What is stopping women from cycling?

Vorpal
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Re: What is stopping women from cycling?

Postby Vorpal » 13 Mar 2019, 9:00am

I do think awavey has a point. I don't buy into the idea that one needs to sprint to compete with motor traffic, but lots of people do. John Franklin wrote something to that affect, though not using those words, in Cyclecraft (which I can't be bothered to look up at the moment).

The British government has encouraged this kind of thinking by focusing on vehicular cycling and training, instead of investing in cycle-friendly infrastructure.
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Re: What is stopping women from cycling?

Postby reohn2 » 13 Mar 2019, 9:13am

Vorpal wrote:.
The British government has encouraged this kind of thinking by focusing on vehicular cycling and training, instead of investing in cycle-friendly infrastructure.

I disagree,the British government completely out of focus on any kind of cycling other than how many medals pro cyclists bring home from the Olympics :?
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Re: What is stopping women from cycling?

Postby Vorpal » 13 Mar 2019, 9:25am

reohn2 wrote:
Vorpal wrote:.
The British government has encouraged this kind of thinking by focusing on vehicular cycling and training, instead of investing in cycle-friendly infrastructure.

I disagree,the British government completely out of focus on any kind of cycling other than how many medals pro cyclists bring home from the Olympics :?

That's a fair point, though I would argue that higher focus has been on motoring than anything related to cycling.

But I guess I should have been clearer, and said something like, 'When it comes to cycling, the British government have focused on...' because it gets talked about repeatedly. They make official policy about it. But words are cheap.
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Re: What is stopping women from cycling?

Postby reohn2 » 13 Mar 2019, 9:29am

Vorpal wrote:
reohn2 wrote:
Vorpal wrote:.
The British government has encouraged this kind of thinking by focusing on vehicular cycling and training, instead of investing in cycle-friendly infrastructure.

I disagree,the British government completely out of focus on any kind of cycling other than how many medals pro cyclists bring home from the Olympics :?

That's a fair point, though I would argue that higher focus has been on motoring than anything related to cycling.

But I guess I should have been clearer, and said something like, 'When it comes to cycling, the British government have focused on...' because it gets talked about repeatedly. They make official policy about it. But words are cheap.

I think we're in total agreement,in that the UK government couldn't give a monkey's for cycling or cyclists,I live in a backward country on so many levels it gets depressing at times.
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Re: What is stopping women from cycling?

Postby pjclinch » 13 Mar 2019, 12:08pm

Vorpal wrote:I do think awavey has a point. I don't buy into the idea that one needs to sprint to compete with motor traffic, but lots of people do. John Franklin wrote something to that affect, though not using those words, in Cyclecraft (which I can't be bothered to look up at the moment).


Don't have a copy to hand, but I'm pretty certain it does suggest that a good turn of speed can be useful. Which is correct, but "useful" and "essential" aren't the same thing. I do have a good turn of speed most of the time if needed, but if I've got a heavy load in the back of the 8-freight I won't be picking up any sprint bonus seconds, yet I can still "do" vehicular cycling with it.

Vorpal wrote:The British government has encouraged this kind of thinking by focusing on vehicular cycling and training, instead of investing in cycle-friendly infrastructure.


The key point being, I think, is it's very easy to say "cycling, yes, we have Bikeability now so box ticked, aren't we marvellous, hurrah" and move on to something "important". Training, especially as implemented in the UK, costs the government roughly zip. They provide a scheme where it's easy to flag up successes because nobody is looking at the long term effects (or rather, the lack thereof). Bikeability has the problem that it's clearly a Good Thing so people are positive about it, but in the bigger picture it's pretty much irrelevant as things stand. One, maybe two, cheers for Bikeability! It provides a useful leg-up for the sort of people who are going to be in the 2% of modal share anyway.

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Re: What is stopping women from cycling?

Postby mjr » 13 Mar 2019, 1:25pm

pjclinch wrote: The key point being, I think, is it's very easy to say "cycling, yes, we have Bikeability now so box ticked, aren't we marvellous, hurrah" and move on to something "important".

Except we don't have bike ability. Last I heard, Norfolk county council is still teaching its revised cycling proficiency in many schools, claiming national standard compliance (barely on paper, reportedly not in prescribe), the DfT seem impotent and it's a big ask to make something as double niche as this an election issue.
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Re: What is stopping women from cycling?

Postby pjclinch » 13 Mar 2019, 1:37pm

(deleted double post)
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Re: What is stopping women from cycling?

Postby pjclinch » 13 Mar 2019, 1:37pm

mjr wrote:
pjclinch wrote:The key point being, I think, is it's very easy to say "cycling, yes, we have Bikeability now so box ticked, aren't we marvellous, hurrah" and move on to something "important".

Except we don't have bike ability. Last I heard, Norfolk county council is still teaching its revised cycling proficiency in many schools, claiming national standard compliance (barely on paper, reportedly not in prescribe), the DfT seem impotent and it's a big ask to make something as double niche as this an election issue.


But they're Ticking A Box, that's what really matters! :(
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Re: What is stopping women from cycling?

