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  1. #1
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    How to Get More Women Cycling in Cities

    Any other women on here these days, or lurking? Give a shout out and/or share your thoughts (others' thoughts welcome as well)...

    https://www.theguardian.com/environm...ling-in-cities

    I thought this part was particularly interesting:For example, when surveys of cycle route users in San Francisco were conducted during peak commuting hours, they recorded a massive majority of male users. But when the city looked at the gender-disaggregated data, they discovered that far more women were using the routes for their commute than previously thought, but were choosing to travel outside peak hours when the roads and cycle lanes were quieter.

    I do this too. By working 9-5:30 instead of 8-4:30 I avoid a surprising amount of traffic, making it safer, faster and more enjoyable.

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    I think for some women the answer is cosmetic in that they donít want to deal with hair and makeup issues/equipment at work.

    I know my wife does not.
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    Quote Originally Posted by mtbxplorer View Post
    Any other women on here these days, or lurking? Give a shout out and/or share your thoughts (others' thoughts welcome as well)...

    https://www.theguardian.com/environm...ling-in-cities

    I thought this part was particularly interesting:For example, when surveys of cycle route users in San Francisco were conducted during peak commuting hours, they recorded a massive majority of male users. But when the city looked at the gender-disaggregated data, they discovered that far more women were using the routes for their commute than previously thought, but were choosing to travel outside peak hours when the roads and cycle lanes were quieter.

    I do this too. By working 9-5:30 instead of 8-4:30 I avoid a surprising amount of traffic, making it safer, faster and more enjoyable.
    linky no worky. looks like it copy/pasted in truncated form with the ellipsis in the actual hyperlink.

    I've seen similar-ish things in different cities where I've lived. Where I live now is surprisingly bike-unfriendly considering how popular cycling is. The routes in town are horrendous.

    Most people leave the city to ride. The Blue Ridge Parkway is extremely popular for road riders. It's also exceptionally popular for casual riders to use the gated gravel routes on the National Forest. There are a couple spots where the grades are relatively gradual, so you see lots of the less-gnarly casual rider types. But when the local cycling advocacy group has an event, a TON of people show up, and there's a surprisingly good number of women who come, considering how the cycling press talks about how underrepresented women are.

    The local cycling advocacy group certainly knows how to put on good events. So in part, I'm sure the fun/social side of things is attractive. For the rides they put on, I have no doubt the safety in numbers thing is a factor. It certainly is for me. I'm no novice cyclist/commuter, and this town intimidates the hell out of me. Not a snowball's chance that I'm going to commute from home anywhere. There's a pavement loop I can do from the house if I need to spin the pedals, but that's about all I'll do. The narrow, twisty, hilly roads with blind corners, blind hills, and tons of tourists, nope. Not riding my bike on them. But I'll show up to do a social group ride with the whole safety in numbers thing.

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    Thanks Harold, here's the fixed link
    https://www.theguardian.com/environm...ling-in-cities

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    Why? Like seriously why does it matter? We Really constantly asking why there isn't enough women in male dominated area's but does it really matter? If women want to ride, they can. There is no gender wall stopping them. I'm not against more women riding, all power to them, I just don't see why we have to focus on it. Maybe with out the focus and pressure women will just migrate to the sport of their own volition, maybe not.

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    Quote Originally Posted by GRPABT1 View Post
    Why? Like seriously why does it matter? We Really constantly asking why there isn't enough women in male dominated area's but does it really matter? If women want to ride, they can. There is no gender wall stopping them. I'm not against more women riding, all power to them, I just don't see why we have to focus on it. Maybe with out the focus and pressure women will just migrate to the sport of their own volition, maybe not.
    Lets pull some quotes from the article.

