't help identify which of the closed toilets have been taken over by the community as was the case with pretty much every convenience on Arran.

Further to that, I was looking at the route sheet earlier.
Durness control is at the craft village, good chance of being there before CocoMountain shuts? and if that late, the pubs will likely still be open till 12 anyway.
It also lists the controls likely to be reached in the middle of the night and wee hours as being village halls at JoG and Strath Haladale*.

Forsinard Station has toilets in the flows visitor centre.
National Rail says there is no bogs there.
But the website confirms there is and "Open at all times" indicates no one locks the door at night
https://www.rspb.org.uk/reserves-and-events/reserves-a-z/forsinard-flows/


* Isn't Strath Halladale an interesting name
Strath and Dale in the same name, Gaelic and Norse; used to seeing Gaelicised Norse such as Sgaildail or Lacasdal

FifeingEejit

  • Not Small
Re: Female Friendly Audax.
« Reply #29 on: May 15, 2019, 05:06:47 pm »
Having a map of toilets is useful for everyone

Yes, I generally know where there are bogs because occasionally I need to find one in a hurry.

S2L

Re: Female Friendly Audax.
« Reply #30 on: May 15, 2019, 05:10:25 pm »

Personally I think the best thing we could have, is a mentor scheme. Wanna try an Audax, not sure what's involved? Join our mentor scheme. An experienced rider, offers to ride with the newbie, showing them the ropes, explaining what it all involves, answering questions, etc... Make it voluntary on both sides.


I think it's a good idea, but the AUK approach to brevets is quite dogmatic and having a "pacer" would be against the "unsupported" approach to a randonnee.
Personally, I would strip Audax down to "it's a ride between control points where you carry a card to validate and you need to finish by xx o'clock", but many like the long list of rules

Re: Female Friendly Audax.
« Reply #31 on: May 15, 2019, 05:13:10 pm »
-snipped to save bandwidth-

So, nothing female-specific then? And I use the word "female" because that's the thread title.
You're only as successful as your last 1200...

Re: Female Friendly Audax.
« Reply #32 on: May 15, 2019, 05:16:16 pm »

Create a webpage describing the event with photos of the amazing places riders will visit and what to expect and why your event is particularly welcoming for newcomers and the ideal event to step up to xxx distance.

Or just ask Liam how he does it

The two biggest growth areas in cycling seem to be 'adventure', and women. Liam's had success in selling Audax in those terms. I got a commission for an article from Cycling Plus, based on a description of LEL 2017 as 'Britains Toughest Ride' in a press release, their interest was further piqued by a list of the Ultra Racers taking part.
Other press releases have emphasised that women are becoming more involved in Audax, displacing the image of beard/sandals/steel bike etc.
Clearly there are adventurous women, who inspire others, but I feel there's a bit of a disconnect between mythic toughness and inclusivity. But I'm more VC167 than Rapha CC, and more Wetherspoons than Starbucks.

Re: Female Friendly Audax.
« Reply #33 on: May 15, 2019, 05:25:20 pm »
The Adventure Syndicate is dedicated (I think) to providing women-only events.

Should someone organise women-only events under the auspices of AUK? Is that even allowed under the current rules?

Could there be women-only (or women-friendly) groups riding together on events?
You're only as successful as your last 1200...

Redlight

  • Enjoying life in the slow lane
Re: Female Friendly Audax.
« Reply #34 on: May 15, 2019, 05:31:19 pm »

Having a map of toilets is useful for everyone, but a simpler start point is checking that your controls all have toilet facilities of they are a hall, or cafe. If they don't have facilities, mention it. And make sure they are separated, I'm fed up win finding men in the women's loo at the start of an event.


In fairness, things have improved a bit in recent years. In 2009, the Edinburgh control on LEL was at a rugby club, which made for some interesting observations in the (only) showers.
Between the Disney abattoir and the chemical refinery

S2L

Re: Female Friendly Audax.
« Reply #35 on: May 15, 2019, 05:33:17 pm »

Should someone organise women-only events under the auspices of AUK? Is that even allowed under the current rules?

Could there be women-only (or women-friendly) groups riding together on events?

That's not the point at all. I am sure (I hope) no woman would like to be part of a women only Audax, just as I wouldn't like to be part of a men only audax...

wilkyboy

  • "nick" by any other name
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Re: Female Friendly Audax.
« Reply #36 on: May 15, 2019, 05:34:15 pm »
This has been discussed before, on Facebook I think.

Should someone organise women-only events under the auspices of AUK? Is that even allowed under the current rules?

It's strictly not allowed under the articles that govern Audax UK, because it would be discriminatory against men.  And those rules cannot, I believe, be changed, because they are imposed by AUK's status with UK.GOV, and by the insurer, i.e. it's not something for the membership to vote to change.

Could there be women-only (or women-friendly) groups riding together on events?

