What is stopping women from cycling?

awavey
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Re: What is stopping women from cycling?

Postby awavey » 5 Mar 2019, 1:07am

reohn2 wrote:Here's a thought,I wonder what percentage of cyclists in the UK use a camera to record their everyday journey,especially in cities,and why?
Compare that percentage figue with NL cyclists.


Id be amazed if anyone in the NL felt they needed a camera to ride a bike with, whereas I feel in the UK its become a virtual necessity as much as just having lights to ride in the dark with is, certainly on commutes in rush hour, simply because of the amount of daily aggression of motorists you encounter and have to deal with and its your only way of feeling you have some control of those situations

I know I can drive my car to work on a route, and feel very safe in my car bubble & chilled out when I arrive, and the other road users have barely bothered me, and certainly never felt I needed a dashcam

but I know if I ride my bike on the same route, same road users, Ill be dealing with close passes of the order of 12-18 inches as a matter of course, a bunch of must get in front overtakes, some of these will be non-deliberate, some will be absolutely deliberate to try and scare me, some of these will be cars, vans or worse buses,tipper trucks or hgvs. Ill less frequently but it still happens just have random abuse shouted at me, and probably about once every 2-3months on average Ill encounter someone driving so recklessly around me, Ill be convinced Ive run out of my 9 lives finally and they are about to knock me off.

unsurprisingly I dont often arrive at work as happy and as chilled out on my bike as I do in my car, in fact some days I dread the ride because I know where the danger points are almost by pedal stroke now and sometimes a journey can feel like "can I just make it beyond this point without a problem" which isnt anyway to have to ride IMO.

and obviously I talk to friends about riding bicycles, try to encourage, tell them all the good nice things about it, but occasionally I have to vent about it too, and unsurprisingly when you give them the lowdown of swapping your safe car bubble where no-one seems to bother you, with something that feels like its often a mixture of Mad Max meets the Hunger Games, and then you tell them you have to video your rides because of it...unsurprisingly you get very few converts.

and I think Im always more surprised that people dont get that, than I am surprised that its a thing to begin with.

brynpoeth
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Re: What is stopping women from cycling?

Postby brynpoeth » 5 Mar 2019, 5:11am

Best to avoid cycling on the road altogether (is that capitulating?)
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mjr
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Re: What is stopping women from cycling?

Postby mjr » 5 Mar 2019, 8:17am

awavey wrote:Id be amazed if anyone in the NL felt they needed a camera to ride a bike with, whereas I feel in the UK its become a virtual necessity [...]

I feel that's overgeneralising. Many places in the UK are fine, so you see few cameras on bikes. I keep mine mainly so I don't need to stop to photograph things I see.

but I know if I ride my bike on the same route,

That's often a mistake. In good places, there are better routes open to bikes. One local campaigner here was told by someone that they didn't ride to work because the car jams made it unpleasantly slow and fumey. The campaigner showed them a level crossing and cycle-only route that was a quarter the length with no jams. The inevitable motorist mistakes and avoidable aggression becomes irrelevant.

If your town isn't like that yet, please keep pushing your local government to fix it. If my precursors hadn't been doing that for years before me, I'm not sure I would have moved here. It need not take years, by the way: I was sent a picture last week of Loulé Adapta works, where they're building lightweight cycleways at an astonishing rate. It can improve quickly if political will appears.
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pjclinch
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Re: What is stopping women from cycling?

Postby pjclinch » 5 Mar 2019, 9:20am

mjr wrote:
awavey wrote:Id be amazed if anyone in the NL felt they needed a camera to ride a bike with, whereas I feel in the UK its become a virtual necessity [...]

I feel that's overgeneralising. Many places in the UK are fine, so you see few cameras on bikes. I keep mine mainly so I don't need to stop to photograph things I see.


Fair comment. I feel absolutely no need of a camera in Dundee, but I think it could be reasonably argued that Jeremy Vine has shown their utility in The Big Smoke.

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reohn2
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Re: What is stopping women from cycling?

Postby reohn2 » 5 Mar 2019, 9:50am

mjr wrote:
awavey wrote:Id be amazed if anyone in the NL felt they needed a camera to ride a bike with, whereas I feel in the UK its become a virtual necessity [...]

I feel that's overgeneralising. Many places in the UK are fine, so you see few cameras on bikes. I keep mine mainly so I don't need to stop to photograph things I see.

but I know if I ride my bike on the same route,

That's often a mistake. In good places, there are better routes open to bikes. One local campaigner here was told by someone that they didn't ride to work because the car jams made it unpleasantly slow and fumey. The campaigner showed them a level crossing and cycle-only route that was a quarter the length with no jams. The inevitable motorist mistakes and avoidable aggression becomes irrelevant.

If your town isn't like that yet, please keep pushing your local government to fix it. If my precursors hadn't been doing that for years before me, I'm not sure I would have moved here. It need not take years, by the way: I was sent a picture last week of Loulé Adapta works, where they're building lightweight cycleways at an astonishing rate. It can improve quickly if political will appears.