    To create sustainable, healthy and liveable cities, we need to increase the number of cyclists on our streets, and that means getting more women on their bikes.
    However, women disproportionately view protected cycle lanes as a more urgent priority.
    People do not travel around the city in a uniform way. The transport choices citizens make will be influenced by a wide range of factors including their age, occupation, income levels and gender.
    The different decisions men and women make about cycling are not only based on issues of convenience or comfort. Peopleís perceptions of safety influence how, when, where and why they travel.
    In short, people are different, and a transit system needs to include all of them. Bicycling should not be the exclusive domain of the confident, aggressive MAML. The system needs to be safe and effective for everyone from kids to the elderly. For that to happen, we need to be a bit introspective about why we choose to ride or choose not to ride. If we want people to ride more, to use cars less, then we have to work to address those reasons.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Harold View Post
    Lets pull some quotes from the article.









    In short, people are different, and a transit system needs to include all of them. Bicycling should not be the exclusive domain of the confident, aggressive MAML. The system needs to be safe and effective for everyone from kids to the elderly. For that to happen, we need to be a bit introspective about why we choose to ride or choose not to ride. If we want people to ride more, to use cars less, then we have to work to address those reasons.
    Good response, Harold.

    It's like in the engineering field, there's a big push for women to join. In that case women have been historically dissuaded from joining, even after getting degrees, because men have been pretty hostile. I had a physics professor in college who was pretty vocal about how he thought tray needed to change.

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    I get that safety is important but I still don't see that as a gendered issue. Men's safety is also important and they're just as vulnerable on the roads. Children I believe are more of an issue, school routes etc should be prioritised. But that said, parents have a responsibility for the children's safety also. A child wouldn't be expected to ride to school 50km in a rural area, they shouldn't be expected to ride in dense traffic of a big city either.

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    Quote Originally Posted by GRPABT1 View Post
    I get that safety is important but I still don't see that as a gendered issue. Men's safety is also important and they're just as vulnerable on the roads. Children I believe are more of an issue, school routes etc should be prioritised. But that said, parents have a responsibility for the children's safety also. A child wouldn't be expected to ride to school 50km in a rural area, they shouldn't be expected to ride in dense traffic of a big city either.
    It's about perceptions more than it's about absolutes. And people perceive things differently.

    When studies done in the past cover people who are seen riding, and the people who are seen riding are heavily biased towards the MAML side of the spectrum, the study is biased. Countering that bias requires concerted efforts to look at everybody else. That means making an effort to study women, people of color, and other demographics not traditionally included in such studies.

    Just because a given study focuses on one group of people doesn't mean that invalidates everybody else or their experiences. What it does mean is that conducting studies like this is difficult. The bigger your study group, the more difficult it is. It's logistically more challenging to deal with exponentially larger study groups to include EVERY subgroup larger with sufficient statistical power. It's more expensive cost-wise to conduct such a study. Budgets are always limited. It is also computationally more difficult to work through a dataset with many, many more variables. And more variables usually does not mean better results. So from a study design perspective, it's better to limit your study group. It's simply more efficient to do so. Choosing your study group to fill gaps in previous research is just good science, anyway. You can always draw on that previous research to make comparisons to your own study group.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Harold View Post
    Just because a given study focuses on one group of people doesn't mean that invalidates everybody else or their experiences.
    This.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Sidewalk View Post
    This.
    That's wasn't my point. I'm not seeking attention, my demographic is already catered for. But I didn't get into cycling because of or even knowing that. We all probably start out disadvantaged (unless we are born into a cycling crazy family) with crappy gear, no idea and as we progress all the tools that improve our experience progress as well. That doesn't change with gender.

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    Thanks y'all, I ain't trying to start a thing. I actually don't care to hear dissenting opinions but, to put it nicely, that guy seems like a real MFer.

    Oh man your report-Fu worked apparently. I typed this up and it disappeared immediately. Now I look crazy.
    dang

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    Quote Originally Posted by GRPABT1 View Post
    That's wasn't my point. I'm not seeking attention, my demographic is already catered for. But I didn't get into cycling because of or even knowing that. We all probably start out disadvantaged (unless we are born into a cycling crazy family) with crappy gear, no idea and as we progress all the tools that improve our experience progress as well. That doesn't change with gender.
    You are missing the whole point.

