CityCyclingEdinburgh Forum » Debate!

"Why are more women cycling?"

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  1. chdot
    Admin

  2. wee folding bike
    Member

    The picture of a Pashley on the linked Stylist web page is the wrong way round. Chains are (almost) always on the right.

    Of course the Riverside Museum in Glasgow made the same mistake on their mural.

    Even I was annoyed about the pink and polkadot bits.

    Posted 1 year ago #
  3. Morningsider
    Member

    oh, you women with your shopping, fashion, magazines and 10 ton sparkly pink bikes...;)

    Posted 1 year ago #
  4. sallyhinch
    Member

    Don't really know where to start with this except to point out that when it comes to buying bikes and bits for bikes the sex that seems to be doing the most in the way of 'retail therapy' is not the women...

    was it even written by a woman? Whoever she is she was clearly too embarrassed to sign such a piece of patronising wibble. I think I'm going to go and lie down

    Posted 1 year ago #
  5. SRD
    Member

    maybe we need a pinkstinks campaign for grownups

    Posted 1 year ago #
  6. sallyhinch
    Member

    Someone in Sustrans has received a wee bit of feedback from me on this one. What's really disappointing about it, besides the fact that it's patronising and utter drivel, is the way Sustrans have missed a trick. Gender stereotyping aside, there *is* evidence that women are more worried about the safety of cycling than men, for lots of perfectly sound evidence-based reasons (more likely to have responsibility for children, more risk averse, less able to accelerate out of trouble, or at least believe they can accelerate out of trouble). So the fact that a rising share of riders on the NCN are women is a proper good news story for Sustrans - it shows that more women find their network safe to ride on, and that building things like the NCN actually does reach a crucial group of hard-to reach would-be cyclists. So do they trumpet their success? No, they put the credit on pink and polka dotted helmets.

    Grrr.

    Posted 1 year ago #
  7. It's worse than that Sally, they're actually saying the bike lanes are dangerous!

    From the final paragraph.

    "There are many, many reasons why women are cycling more. But I like to think that we are feeling more empowered. We're warriors; braving the bike lanes of London and Cardiff and Belfast and Glasgow and of all the big and small cities in between"

    Posted 1 year ago #
  8. chdot
    Admin

    "But I like to think that we are feeling more empowered"

    So, written by a women?

    It will be interesting to see how Sustrans respond to Sally and deal with this.

    This isn't about 'political correctness' Sustrans - even more than most organisations - should now how sensitive such things are - and IMPORTANT TO GET RIGHT.

    It has done a lot of work with school age girls, which could be seen as 'discriminatory' but probably justified.

    Posted 1 year ago #
  9. SRD
    Member

    While I agree 100% with everything sally said, to be controversial - they're probably just playing to the demographics/marketing. Just like there's an audience for chick flicks, and moonwalks in pink bras, and etc, there's a whole mob of women out there who probably would cycle if it involved accessorizing their outfits. (they're the ones teaching their kids to be princesses too)

    Posted 1 year ago #
  10. Morningsider
    Member

    SRD - yes, there is a clear demographic they are aiming to influence, well targeted by many advertisers. That doesn't change the fact that the main reasons women (and men) don't cycle are actual road danger and perceptions of danger.

    Only once the basics, such as safety, are tackled should the official (given SUSTRANS gets all its cash from official sources I consider they fall into that category) focus move to lifestyle issues, which are already adequately covered by cycle chic etc.

    Cycling needs to transcend fashion - it needs to be considered a logical choice for certain types of travel by a large amount of people and focusing on a certain category of fashion(s) is never going to achieve that. That is not to say that cycling cannot be marketed as stylish - but that is very different to fashion.

    Looking at the development of the cycling culture in Denmark and Holland, it is clear that the focus was very much on infrastructure development and road safety. I'm waffling now - I suppose what I'm saying is "build it and they will come - even women!".

    Posted 1 year ago #
  11. Uberuce
    Member

    Bike design(wide saddle, stepthrough frame) is changing?

