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Sunday, September 21, 2014

Is there a gender gap among commuting cyclists? The numbers are stark | theglobeandmail.com

Is the bike lane a boy’s club?
Elizabeth Plank, senior editor at Mic, reveals a significant gender gap, with far fewer women cycling than men, for a number of reasons: “Women’s aversion to risk, women’s clothing, economic and time poverty, as well as sexual harassment,” she writes.
German, Danish and Dutch women cycle as often as men but the numbers are much different in North America. In Canada, just 29 per cent of daily bike commuters were women, according to 2006 census data, although that number did rise in Canadian cities: women made up 35 per cent of bicycle commuters in Toronto and Montreal and 37 per cent in Vancouver.

“The concern for riding in street traffic is No. 1,” Bike New York’s operations director Emilia Crotty
told the New York Times in 2011. “Then it’s ‘I don’t want to be sweaty.’ ”In New York, male cyclists outnumbered female cyclists 3 to 1 in 2011; that gender gap widened in neighbourhoods where car traffic is heavier. According to Women Bike, an organization that works to encourage more female bicyclists in the United States, women accounted for just 24 per cent of bicycle trips in 2009. And in London, 77 per cent of cycling commuters are men, with 75 per cent of women saying they find it too dangerous to cycle.

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