Women get their wheels spinning in style

A group of Christchurch women is out to make cycling fashionable.

The women are part of Frocks on Bikes, a national group for female cyclists who like to keep their sense of style.

Christchurch organiser Meg Christie said the group, which started in Wellington and Auckland, wanted to encourage women to use bikes.

"There's a big gap with a lot of women not cycling for utility trips. There are some women who go biking for leisure, but not that many using their bikes to get from A to B," she said.

The group was trying to get rid of the perception that unflattering cycling clothing was needed by women, she said.

"You don't need to be in Lycra or hard-out fluoro. You can just wear your everyday clothes, and Christchurch is pretty flat, so it's perfect for cycling," Christie said.

Looking stylish while cycling also helped to ease the tension between cyclists and motorists battling for space on the road.

"From my personal experience, when you're in Lycra, cars tend to hate you, but if you're in a skirt and boots, then they'll actually be very respectful, give way to you. It's a different mindset."

Christie said cycling to work was a good way to cut down on car emissions and "take care of the environment".

It also provided a means of getting the regular exercise that women sometimes struggled to fit in, Christie said.

"There's a whole heap of women trying to get exercise into their day, and cycling's got that bite-size piece of exercise 30 minutes that's good to have in your day."

The Christchurch branch of Frocks on Bikes will have an official launch on October 24 with a cycle ride alongside the Avon River.