Across the internet there is a buzz on an article that was originally posted on Scientific American. The article titled “How to Get More Bicyclist on the Road” hits again and again that aiming the cycling infrastructure around women that you will have not only more women on bicycles but more families and men. Citing many reports and research done across the world Scientific American makes it seem that if you have off road bike paths that have more direct routes to and from places, than scenic routes, than you would have a stronger cycling infrastructure.
I agree, but only to a point. Yes, I think women control a lot of household events and happenings. If it was easier for me to get to the grocery store on a bike than my whole family would be doing it and taking my children to football practice or school. All of these are right on the target with what researchers have said. The point that I disagree is what happens if your errands are small, maybe you are a single woman or live more than 3.5 miles from the stores and work?
Most U.S women will not be going by bicycle for utility reasons if it is more than 3.5 miles and here is why :
1. It is very hard for a woman to stay presentable over 3.5 miles, especially if the terrain is not flat.
2. We do not want to be sweaty, to re-apply make up or to fix our hair for the second time that day. Nor do we feel like it is okay to do that in the bathroom at work (normally.)
3. It isn’t socially acceptable to go by bike in most U.S cities. I would argue that the culture and city life has to change, not only the way you ride a bike. In Portland, OR or Boulder, CO it is the cool thing to ride your bicycle everywhere. It has been taken in by the city with open arms. If you move to one of those cities and you don’t ride you will be ready for a wide awakening.
Follow the buzz across the internet and add your own below in comments.