What is stopping women from cycling?

mercalia
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What is stopping women from cycling?

Postby mercalia » 21 Jan 2018, 4:19pm

What is stopping women from cycling?

"About 50% fewer women than men cycle twice a week or more, according to transport charity Sustrans, and when it comes to cycling on the roads, the number drops again."

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-leicestershire-41737483

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gaz
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Re: What is stopping women from cycling?

Postby gaz » 21 Jan 2018, 4:51pm

It's got nothing to do with vorsprung durch technic you know ...

gnvqsos
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Re: What is stopping women from cycling?

Postby gnvqsos » 21 Mar 2018, 8:18pm

I do not think anything is stopping women from cycling,but I would suggest many women find cycling incompatible with their self-image.For example many women choose to have their nails manicured,and spend more £ than men on hair cuts,make-up and other things which they seem to believe will make them more attractive and the subject of envious comments.i know few women capable of mending punctures but with kevlar protected tyres this hardly explains the statistical anomoly.And with famous cyclists such Barbara Burton and George North's girlfriend providing role models I would have expected far more women to be on the road.I know many women with beehive hair are not keen on wearing a helmet and manufacturers could use more appealling colours to gain more custom.I know in the past many women joined cycling groups to meet a partner-perhaps Salsa and spped-dating has displaced a 30 minute session at Herne Hill as a means of putting a little colour in your cheeks?

Thornyone
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Re: What is stopping women from cycling?

Postby Thornyone » 22 Mar 2018, 8:18am

The complaint I’ve heard from a lot of women is that cycling is “too dangerous”. I am not sure whether it is a real reason or an excuse. Perhaps surprisingly, one of the few female cyclists amongst my former work colleagues was a very feminine young Asian woman with a nice head of hair, so doubly unusual in being a woman and ethnically Indian. (I see very few cycling Asians of either sex in my city, where Asians now outnumber “white Bristish” - detestable phrase!). But she was from Toronto, so maybe that explains things?
I see quite a lot of females jogging, and using my sports centre/pool, so reluctance to get sweaty or disturb the coiffure is maybe actually less of an issue than the perceived dangerousness of cycling.

Tangled Metal
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Re: What is stopping women from cycling?

Postby Tangled Metal » 22 Mar 2018, 8:30am

They don't own bikes? If women want to ride they do no matter what the perception of cycling is. My partner cycles but she feels it's dangerous. She loves cycling more than she feels the danger. Risk analysis leaves her favouring cycling.

Having said that she's cycled in probably more dangerous places than North Lancashire. Well if you exclude Silverdale to Arnside on a may bank holiday that is. Too many city types visiting the day / weekend without any clue on how to safely drive narrow lanes where your have to wait sometimes to let others through. Those idiots are dangerous for car drivers too.

Tangled Metal
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Re: What is stopping women from cycling?

Postby Tangled Metal » 22 Mar 2018, 8:43am

BTW I'm not a woman so my post is highly irrelevant to answering the question. In the often gender anonymous world of the internet, have we had any women answering the question yet? Also, have we had any non - cycling women on here addressing the query?

I suspect that you'd get more relevant answers from a forum that is more general and with a higher proportion of female members like mumsnet. There you'll probably get women who want to cycle but are put off by whatever their reasons are. Their answer might shed light on this topic.

Having said that I do not think that any comments made have no value. I just feel we ask the wrong demographic by posting on a cycling website dominated by men (my best guess on the gender mix in this forum). We're not experiencing what the ppl we need to hear views from are experiencing. We cycle and we're male. How can we really add much value other than by googling some research on the topic and linking to it?

Mavis2016
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Re: What is stopping women from cycling?

Postby Mavis2016 » 22 Mar 2018, 1:53pm

I

Yvonned
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Re: What is stopping women from cycling?

Postby Yvonned » 22 Mar 2018, 2:14pm

I’m a 68 year old Cycling woman who has been Cycling roughly 55 years. I commuted to work until I retired as well as touring. I still ride decent distances totalling 2.500 miles a year.