Yes, that would be allowed.  But you couldn't actually stop a man riding along with the group in any specific way, as it's all taking place on public roads, apart from alleging some sort of weird behaviour ...
RRTY #7 done.  Need something else to do ... ah, welcome #8 8)

wilkyboy

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Re: Female Friendly Audax.
« Reply #37 on: May 15, 2019, 05:43:05 pm »
That's not the point at all. I am sure (I hope) no woman would like to be part of a women only Audax, just as I wouldn't like to be part of a men only audax...

Ay, as an organiser, women I've discussed this with — admittedly mostly women already riding on an audax — have indicated that they would actively shun such contrivances.  But I'm sure there are many who have not yet tried audax who would appreciate some sort of greater-weight of women during their first audax endeavours — we just haven't heard from them yet.
RRTY #7 done.  Need something else to do ... ah, welcome #8 8)

Re: Female Friendly Audax.
« Reply #38 on: May 15, 2019, 05:44:31 pm »
I think that audax is already female friendly, the key thing is attracting women to try them in the first place.

A couple of years ago I paid a 2 figure sum to enter a sportive and there were "feed stations" instead of cafes/village halls and no toilets - much less female friendly than audax.

I took my mum on a BP and she really liked it - she loved the fact that not everyone was wearing lycra and that there were all different sorts of bikes.

I encouraged a few of my club mates (male and female) to do a 200 and the key thing seemed to be having me on hand o explain routesheets controls and proof of passage. I think the idea of mentoring or even the french style events with a road captain might encourage entries
Audax Ecosse - always going too far

Re: Female Friendly Audax.
« Reply #39 on: May 15, 2019, 05:47:30 pm »
This is on the web page for my 100, I also note the locations for my 200. This year I have added a 50. I include toilet locations as waypoints (without alerts).

Toilets
The toilet locations below will be marked as Waypoints in the GPX.

START: The cafe will open early and has toilets at the start.
HERTFORD: If you go left to Sainsbury's (follow superstore signs) as you enter Hertford then there are toilets.
ST ALBANS: Morrisons just off the Alban Way has toilets.
BOVINGDON: Toilets in cafe or pubs. Bell Inn is friendly.
KINGS LANGLEY: If you continue right on main road there is a Premier Inn and Toby Carvery on the left hand side.
HEMEL HEMPSTEAD: If you go right and right after crossing the canal there is the fisheries cafe (on Hemel side of canal) with toilets.
OLD HEMEL HEMPSTEAD: As you cross the first roundabout towards Hemel Hempstead Old Town there are toilets in the park on the left.
REDBOURN: As you cross the side road. Turn left into Redbourn and there is a cyclists cafe with toilets.
WHEATHAMPSTEAD: There are pubs and a cafe with toilets.
OLD WELWYN: There are pubs with toilets.
FINISH: There are toilets at the finish

I added this after last years discussion, here, on this very same subject.

jiberjaber

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Re: Female Friendly Audax.
« Reply #40 on: May 15, 2019, 05:48:13 pm »
The Adventure Syndicate is dedicated (I think) to providing women-only events.

Should someone organise women-only events under the auspices of AUK? Is that even allowed under the current rules?

Could there be women-only (or women-friendly) groups riding together on events?

There's certainly a few groups out of london (Velovixens and others IIRC) who have appeared on our Audaxs and there have been quite a few on the 400's I've ridden lately some on the PBP qualifications hamster wheel and others on the TCR path.

I'm sure this topic is regular so interesting to see if it gets to the same conclusion.  I get the impression that whilst trying to increase uptake is a great aspiration, the people who you want to increase the uptake need to want to do the rides in the first place - seems to me that where there is a want to ride, it's already happening but good to see an improvement on that.

It would be great if Liam finds time to share what worked and what didn't for LWL.

Feels like the need for toilets is a 'gender red herring' I see the need for toilets for for both genders but I've also seen times when both genders have been quite happy to make use of a field/bush/woods.... the toilet thing is individual not specifically gender from my observation.
Regards,

Joergen

bludger

  • Randonneur and bargain hunter
Re: Female Friendly Audax.
« Reply #41 on: May 15, 2019, 05:50:46 pm »

Should someone organise women-only events under the auspices of AUK? Is that even allowed under the current rules?

Could there be women-only (or women-friendly) groups riding together on events?

That's not the point at all. I am sure (I hope) no woman would like to be part of a women only Audax, just as I wouldn't like to be part of a men only audax...

