Photo contest aims to improve cycling's image

Lambeth Council hopes to inspire women riders

A new photography competition in the London Borough of Lambeth, UK, is aiming to get more women in the saddle.

The Bicycle Belles contest, which was judged last week, was organised by Lambeth Council to try to prove that you can cycle and still be stylish.

Daniel Norwood, aged 34, took the winning shot of Brixton cyclist Toni Peters outside the London suburb’s Ritzy Cinema. "I cycle through Lambeth nearly every day and I thought this competition was a fantastic idea,” he said. “It just seemed a great opportunity to promote cycling and to show that women can look stylish on a bike.”

The contest comes shortly after a survey by Cycling England showed that fears of ‘helmet hair’ and getting sweaty put many women off cycling. The survey showed that women are three times less likely to cycle than men, with fears over their appearance cited by many as a barrier to riding.

"Some women feel that cycling is not for them,” said Cllr Sally Prentice, Cabinet member for Environment on Lambeth Council. “However, these fantastic photos prove beyond doubt that you can cycle and be stylish. I hope events like this and the success of our Olympic women cyclists encourages more women to travel by bike.”

The council now plans to use the best images in a calendar and members of the public can see some of the photographs when they are displayed in Lambeth libraries later in the year.

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