The League of American Bicyclists recently shared information around the myths about women and cycling in hopes that it will demystify misconceptions of women and cycling. City planners, industry, and policy think tanks can really benefit from the information about women's cycling behavior which here is provided for them. Thanks League of American Cyclist!
Here's something to chew on before we start to forget that cycling and women have a serious history together. The women's liberation movement happened because of a bike. At best, the bicycle was a great representation and tool of women's liberation, fashion revolution, and continues to be the instrument of liberation for many of us today.
So what are these "myths" you ask?
Women don't like cycling: 82% of women have a positive view in relation to biking. In Europe, studies show that the more cycling intense a city is, the more likely women will cycle.
Women aren't concerned about biking and their community: 2/3 of women aggree that their community would be a better place to live if biking were safer and more comfortable
Women are just a small niche in the market: From 2003 to 2012, the number of women cycling has increased by 10% while it decreased by 0.5% for males. 60% of cyclist are women ages between 17-28. Further, there are plenty of cycling boutique shops that have opened their doors to the trends and demands of female cyclist.
Women Are Not Interested in Cycling: In Portland, 47% of potential cyclists who are interested but concerned are women.
Women are just a blip in the number of bike trips in the U.S: in 2009, 982 million trips by bicycle were done by women.
Women don't bike to work in significant numbers: from 2007 to 2011the overall number of women who commuted by bike grew 56%.
Bicycle riding is not a popular means of sports and fitness for women: riding a bike is one of the most popular sports for women, placing at 9th position of 47, before yoga and tennis.
Women don't spend money on bikes: women accounted for 37% of the bicycle market in 2011, that's a $2.3 million untapped market. Furthermore, feminine biking accessories are emerging in the market.
Men are the face of bicycling advocacy in their communities: 45% of paid staff at bicycle advocacy organization are women. Lets also not forget our foresisters who defended the movement for women by bikes.
Women aren't bicycle evangelist: there are over 630 active blogs linked to women's cycling, and this blog is one of them!
The goal of demystifying these myths is to serve as a source of information and inspiration to the women's cycling community. We are always working on breaking stereotypes and myths and still have a long way to go.