I ride for pleasure and know almost every quiet lane,short cut and trail within a 30mile radius of where I live and try to avoid busy roads but it makes no difference,cars for it'smainly cars,cause me the worst problem with attempted bullying and bad and dangerous manoeuvres.
As for infrastructure,it's a joke where I live and I've too much on my plate to get involved in cycle campaigning that would bounce of a LA that's so strapped for cash it can't maintain the roads let alone build infrastructure for cycling that they think will never be used.

EDIT,BTW and a CG who appoints a transport minister that couldn't arrange the proverbial in a brewery
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mjr
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Re: What is stopping women from cycling?

Postby mjr » 5 Mar 2019, 2:29pm

reohn2 wrote:As for infrastructure,it's a joke where I live and I've too much on my plate to get involved in cycle campaigning that would bounce of a LA that's so strapped for cash it can't maintain the roads let alone build infrastructure for cycling that they think will never be used.

There are grants available to build infrastructure for cycling and doing so returns over £5 for every £1 spent, while if they keep on throwing money after cars, each of which doing thousands of times the damage of a bike, the roads will just keep getting worse and worse and worse, so building cycling infrastructure could help to balance the transport budget if done wisely... but I realise not everyone has time to do much. I'll still try to keep asking nicely though :)
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reohn2
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Re: What is stopping women from cycling?

Postby reohn2 » 5 Mar 2019, 3:22pm

mjr wrote:
reohn2 wrote:As for infrastructure,it's a joke where I live and I've too much on my plate to get involved in cycle campaigning that would bounce of a LA that's so strapped for cash it can't maintain the roads let alone build infrastructure for cycling that they think will never be used.

There are grants available to build infrastructure for cycling and doing so returns over £5 for every £1 spent, while if they keep on throwing money after cars, each of which doing thousands of times the damage of a bike, the roads will just keep getting worse and worse and worse, so building cycling infrastructure could help to balance the transport budget if done wisely... but I realise not everyone has time to do much. I'll still try to keep asking nicely though :)

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Tangled Metal
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Re: What is stopping women from cycling?

Postby Tangled Metal » 5 Mar 2019, 3:41pm

Never needed nor wanted a camera on my bike. Prefer not to rely on footage after the fact. Not in the big city so perhaps not as dangerous. Certainly I've never felt the danger was bad. Certainly you don't need a camera it's a want not a need.

My partner feels the danger of vehicles and complains about how dangerous it is but also says how much she enjoys her hour and quarter commutes each way.

awavey
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Re: What is stopping women from cycling?

Postby awavey » 9 Mar 2019, 12:23am

mjr wrote:
awavey wrote:Id be amazed if anyone in the NL felt they needed a camera to ride a bike with, whereas I feel in the UK its become a virtual necessity [...]

I feel that's overgeneralising. Many places in the UK are fine, so you see few cameras on bikes. I keep mine mainly so I don't need to stop to photograph things I see.

but I know if I ride my bike on the same route,

That's often a mistake. In good places, there are better routes open to bikes. One local campaigner here was told by someone that they didn't ride to work because the car jams made it unpleasantly slow and fumey. The campaigner showed them a level crossing and cycle-only route that was a quarter the length with no jams. The inevitable motorist mistakes and avoidable aggression becomes irrelevant.


I was just trying to illustrate the point about whats stopping women from cycling, you make choices based on how you experience a chosen mode of getting around, by car the route to work as an example is decidedly drama and harassment free and relatively free of concern, by bike its challenging in ways that arent very nice or that comfortable, so what are you going to do, eat the ice cream or eat the ryvita ?

I hadnt cycled much in the last week as Im trying to shift a bad cold at the moment, but today was my first day back on the bike after a fairly relaxed week of driving with no major or even minor dramas to report, and even ignoring the normal level of rubbish I expect to deal with on the bike, close passes/left hooks are really just the norm, I must have have been only inches away from getting clipped/hit by a car who chose to overtake me through a zebra crossing that has a centre pedestrian refuge which becomes a pinch point.

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Wanlock Dod
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Re: What is stopping women from cycling?

Postby Wanlock Dod » 9 Mar 2019, 8:06am

Generally the only people who even feel the need for a helmet in The Netherlands are enthusiasts, it definitely seems to be part of the uniform more than anything else. The numbers of utility cyclists wearing helmets is extremely small. Everybody is riding on the same infrastructure so the actual risks must be fairly similar for both groups.

How to get more women cycling in cities

I read a comment on this article about how it is not possible to cycle in skirts and heels, and that carrying luggage is out of the question on a bike. It reminded me of riding through a Dutch town on a tour and being overtaken by a young lady in a short skirt and heels, she didn’t want to wait behind us slow tourists so rode down the kerb onto the road and cruised past before pulling back onto the cycle path, all whilst touching up her makeup. I suppose that if you have always driven a car and only ever see young fit men in Lycra riding racing bikes it can have quite an effect on what you believe to be possible.

