Was the women's cycling boom of Covid lockdown about more than quiet roads?

The decrease in automotive dominance had a greater effect than any initiative we've seen before, but the closing of the gap continued long beyond the return of pre-pandemic traffic levels

Rapha womens 100
The Rapha women's 100 encourages women to ride 100km together once a year
(Image credit: Rapha)

After decades of asking ‘how do we get more women cycling?’, in the end, it was a global pandemic that showed us the way. 

Statistics published by the Department for Transport (DfT) reveal a 56% boost in women’s cycling journeys over the course of 2020, compared to a 12% rise among men. 

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Michelle Arthurs-Brennan

Michelle Arthurs-Brennan the Editor of Cycling Weekly website. An NCTJ qualified traditional journalist by trade, Michelle began her career working for local newspapers. She's worked within the cycling industry since 2012, and joined the Cycling Weekly team in 2017, having previously been Editor at Total Women's Cycling. Prior to welcoming her daughter in 2022, Michelle raced on the road, track, and in time trials, and still rides as much as she can - albeit a fair proportion indoors, for now.