    The POINT is to figure out why, where, and how different people commute by bike, and why some have chosen not to. The point is that no bicyclists should be starting off disadvantaged. And as long as segments of the population are ignored, SOME group will always be disadvantaged.

    Facilities should work for everyone, and if you don't know what everyone needs (which you will never know unless your subgroups are adequately represented by survey data), then your facilities are going to miss the needs of a notable segment of the city.

    The reason for all that, is to help figure out which projects to prioritize to get more people commuting by bike.

    When a bunch of vehicular cycling whackjobs make the most noise about bike facilities and city officials don't make an effort to learn what everybody ELSE needs, it's no surprise when cycling infra caters to vehicular cyclists and nobody else.

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    You're missing my point.

    You're trying to figure out why women DON'T cycle, not why men do.

    The answer for why men cycle isn't because it's easier, it's because we want to and we don't have as great of a sense of self preservation.

    Convince women to stop fearing death as much as men and they'll be just as interested. Any amount of making it safe won't change the margins as it'll make it safer for men just as proportionately unless you specifically target to disadvantage men.

    Hence, why do we care if the majority of women don't?

    It's the same reason women don't do high risk jobs as much as men.
    Last edited by GRPABT1; 03-13-2019 at 09:06 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by GRPABT1 View Post
    Any amount of making it safe won't change the margins as it'll make it safer for men just as proportionately

    With the end result being more total cyclists, which is the reason cited by the article for focusing on women.

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    Quote Originally Posted by GRPABT1 View Post
    You're missing my point.

    You're trying to figure out why women DON'T cycle, not why men do.

    The answer for why men cycle isn't because it's easier, it's because we want to and we don't have as great of a sense of self preservation.

    Convince women to stop fearing death as much as men and they'll be just as interested. Any amount of making it safe won't change the margins as it'll make it safer for men just as proportionately unless you specifically target to disadvantage men.

    Hence, why do we care if the majority of women don't?

    It's the same reason women don't so high risk jobs as much as men.
    I'm not trying to figure anything out. I'm reading articles about other people studying things. And the above article detailed 5 things that cities can do to get more women to ride bicycles. It's not about why men cycle. That's another topic. It's about why women who don't cycle choose not to, and how to overcome those reasons.

    Because more women bicycle commuting means more people bicycle commuting, which is better for everybody.

    You ASSUME that any changes won't change the margins, but you're only assuming. You don't have any evidence for that. The article cites Copenhagen as a place where slightly more than 50% of bicycle trips are taken by women. Sounds pretty even to me, and I beg you to find how the infrastructure there targets men for disadvantage. For that matter, if you'd actually read the article, you'd understand that not all of the steps cities can take are safety/infrastructure changes. As I said above, perceptions are a factor. Some of the steps simply involve changing perceptions.

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    Hes right. We need to stop studying why women do things in order to figure out why they do things. Instead, let's study why men do them to better figure out women.

    Found the incel.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Volsung View Post
    Hes right. We need to stop studying why women do things in order to figure out why they do things. Instead, let's study why men do them to better figure out women.

    Found the incel.
    I'm happily married with one child. You'll need to find some other insult instead formulating an arguement.

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    Saw this today from the Cycling Professors on Facebook...

    'You can't justify a bridge by the number of people swimming across a river'
    ~Brent Toderian
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails How to Get More Women Cycling in Cities-bike-bridge.jpg  


  20. #20
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    Women in general don't like cycling as much as men do. I know that in today's PC world of equality people must see like there is something wrong. But man and women are just different and thats it. Whether women ride bikes or not does not my experience any better or worse. E-bikes might be the answer.