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The utility cyclist
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Re: What is stopping women from cycling?

Postby The utility cyclist » 11 Mar 2019, 7:46pm

Start with the parents of young girls, stop making them think they have to swaddle their kids with helmets and hi-vis, this is NOT how you normalise cycling. This immediately makes cycling out to be dangerous.
Next, as parents, stop talking your kids including little miss, to school in your car, take the time to cycle with them to school, get them to be independent from an early age, to cycle on their own or with friends. Write to your school and local authority and tell them you demand safe routes for kids to get to school by bike (and/or foot) and that means removing motor/motorists from the existing infra, you don't need segregated lanes, the lanes are there, it's just that motors/motorists (including the very parents that need to change their habits) are hogging it all to themselves and making it unusable for little miss.
THIS is where you start encouraging women to cycle in cities, THIS is what needs to happen before everything else because without the foundations from a young age you're simply producing more women (and men) who think that getting places is done by personal pollution makers all the time!

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Re: What is stopping women from cycling?

Postby Vorpal » 11 Mar 2019, 10:22pm

The utility cyclist wrote:Start with the parents of young girls, stop making them think they have to swaddle their kids with helmets and hi-vis, this is NOT how you normalise cycling. This immediately makes cycling out to be dangerous.
Next, as parents, stop talking your kids including little miss, to school in your car, take the time to cycle with them to school, get them to be independent from an early age, to cycle on their own or with friends. Write to your school and local authority and tell them you demand safe routes for kids to get to school by bike (and/or foot) and that means removing motor/motorists from the existing infra, you don't need segregated lanes, the lanes are there, it's just that motors/motorists (including the very parents that need to change their habits) are hogging it all to themselves and making it unusable for little miss.
THIS is where you start encouraging women to cycle in cities, THIS is what needs to happen before everything else because without the foundations from a young age you're simply producing more women (and men) who think that getting places is done by personal pollution makers all the time!

While I agree with the first couple of points, the rest has been the 'strategy' for the last 50 years or so, and it's gotten us where we are, now.

We need much more drastic measures to get any significant numbers of anyone out on bikes. Although I guess we can just wait for congestion to get bad enough that cycling is faster.
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pjclinch
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Re: What is stopping women from cycling?

Postby pjclinch » 12 Mar 2019, 8:57am

The utility cyclist wrote:Start with the parents of young girls...


I don't see any need to make a particular distinction for girls. Normalise cycling for everyone and "everyone" is ~ 50% female. We haven't normalised driving for women with special campaigns to encourage girls to drive when they grow up, we've normalised it by making it relatively easy.

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reohn2
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Re: What is stopping women from cycling?

Postby reohn2 » 12 Mar 2019, 9:19am

I see all the points in the last three posts.
IMo the problem is that whilst localised pollution kills and injures many indirectly and many more directly caused by motoring.There is no measures in place to stop it or at least cut it to an absolute minimum,public transport generally is dire with a few good areas,but cycling generally isn't encouraged by government both national and local.Until there's a complete change of mind from the top down there would be any changes from the bottom up and we'll go on choking and killing ourselves as a result.
The transport system needs a big re think,particularly at local travel level.
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Tangled Metal
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Re: What is stopping women from cycling?

Postby Tangled Metal » 12 Mar 2019, 9:40am

Start with the parents. I very kids if parents who cycle commute will also cycle commute. If parents don't ride then kids probably won't ride.

Last year in my kids school they ran cycling lessons. My partner helped out. Our son turned up and raced around the cones at speed started to do tricks then got sent to the other side of the playground to ride. That he did.

He got joined by his classmates as the learnt to ride or to ride well enough to be left to their own devices. Second up was a girl then his best friend then a mix of boys and girls.

The last were still learning. They were the ones who's parents left their bike at school because it never got used at home. The reason? They lived on a main road or had other issues I suspect but don't know about.

My point being the biggest influence on EYE kids riding bikes is whether it gets parental support. Kids love it but they need the support of parents to take them to a safe place to ride and learn to ride. After that it's all about parents normalising it for their kids IMHO.

That happened with our parents. My dad was once a very keen cyclist. Family life stopped his racing bit he still took me and my sister out riding. We'd be dead when we got back. And my sister was once crying in pain after 3 hours hard riding as a teenager but she still loved riding and often used her bike instead of car fit shopping Pre-family.

Right now her family no longer rides. Other sports have taken over. We are cycling mad still. He's 6 and has done 3 cycle camping tours already. He cycles to school every day.

My point is simple, develop cycling as a lifestyle then bring your kids up like that. Whatever gender they are.

As to the rest of the population? Well most are a dead loss because of attitude or fear of traffic. Sorting out attitudes needs a lot of commitment and probably enforcement of some kind. Sorting out fears means cycling infrastructure and separation of cyclists from other traffic IMHO.