Podcast Episode #5 : Q&A with Cervelo Test Team’s Patricia Schwager
Back in March during the Cervelo dealer show, I had the opportunity to sit in on a question/answer session with Patricia Schwager of the Cervelo Test Team.
Cycling Gives Women Feelings of Freedom
As a young child I always going out on my bike or out on a run to get out. I wasn’t one to play video games or watch tv, I always needed to get out.
Because of this the bicycle gave me a freedom further than my two feet. I didn’t need my parents, boyfriend or anyone to aid me in getting where I wanted to go. Exploration and adventure were a pedal stroke away.
“I think (bicycling) has done more to emancipate women than anything else in the world. It gives women a feeling of freedom and self-reliance.”
Susan B. Anthony’s words, spoken in 1896, ring true today. Courtney Ramey, a dedicated bicycle commuter, agrees with Anthony: “It’s easy. It feels great. It’s freedom.” Pam Polizzi loves that “biking gives you a great deal of freedom in getting around the city easily.”
Read more: http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2010/03/10/NSPP1CAFIB.DTL#ixzz0hsrYwouB
Today this is going one more step as women seem to be hesitant to get out on the road or bike trails to try this new skill. The second they do try it, they feel empowered and free of all the ties they left at home. The children, errands, work week or BlackBerry can go on hold for a couple hours as they ride.
What about riding a bike makes you feel free?
They Say We Need More Women Bicycle Commuters
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.
EcoVelo – An Indicator Species
TreeHugger – How Can You If Tell Your City is Bikeable?
VeloMuse – Recent Findings That Give Pause
August Rides and Events
As the month of July is coming to an end, we have had to say good by to the Tour de France, and look towards summer ending, schools starting and some amazing bike rides. Personally, I will be doing my first real triathlon in August. What will you be doing? Here are a few good ideas to start with.
Here is a sampling of articles you can look forward to in the next week. Make sure to check back, leave comments or email with any questions!