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'Helmet hair' puts women off cycling

Women are three times less likely to cycle than men because they are put off by "helmet hair" and getting sweaty, a survey said today.

Despite the golden heroics in Beijing by the British female cycling team, 64% of women said they never cycle, according to an online survey commissioned by Cycling England.

Citing the reasons for avoiding cycling, 58% said they would not want to arrive at work sweaty, and one in four (27 per cent) were too worried about helmets ruining their hair to risk a ride in the saddle.

Only 2% of women said they cycled everyday.

Cycling England blamed women's "perceived affect of cycling on appearance" for their lack of enthusiasm for pedal power.

In fact, women were three times more likely to cycle indoors on exercise bikes than outdoors on the open road.

Phillip Darnton, chairman of Cycling England, said: "It's very worrying that we have such a gender imbalance when it comes to cycling in this country. "Women, and in particular mums, have a key role to play in encouraging greater take up of cycling in general - so it's vital we get more women on their bikes."

Cycling England was established in 2005 by the Department for Transport to encourage more people to cycle.

Research was conducted by YouGov, who interviewed 1,099 women online between August 11-13, 2008

Fri 19 Sep 2008

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