This mayn't be the case at all, as women-only riding is very popular exemplified in the HSBC breeze rides and women's cycling club rides you get around the country. I would support the trying out of women only brevets if that's what would help drive inclusivity in the wider sport.
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wilkyboy

  • "nick" by any other name
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Re: Female Friendly Audax.
« Reply #42 on: May 15, 2019, 05:51:27 pm »
I think it's a good idea, but the AUK approach to brevets is quite dogmatic and having a "pacer" would be against the "unsupported" approach to a randonnee.
Personally, I would strip Audax down to "it's a ride between control points where you carry a card to validate and you need to finish by xx o'clock", but many like the long list of rules

That's actually allowed, so long as everyone (at least those doing the work) is on an audax of some sort (doesn't have to be the same one) — I've sat on the front alongside another rider and towed a train into a headwind on an audax plenty of times.  Apart from anything, the view's better from the front, but often it was also because I was in a better physical/fitness position to take the wind than some of the others in the bunch, including many new-riders. 

I've also sat on when I've been carrying an injury, or for a rest.
RRTY #7 done.  Need something else to do ... ah, welcome #8 8)

wilkyboy

  • "nick" by any other name
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Re: Female Friendly Audax.
« Reply #43 on: May 15, 2019, 05:57:05 pm »
I include toilet locations as waypoints (without alerts).

If I list a pub (PH), it will have a toilet.  Getting to the toilet is a factor of the pub being open, and the rider asking nicely; if not able to ask nicely then buy a bag of crisps.  I also list places that have cafés.  Garages also often have toilets.  I shouldn't need to explain to adults that pubs have toilets, nor that cafés have toilets, nor that many garages have toilets, nor to waymark them on the GPS files ... but, thinking about it, I do bother to list all this info on the routesheet   :demon:  and in the ride notes, and on the website, which I naïvely expect all riders to digest before turning up at the start  ::-)

That said, QG actually asked for notes of the reverse — to note where a toilet is NOT available at a control venue — which is a much more reasonable position.

As for her request for toilets that are separate — pfft, it is what it is.  It can be eye-wateringly expensive to hire some halls with spangly toilets (> £500), so cheap halls with sometimes (but rarely, IME) questionable facilities are de rigeur (< £100) ... to which I might add that we're lucky in that we get access to a very reasonably priced, yet still quite nice village hall built with Lottery money; unfortunately, the gents' throne is forever backing up, requiring access to the disabled loo for those who need to perch.
RRTY #7 done.  Need something else to do ... ah, welcome #8 8)

wilkyboy

  • "nick" by any other name
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Re: Female Friendly Audax.
« Reply #44 on: May 15, 2019, 06:00:03 pm »
Feels like the need for toilets is a 'gender red herring' I see the need for toilets for for both genders but I've also seen times when both genders have been quite happy to make use of a field/bush/woods.... the toilet thing is individual not specifically gender from my observation.

^^^ Well said, JJ  :thumbsup:
RRTY #7 done.  Need something else to do ... ah, welcome #8 8)

Re: Female Friendly Audax.
« Reply #45 on: May 15, 2019, 06:02:08 pm »
Ah, but have you listed the facilities around the route on your event web pages, in the rider info summary or buried it in the route sheet? ---> see GPX thread  ;D

wilkyboy

  • "nick" by any other name
    • 16-inch wheels
Re: Female Friendly Audax.
« Reply #46 on: May 15, 2019, 06:05:37 pm »
Phil, we're passing like ships in the dark — re-read my above point and note the bits I had already added  :thumbsup:
RRTY #7 done.  Need something else to do ... ah, welcome #8 8)

Re: Female Friendly Audax.
« Reply #47 on: May 15, 2019, 06:08:10 pm »
From Twitter:

Quote
Oh and best way to attract more women is to show them women ‘like them’ taking part. Did my first audax with a female friend 😊

https://twitter.com/CathyWallace_/status/1128706304560775168

You're only as successful as your last 1200...

mattc

  • n.b. have grown beard since photo taken
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Re: Female Friendly Audax.
« Reply #48 on: May 15, 2019, 07:08:19 pm »
That said, QG actually asked for notes of the reverse — to note where a toilet is NOT available at a control venue — which is a much more reasonable position.

As for her request for toilets that are separate — pfft, it is what it is.
Agreed on both counts!
Has never ridden RAAM
---------
No.11  Because of the great host of those who dislike the least appearance of "swank " when they travel the roads and lanes. - From Kuklos' 39 Articles

mattc

  • n.b. have grown beard since photo taken
    • Didcot Audaxes
Re: Female Friendly Audax.
« Reply #49 on: May 15, 2019, 07:41:00 pm »
That's not the point at all. I am sure (I hope) no woman would like to be part of a women only Audax, just as I wouldn't like to be part of a men only audax...

Ay, as an organiser, women I've discussed this with — admittedly mostly women already riding on an audax — have indicated that they would actively shun such contrivances.
This seems to be a minefield; women-only events in just about every other sport attract big fields.

(rather like women-only clubs - I think they're a dreadful idea and that we should focus on making ALL clubs more diverse. But they have many fans ... )
Has never ridden RAAM
---------
No.11  Because of the great host of those who dislike the least appearance of "swank " when they travel the roads and lanes. - From Kuklos' 39 Articles