Monday, February 1, 2010
why don't women bike more
I have been wrestling with this question now for over 3 years. Ever since I started the Biker Chicks. When I first started this blog, I thought, oh goodie, lots of ladies will see the group and join it. Lots of ladies will bike with me.
This issue is discussed on other blogs as well, an excellent blog post, http://bikeportland.org/2010/01/12/editorial-my-year-as-a-woman-in-a-city-of-bikes/ gives much insight into the problem.
I was out today on my bike. I bike on rather busy roads, lots of cars and awful road shoulders filled with litter and tons of stones from the winter snow crews. But I WAS OUT!! Yes, it can be intimidating, I almost got hit today, my error, not the car. But I managed to get out the way of the car and I survived.
We have no infrastructure either here in the West Chester, PA area. No place to park our bikes safely, no bike lanes, poor road shoulders and our fair share of hostile drivers. My son biked to our local health club. The club had no idea where he could lock his bike. They finally let him lock it inside to a bench. Apparently though, no one else has asked, if more folks asked, then maybe there would be a good safe place to lock a bike.
I will be 60 years old this June. So just seeing me on a bike is gonna be an odd sight. Not only am I old but female too.
I am a member of bike club. It has lots of members who are female but it is still predominately a male bike club. The good riders, the A and B groups have posted rides all winter long. These men get out and bike and bike a lot. They bundle up and they ride. Man do they ride!
For all the crying women have done about equality, all that falls apart when it comes to biking. I hear:
1. the roads are too scary
2. the cars are too scary
3. i'm scared
4. i can't
5. i won't
6. i hate cold weather
7. i hate hot weather
8. i look stupid on a bike
9. i hate the clothes
10.i cannot afford a good bike (somehow men can)
11. i'm out of shape
12. i like my health club better
13. i like spinning class better
14. i don't have the time
The men in my bike club have never uttered one of the complaints above. But when it comes to excuse making, women win the contest hands down.
Just because the infrastructure does not exist to support biking, does not mean you cannot bike. If you sit around hoping for it, you are going to spend a lot of time sitting. Come on ladies, get off of your butts and come out and bike.