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    Quote Originally Posted by k^2 View Post
    Women in general don't like cycling as much as men do. I know that in today's PC world of equality people must see like there is something wrong. But man and women are just different and thats it. Whether women ride bikes or not does not my experience any better or worse. E-bikes might be the answer.
    Not sure if just asshole or dumb...

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    Quote Originally Posted by k^2 View Post
    E-bikes might be the answer.
    but here is an idea, me and my lady would both have more fun is she were riding an ebike

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    That was mean of me, and I should probably recant. The thing is, though, this is a crucial point. My wife likes cycling (not as much as I do, but certainly more than many men), but she hates riding around our neighborhood, even, because riding in city traffic has such a negative and, dare I say machismo connotation to it. This isn't me projecting some liberal victimized fantasy world onto city traffic, this is both how people perceive and interact with traffic in the city.

    We live next to a main road for inter-city traffic that has a bike lane. I almost never ride on that road, because it used to be a 4-lane road and is now 2 lanes to accommodate both a bicycle lane and a turn lane. Drivers take it out on cyclists (even though it really only affects traffic for approximately 1.5 hours a day). She will never ride on that road because she fears retaliation. This isn't some problem with her or that she just doesn't want to do something, this is a problem with society that the default interaction with other people, especially when you have the upper hand in a physical power sense, is handled so goddam aggressively. It is a real problem.
    dang

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    Quote Originally Posted by NDD View Post
    ...is handled so goddam aggressively. It is a real problem.
    You are absolutely right about that much.

    2 major reasons my wife won't ride on the street alone, and only reluctantly with me:
    Aggressive retaliation
    Distracted drivers who don't GAF

    Pretty sure if it was possible for her not to drive, she wouldn't.

    In all honesty, the same things apply to me. It is just a matter of degree. I also do not have the additional fears my wife has of being a small woman in general. She HAS to think about her risk of being sexually assaulted a helluva lot more than I do. She makes decisions on that front multiple times per day, and I do not. Sadly, bike commuting registers on her radar as a risk on that front, along with traffic safety concerns.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Harold View Post
    You are absolutely right about that much.

    2 major reasons my wife won't ride on the street alone, and only reluctantly with me:
    Aggressive retaliation
    Distracted drivers who don't GAF

    Pretty sure if it was possible for her not to drive, she wouldn't.

    In all honesty, the same things apply to me. It is just a matter of degree. I also do not have the additional fears my wife has of being a small woman in general. She HAS to think about her risk of being sexually assaulted a helluva lot more than I do. She makes decisions on that front multiple times per day, and I do not. Sadly, bike commuting registers on her radar as a risk on that front, along with traffic safety concerns.

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    I totally agree. And even being married and interacting with my wife every day, it's easy for me to forget about those concerns as a man because I don't have to deal with that.
    dang

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    I agree that women are more at risk of assault than men, and I know women that won't walk or bike by themselves for that reason, but I tell them that they are more at risk driving to the supermarket (or wherever) and being assaulted, and yet they do that without much concern. Kind of similar to people accepting the risks of car crashes without much thought, but thinking biking is crazy.

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    Bike commuters where I live, in the San Francisco Bay Area, continue to be a tiny fraction of it's potential.

    I agree with the observations made in the article. I went on to read the article about how industrial design has traditionally(and tyrannically) catered to the dimensions of the average male.

    I'm not a female cyclist. I'm married to one though. I encourage my wife to commute to work, but she doesn't ride much more than once a week to work. Our commutes are equivalent. The article and the issues raised in the comments here and in the Guardian reflect the exact reasons why my wife doesn't ride to work more often.

    As a lifetime bike commuter I read this thread and the linked article in the Guardian with great interest.

    I was also interested in the perspective of the article, by a woman, in the UK, because I'm from the UK, live in the States, and recently visited London.

    Upon our visit to the UK, we were impressed with the cycling culture of London. Since I have visited London over the years, and once lived there, I've seen changes. I used to ride there too.

