Why do we need inclusive community bike clubs? 

Off-road cycling facilities are great for people who have the skills and confidence to ride already, but remain inaccessible to everyone else. Inclusive community clubs and groups based at these facilities can overcome these barriers and provide inclusive and sustainable activities for the whole community, including:

  • Access to bikes and safety equipment
  • Guidance and support from coaches, volunteers and peers
  • Role models
  • Progression and routes into competitions, leadership or coaching & volunteering
  • Social connectivity and a sense of belonging

There are over 3000 cycling clubs affiliated to British Cycling or Cycling UK. For the majority of these, club membership is predominantly white, male and relatively affluent

BMX is among the most inclusive forms of cycling but there are still significant proportions of the population who are missing out on community cycling opportunity, particularly women and girls, disabled people and Ethnically Diverse Communities.

The most common reasons club leaders give as to why their club is not more diverse include: 

  • “We don’t think there are many of them in our communities.”
  • “We find it hard to identify them in our communities.”
  • “We don’t have the skills or experience to work with them.”
  • “We don’t have the resources to meet the needs of such people.”
  • “We don’t think they can make a valuable contribution.”
  • “Working with these people is very challenging, and we don’t have the time or expertise to do it effectively.”

Barriers to inclusion are often unintended, and whilst most clubs promote themselves as "anyone welcome" this is not the same as knowing how to make everyone feel welcome or having the awareness, skills and confidence to put this into practice.