    I think this bike has the article scooped there by around 50 years, but okay.


    Posted 1 year ago #
  12. wingpig
    Member

    I assume I must have been out of town during this purported period when "our bike lanes were a boys' club for lycra-clad racers".

    Posted 1 year ago #
  13. Kirst
    Member

    *despairs*

    Posted 1 year ago #
  14. Zenfrozt
    Member

    I'm all for the idea of cycle chic...but really could that article be any more patronising if it tried?
    *rolls eyes*

    *scuse me I'm off to spray paint my bike pink so it matches my nail varnish*

    Posted 1 year ago #
  15. chdot
    Admin

    "
    *scuse me I'm off to spray paint my bike pink so it matches my nail varnish*
    "

    That's just sooo silly.

    Why don't you paint your nails the same colour as the bike you intend to ride each day? (Like normal people.)

    Posted 1 year ago #
  16. Zenfrozt
    Member

    *grins* because white nails are like sooooo last year

    Posted 1 year ago #
  17. chdot
    Admin

    "because white nails are like sooooo last year"

    Time for a new bike to match your new outfit then.

    You do have a summer outfit??

    Posted 1 year ago #
  18. Kirst
    Member

    It's true, I did only spend several hundred pounds on a bike so I could have somewhere to put my lovely Basil panniers.

    Posted 1 year ago #
  19. Arellcat
    Member

    maybe we need a pinkstinks campaign for grownups

    I recently bought a windproof fleece cycle jersey. I think Kaputnik has a yellow one a bit like it, but mine is the black-and-SEARINGLY-HOT-PINK girlie version for curvaceous cyclists. Frankly, it's a bit too pink for my liking. The not-quite-as-windproof version is in a nice stately black with the odd bit of colour, and you could just about wear it off the bike. Not this one.

    I think the reason so many women cyclists end up wearing pink and lavender and baby blue cycle stuff is because that's all that fits. Black and gunmetal grey and dark green and navy are all nice, reserved, Edinburghy sorts of colours, but don't scream "Look at me! I'm a lady, and I'm cycling!"

    Excuse me while I find a paper bag.

    Posted 1 year ago #
  20. fimm
    Member

    I couldn't even read to the end of the <doesn't swear 'cos it is against the rules> article.

    Posted 1 year ago #
  21. friskiffla
    Member

    That was an unpleasant read. Like fimm I couldn't even get to the end.

    @Arellcat - the whole 'if you are a woman you can have any colour you like so long as it's pink' thing annoys me too. If it is pink and it is the only thing of its kind in the shop I still won't buy it.

    Having said that, my boyfriend's dad has a lovely old Mercian in a darkish pink colour...

    Posted 1 year ago #
  22. chdot
    Admin

    "

    la bête fauve (@fergiies)

    19/06/2012 13:36

    @CyclingEdin @sustrans I just painted half of my bike pink...*sigh* suppose I'll have to get the polka dots out now!

    "

    Posted 1 year ago #
  23. JessBeaton
    Member

    Hi everyone,

    I wrote the blog ‘Why Women Cycle’, yes I’m a woman and I seem to have caused quite a stir.

    It certainly wasn’t my intention to upset, patronise or belittle anyone. I understand that safety is a key priority for all cyclists, regardless of gender, and that there are reasons why women cycle that I didn’t cover in my piece.

    The views that I expressed in the blog are my own take on why we’re seeing an increase in women cycling. As a relative newcomer to Sustrans and to cycling, I was probably looking at it from a different perspective to many here.

    I think the face of cycling is changing and there are some women (not all, as you’ve made clear here) who are responding to cycling becoming more fashionable.

    I’m really keen to address the criticism that we failed to recognise the news value. Sustrans was very successful in gaining some great coverage about the increase in cycling on the National Cycle Network, with articles in The Metro, The Times, The Daily Telegraph and radio interviews on 15 different regional BBC stations.

