OVO Energy, the UK’s leading independent energy provider, has launched a series of Night Rides aimed at addressing the gender imbalance in cycling.
OVO hopes the events will inspire more women to adopt cycling as a lower carbon mode of transport and ease their safety concerns. According to a survey by British Cycling, more than two thirds of women said that current infrastructure models do not make them feel safe, while a similar number said the same about driver behaviour.
In an attempt to combat this statistic, OVO has partnered with BrightSide Bike Lights to offer its customers exclusive discounts on products that help to make cyclists more visible, in the hope that more women will take up cycling as a form of transport as a result.
The energy provider launched the series in London with a panel discussion chaired by British Cycling CEO, Julie Harrington, who was joined by double Olympic gold medallist and two-time world record holder, Joanna Rowsell Shand MBE; endurance cyclist and former cycle courier, Emily Chappell; Daily Telegraph Women’s Sprot Editor, Anna Kessel and cycling activist, Jools Walker.
Harrington said of OVO’s campaign: “We at British Cycling have never shied away from the fact that there is an unsustainable gap between the genders in terms of cycling participation. I’m delighted to say that we’ve made huge progress in narrowing that gap in recent years, but there is still much work to be done.
“It’s in all of our interests to make cycling as easy, accessible and attractive as possible to women and girls, so it’s fantastic to see initiatives such as the OVO Energy Night Rides highlighting the barriers and opportunities around female participation in cycling.”
Adrian Letts, CEO of Retail at OVO, added: “We’re excited to launch the first in a series of OVO Energy Night Ride events as we get ready for a huge summer for cycling. Inspiring greater participation in cycling is part of OVO Energy’s ambition to power change and adoption of a low carbon form of transport; a powerful step in the right direction to achieve a sustainable future.
“The partnership with BrightSide Bike Lights is something we are proud to be able to offer our customers. It hopefully offers support in addressing one of the barriers that cyclists face.”
Night Rides will be taking place across the UK: Manchester 4th July, Bristol 18th July, Glasgow 8th August.