I admit to getting a tad frustrated of my female friends who will not cycle, who perceive danger without even trying it.

I’m not sure really what can be done to address the concerns some women have, because perception and media reporting has a strong hold.

I think it’s a matter of personal confidence necessary in all walks of life not just cycling. Perhaps we should be encouraging all our toddlers, male and female to take risks, something not encouraged these days. By risks I mean calcuated risks by the responsible adults, who are on alert to the possibilities and gradually encouraging self reliance of the youngsters.

In this way girls, boys, teenagers, young people have the opportunity to grow in confidence and face the challenges of life with gusto not with fear. Perhaps then we may have more women cycling, even more people Cycling.

Mavis2016
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Re: What is stopping women from cycling?

Postby Mavis2016 » 22 Mar 2018, 5:54pm

I seem to have deleted my earlier post. I don’t actually enjoy cycling on my own on country roads so only cycle when I have got someone else to ride with.

I am a 50 year old mathematician and understand stats and risks, perception or otherwise, but I simply don’t enjoy cycling alone.

The groups near me are either fast and furious or a ten mile drive from home which is more time than I have available. The local club has a regular ride of 35 miles and it seems that they are carbon speed types with matching clothing. I am not one of those.

I am collecting my new Brompton tomorrow and will be reliant upon it (am selling a car) so don’t mind cycling in and around town but I just don’t enjoy cycling alone enough to choose that over walking my dog in beautiful countryside on a weekend morning.

We spend two or three weeks touring each year and I love it. We choose our location based on it being good for cycling.

I wish I did like it more as I could do with being a bit fitter, but I don’t.

If I had a cycling friend I would ride more but I hate the close and fast overtaking by cars I encounter on the roads, and, I get a bit bored to be honest. Same old scenery on a ride from home.

Nothing to do with manicures or hair or whatever nonsense was mentioned above which is more than a bit patronising .... Especially given the male propensity to emulate someone cycling in the the Tour de Yorkshire with a swish carbon frame and matching colour coordinated accessories including £££ clothing - sweeping generalisation to compare to manicures and hairdos right there.

Edited to add that I am about to do the ‘breeze’ leader course so that I can set up a local regular ride and create a local network. It doesn’t need to be women only but that seemed like the easiest option to get something out there.

gnvqsos
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Re: What is stopping women from cycling?

Postby gnvqsos » 23 Mar 2018, 6:34am

Hello Mavis

I am delighted that you enjoy cycling but find it hard to do so alone.Why not try riding on bridleways where there are fewer cars?i really do not understand why cycling with another person will protect you from cars,or is it protectionn from predators you seek?I do regret you feel patronised-you are no doubt one of those women who combine a love of cycling with an interest in your appearance.Why not act as a pilot for a blind tandem rider?That will allow you to enjoy cycling and do something for someane less advantaged?It might even lead to a fantastic relationship which will endure into imminent old age.

Mavis2016
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Re: What is stopping women from cycling?

Postby Mavis2016 » 23 Mar 2018, 7:06am

You misunderstand, I don’t find it hard to do alone, cycling alone is not any harder than cycling with another person. I simply don’t enjoy it enough to make it a big part of how I spend my leisure time.

I would be really interested to know what on earth an interest in my appearance has got to do with pedalling on a bike?

I wonder if anyone at cycling UK wonders why this section of this forum is generally avoided by women and has less than two dozen posts in its history.

Perhaps because there are indeed very few gender specific issues in cycling or perhaps because of the patronising attitude of some posters.

You need a bike that fits and the ability and willingness to pedal.

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pjclinch
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Re: What is stopping women from cycling?

Postby pjclinch » 23 Mar 2018, 9:17am

Mavis2016 wrote:You misunderstand, I don’t find it hard to do alone, cycling alone is not any harder than cycling with another person. I simply don’t enjoy it enough to make it a big part of how I spend my leisure time.


Cycling is more than just a leisure activity, or rather it should be.

in NL cycling is a simple and effective way of getting around, so that's why people use it to get around. Actually slightly more women then men. So perhaps taking away the barriers to it being normal will see more people in general take it up, more women amongst them.