    Jess Beaton

    Posted 1 year ago #
  24. alibali
    Member

    Sustrans in "Men not to Blame for Once" shocker!

    Posted 1 year ago #
  25. chdot
    Admin

    Welcome Jess

    I'm sure the friendly banter will continue when people have settled down for the evening (the ones that aren't still out drumming up custom for tomorrow's rides!)

    Hope you'll stick around.

    There are some useful comments on Sustrans routes here -

    http://citycyclingedinburgh.info/bbpress/topic.php?id=5836#post-74890

    'We' all know that Sustrans is a 'good thing' but no large org is perfect! (Even if it was in control of all the bits of routes that it brands!)

    Posted 1 year ago #
  26. sallyhinch
    Member

    Hi Jess, thanks for coming on here! Sorry if your first impression of CCE was a bit harsh, but it is something I for one feel strongly about. I appreciate you coming on and defending yourself and your article. I've read over my remarks again and I'm sorry I was intemperate. I shouldn't have been quite so dismissive and, frankly, rude. However, I do still stand by the sense of what I was saying.

    To explain my response in a little more measured way: I really don't think that fashion and lack of girly bicycles is what's really holding women back from cycling, and as far as I know there's no evidence that that's the case. Or if it is, then it's a really minor factor compared to the big things: like fear of traffic, the practicalities of combining cycling with transporting kids which, disproportionally, women tend to do, and the fact that women aren't generally as fast or as reckless as men (there are exceptions to all of these, of course, but these are the norms and there's statistical evidence to back them up). Recent research has shown that women cycle more where cycling is safer (see this ECF talk for instance. If Sustrans is seeing a rising proportion of women on its network then that's a great story for Sustrans - it's saying that Sustrans have succeeded in making the NCN feel safe enough for women to ride, regardless of the colour of their bicycle.

    Like a lot of women of my generation (70s kid) I'm extremely wary of attempts to generalise about women (or, indeed men) based on assumptions that we like shopping, pink, fashion, or anything girly. So the tone of your blog post was always bound to set my teeth on edge, but I appreciate that I'm swimming against the tide on that one. Had the fashion aspect and 'retail therapy' remarks been alongside some more serious analysis of the real issues preventing women cycling, then I wouldn't have complained - I know these things aren't aimed at me but at a more general readership. But simply implying that the only reason women don't cycle is because they can't find a pretty bike isn't just a matter of tone, it's actually counter-productive

    I was recently involved in organising Pedal on Parliament, and I'm also part of the GB Cycling Embassy, so I've spent a fair bit of time campaigning for more money for the sort of infrastructure they have in the Netherlands - where, incidentally, 55% of bike journeys are by women. Unfortunately, far too much spending on cycling in this country goes to things like persuading people to cycle, making it 'fashionable' and publicity campaigns, despite the fact that there's very little evidence any of those things work. If an organisation like Sustrans (which I should say I think is a very good thing) is joining in with articles implying all it takes is a polka-dot helmet to get people cycling, then why would governments spend real money on bike lanes and bike tracks? You may say that it was just a light hearted blog, and fair enough, but it does get national coverage. I think it's a real shame if that national coverage dilutes the serious point about safety that we're all trying to make.

    Sorry about the essay! But I did want to both apologise for my rudeness - and defend my position

    Posted 1 year ago #
  27. friskiffla
    Member

    I'm also sorry if I was a bit harsh. Also I'm told by that the Mercian I mentioned in my post is in fact a Bates. Apparently I wouldn't know the difference because I am a woman (and fortunately for my boyfriend, I know when he is trying to wind me up).

    Posted 1 year ago #
  28. fimm
    Member

    Like a lot of women of my generation (70s kid) I'm extremely wary of attempts to generalise about women (or, indeed men) based on assumptions that we like shopping, pink, fashion, or anything girly. So the tone of your blog post was always bound to set my teeth on edge... yes, same here. Again, I'm not your target market.

    Posted 1 year ago #

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