The experiences of women competitive road cyclists: A qualitative study

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Cycling has been recognized in scientific research for numerous benefits to well-being. The benefits to cycling are clear, but barriers are present for women who wish to participate in the sport. While there have been substantial gains in understanding aspects of cycling, there remains a lack of in-depth phenomenological descriptions from a woman’s perspective, as the sport is dominated by men. This study explored the lived experiences of eight women competitive road cyclists in relation to their thoughts, feelings, and actions. This inquiry used interpretive phenomenological analysis of semi-structured interviews. The analysis revealed several themes, including sexist attitudes and behaviors, gendered barriers such as size, interpersonal dynamics between cyclists, and inclusive transitions for women competitive road cyclists. These findings suggest that cycling may be a microcosm for broader societal trends, and implications for reducing gendered cycling barriers, promoting women cyclists, and creating an inclusive road cycling community are discussed.

Road cycling, Women, Competitive cycling, Gender, Psychology