That’s something Christine Elliott hopes to change.
Elliott, a Corner Brook native, is the women’s cycling director for Bicycle Newfoundland and Labrador and manager of the province’s male cycling squad competing at the 2017 Games in Winnipeg.
She attended a meeting of the provincial cycling body earlier this year and one of the topics that was brought up for discussion was the challenges that the group faces when it comes to exposure to the sport and how a lot of people don’t view it as a sport.
She said one person said a bike was something that could be purchased in the toy section of a department store and many see cycling as hobby or pastime and not a sport where athletes can achieve success on various levels of competition.
“We have a lot of barriers we have to get over,” Elliott said.
Getting more young females riding bike is what Elliott focuses her energy on these days. She’s one of a handful of people who hope to grow the sport on the west coast through the West Coast Cycling Belles — a biking group designed to promote the sport to young females in the 5-15 age bracket.
She has enjoyed watching the group embrace the sport as a fun activity young girls can share with their peers and plans on getting them familiar with road cycling after they have found their groove on the mountain bike trails in the area.
There’s great potential for growth so she’s keeping a positive outlook on what the female cycling landscape can look like in a few years with a bit of work.
“We don’t see enough females on bikes,” she said.
Seeing young girls riding their bikes with smiles on their faces is why Elliott has no plans to go off course.