Things that aren't normal about cycling, as compared to the normal that is driving in the UK would include: being pilloried in the media as an out-group; association with an Outgroup characterised by people with whom many have little in common; a frequently unpleasant, dangerous seeming environment (close passes by trucks, buses and vans aren't anything like fun for even the most experienced cyclists who are quite committed to it as a means of transport); heavy promotion of a "uniform" (starting with Highway Code Rule 59 and going on to public peer pressure) that is not something most people want to wear. There are more, but that's some for starters. It isn't exclusive to any particular sex.

(By way of a minor rejoinder to the patronising guff about nails etc., attending a recent presentation on high school work experience recently the chap from the council fronting it showed some slides of a couple of girls doing block paving with a building firm. Their overseer had pointed out that they'd been far more willing to get their hands dirty and not worry about the effects of building site helmets on their hair than any of the boys in the same placement. For another rejoinder, check out images of cycling in NL and Denmark where women are not having any more apparent problems than men in looking how they want to look. Really folks, this is 2018, not 1978)
Often seen riding a bike around Dundee...

Altissima
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Re: What is stopping women from cycling?

Postby Altissima » 23 Mar 2018, 10:49am

gnvqsos wrote:I do not think anything is stopping women from cycling,but I would suggest many women find cycling incompatible with their self-image.For example many women choose to have their nails manicured,and spend more £ than men on hair cuts,make-up and other things which they seem to believe will make them more attractive and the subject of envious comments.i know few women capable of mending punctures but with kevlar protected tyres this hardly explains the statistical anomoly.And with famous cyclists such Barbara Burton and George North's girlfriend providing role models I would have expected far more women to be on the road.I know many women with beehive hair are not keen on wearing a helmet and manufacturers could use more appealling colours to gain more custom.I know in the past many women joined cycling groups to meet a partner-perhaps Salsa and spped-dating has displaced a 30 minute session at Herne Hill as a means of putting a little colour in your cheeks?


Lots of stereotyping of women here! I have assumed that Barbara Burton was the less well known sister of Beryl Burton and that you mean Rebecca James, the Olympian when you referred to 'George North's girlfriend. Perhaps we could refer instead to Rebecca James' boyfriend?

One of the reasons that many women are put off joining cycling clubs is the attitude that you display, that we are somehow a different species and the poor relation of men. For goodness sake, stop being patronising. This is 2018 not 1958

reohn2
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Re: What is stopping women from cycling?

Postby reohn2 » 23 Mar 2018, 11:21am

gnvqsos wrote:I do not think anything is stopping women from cycling,but I would suggest many women find cycling incompatible with their self-image.For example many women choose to have their nails manicured,and spend more £ than men on hair cuts,make-up and other things which they seem to believe will make them more attractive and the subject of envious comments.i know few women capable of mending punctures but with kevlar protected tyres this hardly explains the statistical anomoly.And with famous cyclists such Barbara Burton and George North's girlfriend providing role models I would have expected far more women to be on the road.I know many women with beehive hair are not keen on wearing a helmet and manufacturers could use more appealling colours to gain more custom.I know in the past many women joined cycling groups to meet a partner-perhaps Salsa and spped-dating has displaced a 30 minute session at Herne Hill as a means of putting a little colour in your cheeks?

Oh dear :oops:
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I cycle therefore I am.

reohn2
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Re: What is stopping women from cycling?

Postby reohn2 » 23 Mar 2018, 11:32am

FWIW,the single biggest obsticle to cycling for anyone not just women is the fear of being hit and injured by motor traffic,however statistically improbable that may be,when people don't feel safe they retreat to a place where they do.
That place in a transport sense is the car.
The UK is a backward nation with a serious class problem,demonstrated and played out on the country's roads,where cyclists are tolerated at best and despised to the point of physical harm at worst,and a judicial and political system for the most part caring nought for us.Until that system and thought pattern is addressed things will remain as they are.
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I cycle therefore I am.