Postby Wanlock Dod » 13 Mar 2019, 1:57pm

A series of Twitter posts by Rachel Aldred on why women don’t cycle.

Most of the first few posts seem to be about infrastructure issues.

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Re: What is stopping women from cycling?

Postby Bill Reynolds » 29 Mar 2019, 8:13am

How about this answer to the topic heading?..."Them selves"....??

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Re: What is stopping women from cycling?

Postby mjr » 29 Mar 2019, 9:28am

Bill Reynolds wrote:How about this answer to the topic heading?..."Them selves"....??

Simplistic and probably incorrect else all the money spent by governments on exhortations would have had more effect.
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Re: What is stopping women from cycling?

Postby reohn2 » 29 Mar 2019, 9:33am

Bill Reynolds wrote:How about this answer to the topic heading?..."Them selves"....??

Though strictly correct it doesn't offer a reason as to why.
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Re: What is stopping women from cycling?

Postby goddardsharon482 » 9 Apr 2019, 1:37pm

awavey wrote:no this is the thing that grinds my gears about this problem its like a perpetual groundhog day, the infrastructure we have in the UK is what largely determines what clothes you can wear to use it and what riders we end up with, so we end up with fit young men in lycra riding racing bikes because thats the only way people can ride fast enough & for sustained periods to feel safe enough to be mixing it with UK traffic on our roads. you have to be fit,strong and fast to survive, else youll be toast


I totally agree with this. I ride a hybrid bike, and when fit and at my best I can achieve the heady speeds of 12 - 15 mph on the flat, and could manage a handy burst of speed to pull away assertively from junctions. I have been off cycling for over a year due to ankle injuries and am now trying to get back into cycling my commute. Due to lack of fitness and trying to protect my still recovering injuries, my general speed is much lower and I can't do the burst of speed at junctions.

Now I really feel vulnerable because I can't assert my position in the road as I did before. Vehicles are more tempted to overtake because I'm slower, I can tell drivers get annoyed if I'm in their way of getting through the traffic tights before they change, etc.

Regarding perception of danger, I have been knocked off my bike before, resulting in a broken shoulder. It didn't stop me going back to cycling, but as far as my commute goes it is definitely the more dangerous option over the car or bus.

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Re: What is stopping women from cycling?

Postby Vorpal » 9 Apr 2019, 2:26pm

Bill Reynolds wrote:How about this answer to the topic heading?..."Them selves"....??

Because it's not true. Even if it were, it's not very helpful.

The thing is, it's not so much the gender disproportion that is a problem. That is merely a symptom.

The problem is that we enable the use of motor vehicles at the expense of active travel. The Dutch have a better balance, in that they have enabled cycling to a much greater extent than the British. There are areas in the UK where cycling has been better enabled, and in those places there is less discrepancy between genders in terms of numbers cycling.

It doesn't matter how many times government say they want to encourage active travel, if their action say otherwise. Currently, they spend billions to make bigger and better highways where cyclists are excluded in practice, if not law, while active travel gets peanuts. The situation on the roads in many areas is increasingly hostile, while the government have been endlessly running 'studies' and surveys about how to get more people cycling and implementing nothing.

Just because you or I want to cycle doesn't mean that many people think it's a valid form transport. And that won't change while the government tell them where the value is to be found.

But lets suppose for a moment that the only thing stopping anyone form cycling is themselves. How do we get more people on bikes? Telling them that they should? That's what the goverment have been doing for yonks. Why doens't it work?
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Re: What is stopping women from cycling?

Postby mjr » 9 Apr 2019, 3:55pm

goddardsharon482 wrote:I totally agree with this. I ride a hybrid bike, and when fit and at my best I can achieve the heady speeds of 12 - 15 mph on the flat, and could manage a handy burst of speed to pull away assertively from junctions. I have been off cycling for over a year due to ankle injuries and am now trying to get back into cycling my commute. Due to lack of fitness and trying to protect my still recovering injuries, my general speed is much lower and I can't do the burst of speed at junctions.

Now I really feel vulnerable because I can't assert my position in the road as I did before. Vehicles are more tempted to overtake because I'm slower, I can tell drivers get annoyed if I'm in their way of getting through the traffic tights before they change, etc.

I think that's more of a feeling than anything else. I know what it's like to be slower than usual, for various reasons (injury, pulling a trailer...), and you do feel a lot more variable... however, as a driver, you don't really distinguish cyclists by speed that much apart from the full-on aero time-trial-style riders who can overtake you in 20mph zones. The difference between 15, 12, 10 and 8mph is too small to notice for drivers normally doing nearly 40. So you can assert your position on the road as before, except for the "in the way" feeling holding you back. I know that overcoming that feeling is easier said than done, of course.

And yes, when I'm going slow, I'll ride the noisy urban more-cycleways route rather than the slightly shorter country lanes because then I don't have to deal with "fear from the rear" as much and it makes it a happier ride. I think it's widespread enough a feeling to justify marking out more cycleways with posts and kerbs, but I know others disagree vociferously.
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