Not just for men. Not just for women.-
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  1. #1
    Moderator Moderator
    Reputation: mtbxplorer's Avatar
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    Dec 2009

    Not just for men. Not just for women.

    Also, give a shout-out here, fellow female bikecommuters.

  2. #2
    since 4/10/2009
    Reputation: Harold's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
    Really good article.

    The article hit on a lot of reasons why my wife is not comfortable bike commuting. She is NOT COMFORTABLE with the whole "vehicular cycling" thing. She just doesn't have the kind of attitude and aggressiveness necessary for that sort of thing. Painted bike lanes still make her nervous. She likes actual separated facilities like greenway paths and protected bike lanes.

    Also that expectation to show up for work "already presentable" has been a factor. Though nowadays, that's less of a factor than the fact that she works all kinds of wild hours (yesterday morning, she finished up a 16+hr overnight shift and today she has another 12+hr daytime shift) and is not comfortable riding at night, at all.

    Looks like she is going to participate in the local "Little Bellas" program this year, though, to mentor young girls/ladies (I have no idea what age group she'll be working with at this point) on the mtb.

    I am seeing some pretty impressive progress related to women and bikes in recent years, though. What I see is probably due, in large part, to what I see a few friends of mine, in particular, doing. I have a few friends who are doing some major cool work getting women on bikes and in the outdoors. A couple are getting more involved with engaging the gender-nonconforming community this year. One woman I know started getting really passionate about building trails recently, and she's managed to start increasing other women's attendance at trail building events, when the men who tried had failed for years. Most of these women I know have become involved with various manufacturers' "women's advocate" programs. Most of the ones I've seen have been pretty mtb-focused, with a little bit of the traditional "road group ride" from time to time. It would be nice to see more inclusion of other types of riding in these programs.

    It does seem like having that sort of grassroots energy from pioneers with the right personality to engage others is necessary to crush some of the social limits behind getting women (and any other underrepresented community, tbh) on bikes.

    Unfortunately, that doesn't exactly address any of the pervasive infrastructure problems directly. Maybe getting more people who want to ride bikes will generate enough pressure to offer better infrastructure, but IME, it seems like building the infrastructure first generates the interest in cycling moreso than the other way around. For as popular as cycling in its various forms are in Asheville, NC (my new home), I've been surprised at how terrible the cycling facilities in the city are. I've seen a plan for a fairly nice network of greenway paths, but all it is so far is a plan.

  3. #3
    mtbr member
    Reputation: BrianMc's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    There were so few cyclists on the roads and streets here in 2009, that I got the are you scared question as a male. So I think the stepping out of the pack's sense of normal with the special restrictions some apply to women, is the right take on that sort of question.

  4. #4
    Class Clown
    Reputation: dundundata's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2009
    My commute requires a certain level of crazy. I come across both sexes, but they are few and far between. There are certain cities that are more cycle friendly and parts where bikers actually thrive and basically have their own traffic lanes.

    We had some old RR tracks that were turned into a bike path and it has gotten alot of folks outdoors jogging and biking.

    So it definitely helps for cities to promote biking with bike lanes, better kept roads and making it safer. If you build it mentality.

    I bet there are alot of people who would like to commute but don't want to deal with cars.

  5. #5
    Moderator Moderator
    Reputation: mtbxplorer's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    I enjoyed the short vid, one woman's cycle commute, at the top of this story...
    What is stopping women from cycling? - BBC News

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