Updated: Wednesday, 13th December 2017 @ 6:54pm

From riding to blogging and maintenance, TfGM women's cycling grants set to boost Manchester

From riding to blogging and maintenance, TfGM women's cycling grants set to boost Manchester

| By Aimee Li

International Women’s Day 2018 in Manchester will have a special cycling feel to it after TfGM announced they would be offering grants of up to £2,500.

Transport for Greater Manchester will reward activities related to women’s cycling during the three-month celebration which kicks off early next year.

The campaign  with grant applications being accepted until 5pm on Friday  has been launched in hopes of inspiring women throughout Greater Manchester to tackle the perceived and physical barriers in relation to women’s cycling.

TfGM committee’s cycling and walking champion, Councillor Chris Paul, said: “The women’s cycling campaign was a great success last year, with more than 1,000 people signing up to events across the region, and some selling out almost immediately.

“We want to build on the success of last year by offering groups the opportunity to apply for up to £2,500 to host a series of events to encourage more women to start cycling or cycle more.

"Whether it’s rides, talks, networking, music, crafts, blogging, or maintenance and repairs, applicants are free to choose a single theme or to build up a varied programme.”

From the diverse range of events TfGM have planned, they hope to show women the benefits of travelling by bike – ranging from making friends, saving money and getting access to new locations or keeping healthy.

Even though the campaign is predominantly aimed at women, it is not select. Men, children and families are all also welcome to participate.

Cycling cannot just be about transport but also about having the confidence to be completely self-reliant and independent for your own actions, and this campaign promotes that to women.

Women’s cycling has been a prominent theme in Greater Manchester as the 2018 campaign follows Team Glow, a women’s cycling group based in Manchester and the North West, founded in 2011.

In association with Team Glow, the Cycling to Suffrage: The Bicycle and Women’s Rights 1890-1914 exhibit has demonstrated how women’s cycling holds an earlier and larger significance in history regarding the empowerment of women in the late Victorian Era.

Cycling has long been a symbol of the emancipation of women, more specifically to the politically-motivated suffragettes. Last year, a suffragette-themed Manchester bike ride took place and visited the past home of the movement’s founder, Emmeline Pankhurst.

The ride was an event which continued to highlight the gender imbalance in cycling and hopes to promote a feeling of safety towards travelling by bike on the roads – the main factor preventing women from doing so is the perception of danger.

Rosslyn Colderley, Sustrans England North director, said: “In the Bike Life survey many women told us that cycling is not a real choice for them at the moment as they say the roads don’t feel safe.”

To apply for a grant or more information contact the TfGM Cycling team on 0161 244 1000 or email cycling@tfgm.com.

The closing date for funding applications is 5pm on Friday. Only one application will be accepted per group, for a maximum of £2,500.