Beauty and the Bike

A new project in the UK aimed at getting girls on bikes has yielded liberating results.

"This is a project that meets girls on their own terms, and that doesn't minimize or denigrate the importance of peer pressure in the choices they make."

Full Story: Girls Try Bikes, Discover New Freedom

Comments

Comments

Riding in High Heels

Awesome story and video! Girls feel safe and pretty and cool and fashionable on their Dutch street bikes. U.S. cities can also learn a lot from Bremen bike path design. Hey, Project Runway--do a fashion competition featuring bikes!

Mary E. Reynolds, AICP

That's a good idea!

That's a good idea! Surprised Project Runway hasn't done it already.

What's the deal?

Planetizen is the first place I have ever come across the notion that gender is an issue in cycling. Girls and boys bike, as do men and women. If more men bike, it's probably because biking was more of a male pasttime during childhood than it was for women.

The only valid concern I have heard is re that of creating safe routes at night.

I have never known of a girl or woman being ostracized or teased or discouraged from riding a bike.

The gender imbalance in

The gender imbalance in cycling in N. America has always been a big issue, but it has come more to the forefront recently as the links between safe cycling and rectifying that imbalance have become more well known.

HRPlanner wrote "If more men

HRPlanner wrote "If more men bike, it's probably because biking was more of a male pasttime"

There is no "If" about it. BicyclingInfo.org cites this statistic: "While trips by bicycle make up 1.2 percent of total trips made by men, bicycling accounts for only 0.5 percent of trips made by women (Pucher and Renne, 2003)."

That video wasn't arguing that women don't bike, or that women get teased for biking. It was simply recognizing that FACT that far fewer women bike than men. The most reasonable explanation to me is this:

1) biking is risky.
2) the biking population consists of the more risk-inclined portions of the population.
3) men are more likely to take risks than women, so it's no surprise that more men bike than women bike.

Re

I suppose I will say that planners should just emphasize creating safe routes in general, for both women and men. Worrying about how many women are biking shouldn't be such a priority.

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