    In the comments to the article, I read about the phenomenon known as the "Tour de Work". This is the advent of competition on the bike commute. Strava, and or its mentality, certainly has a hand in this.

    I'm a Strava using bike commuter myself. I have always ridden harder, and do not choose to take it easy. That's the way I've always been on the bike. It's probably an average behavior for a male. I don't know for certain. Anyway that's how it is for me.

    Back to London, it was damp, slick, cold, dark, and busy as hell there, and there were cyclists present at all hours. And when the peak commute hours arrived, the number of cyclists on the streets was spectacularly large to our California eyes.

    We had to admire their pluck.

    By and large, where I live, the weather is mild, the streets are wide, and the scenery pleasant. Yet most people still drive one person to a car most of the time. This observation annoys me.

    All my life as a rider, I haven't done a thing to advocate for bike use. I just kind of hoped that just getting out there and riding and making an example would stand in for any Civic call of duty. It is and was an empty hope. All I have become is a tiny pimple on the ass of humanity. I'm a token cyclist. At work I'm known as that guy who rides to work. In other words I'm relegated to the lunatic fringe.

    Off topic, I used to advocate for mountain biking. That actually made a difference.

    Alright, with that said, getting women to ride is a priority for our society. I get it. There are invisible barriers.

    There are rules, regulations, and practice on the road which favor cyclists.

    For example, here we are "allowed" to take the lane. Yeah, I take the lane, knowing full well I'm taking a chance with my life.

    We have some streets which have "Sharrows" which are painted chevrons on the pavement which motorists - who exceed posted speed limits pretty much all the time - can't really "see", indicate a shared use route with cyclists.

    Another recent innovation is the pass at three feet or more idea. "In 2013, after three years of intensive legislative advocacy, our Three Feet for Safety Act became law. The law requires motorists to give at least three feet of clearance when passing people riding bikes. It went into effect in October of 2014, and our focus since then has been on getting the word out through our*Give Me 3*Campaign"https://www.calbike.org/our_initiatives/give_me_3/

    While these are big steps in the right direction, in practice they don't to enough to encourage women to ride to work. In fact from my perspective, these changes, haven't made much of a difference to the way I ride, and how my commute works.

    Anything, IMHO, that makes it better for women to ride is going to help men, and help children ride.

    The way things are around here, people drive their children to school, clogging up the streets even further, because not only are they afraid for their safety, but because also of the intense scholastic competition, which requires ambitious extracurricular pursuit. Another topic.

    After reading more about London bike commuting I'm connection with my first hand observation I do understand that riding in London is one hell of an exciting proposition. If I lived there, I would do it.

    I would do it for the same reasons I ride here. First of all the traffic sucks. At least in London there are the famous excellent public transport alternatives. Like the roadways, the pressure of traffic is intense during peak hours. A cyclist in London will consistently beat cars and public transport for most commutes.

    Riding in a double decker we watched cyclists pass the bus, and make good progress, and eventually drop the bus, routinely.

    The Underground railway in Central London becomes highly congested at times. A bike ride provides an attractive alternative.

    London continues to encourage cycling as it can with considerable investment in cycling infrastructure, including many dedicated bike lanes.

    People do ride. It's still riding. It will always be a risky pursuit. There will always be aggressive cyclists and aggravated traffic to deal with.

    I'm grateful for all of the improvements I see. But I still do not see enough cyclists.

    Come on people.

    My wife doesn't ride because it's demonstrably dangerous. Plus, maybe it takes more time for a woman to ride, because there's the transitioning from riding to the office, which requires a change of clothing and attention to hygeine and grooming, in order to conform with the office culture, that gets in the way.

    Recently a fellow cyclist I know was killed by driver making a left turn on a red light. He died. He was a lifetime bike commuter like me.

    Motorists must be constantly reminded there are bicycles, motorcycles, children, and so on, out there. Alright that's obvious.

    What aren't so obvious are the invisible barriers into using a bike as transportation. Recreational bicycle use seems to be a different thing altogether.

    Well I just felt like I wanted to comment. Sadly, I don't feel like this time spent writing was worth it.

    I've been struck by cars a few times. I know a lot of people who were too. So it's a big deal.





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    Does it really matter who is riding, male, female, trans, or those who identify as neither/both? Every time itís a big deal that some group other than white male heteros do something, it perpetuates the notion that itís a big deal. Itís not. Anyone can do whatever they choose to do. To exclaim that someone from this or that group did something just perpetuates the notion that they somehow are fabulous because they did something that anyone can do, no matter who they are. Canít we all just be viewed as equal? No one should be viewed as special.

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    Quote Originally Posted by JimmyAsheville View Post
    Does it really matter who is riding, male, female, trans, or those who identify as neither/both? Every time itís a big deal that some group other than white male heteros do something, it perpetuates the notion that itís a big deal. Itís not. Anyone can do whatever they choose to do. To exclaim that someone from this or that group did something just perpetuates the notion that they somehow are fabulous because they did something that anyone can do, no matter who they are. Canít we all just be viewed as equal? No one should be viewed as special.
    This isn't about anything other than asking questions of why more women don't commute, and what their reasons are. Fewer cars on the roads benefits everybody, so it's important to figure out how to get more people commuting. Women are more or less half of the population, yet significantly fewer women commute by bike. Addressing their reasons why benefits everybody. That's it. It's not about anyone being special or fabulous. It's about pointing at structural deficiencies in our transportation system.

    Identifying those deficiencies and developing smart alternatives is how things get better. We can all point to plenty of instances of "bike infrastructure gone wrong". I recently drove past a bike lane that was, no joke, about 15ft long. that doesn't help anybody. but someone is pointing to it and saying it's some kind of victory. someone is including it in an "amount of bike lanes built" number.

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    ^^ To the extent that the lower commuter cyling participation by women is a social, support, and safety in numbers issue, that article gives some hope. It appears that women are the exact people to address the issue. Encouraging such groups should be effective in increasing women riding to work.

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    I see PLENTY of women on bicycles here in NYC, especially in the warm weather. Today was about fifty degrees in the morning so I only saw dudes.

    A couple of years ago I was pedaling South from my job to the train to go home and stopped at a light next to a very attractive woman on her bike. I look over at her to give her the generic NY bike rider at a stoplight greeting and it was Scarlett Johanssen.
    Made my day.
    I like turtles

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    Female bike commuter here... I try to ride as many days as I can throughout the summer. Safety is absolutely a concern... my ride is primarily paved bike path with some lower speed neighbourhood streets but there is one busy intersection where I almost got clattered by someone who was trying to beat the light and made a left turn right in front of me. We also have a 3 feet law in NV and are allowed to take the lane, but it makes no difference how well within your rights you are if you're dead. Personally I would like to see more done to educate motorists on how to behave around cyclists, and law enforcement stings to catch offenders (similar to the pedestrian in crosswalk days where they bust people for not stopping).
    Ride like a girl! :cornut:

  35. #35
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    How to Get More Women Cycling in Cities

    I would say there is roughly the same number of women cyclists here (Vienna, Austria). And here are some reasons:

    -The city is in the top 10 bike friendly cities in the world, infrastructure vise, so women find it not as difficult to commute by bike;
    -Women tend to work in central areas of the city, where the streets are narrow and distances smaller;
    -Men tend to have jobs where they must take tools and protective gear/clothes to work;
    -Rarely women pick children from school (city is very safe and public transport very good. Besides, schools are in every neighborhood).
    -Men tend to work longer hours (they earn more money needed to own a car, and they also save time in commuting in that way);
    -Bike culture is more developed in general, and motorists are more careful, so women perceive less danger in commuting.



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