The League Releases First Women on a Roll Bike Report
“Women on a Roll” is the first report of its kind, coming out of the League of American Bicyclists Women Bike program. The comprehensive report comes less than a year after the first National Women’s Bike Summit, and demonstrates a disjunction between women’s positive attitude towards cycling versus actual ridership, citing statistics that while women make up 60% of bicycle owners between age 17-28, women accounted for only 24% of all U.S. bike trips (according to the National Household Travel Survey).
But the tides are changing. According to the report, the number of women and girls who bicycle rose 20%, compared to a .5% decline among men between 2003 and 2012. Major barriers to entry detailed in the report included comfort and access–and while these are not particularly new findings, data showing female ridership increasing in areas with new bike lanes and bike share programs demonstrates just how significantly these features can bridge the gap. In 2012 54% of new members of Capital Bikeshare in Washington, D.C., and 43% of all bike share members in North America were women. Are for the impact of bike lanes, women’s ridership rose 100% on Spring Street in Los Angeles, 115% on South Carrollton Avenue in New Orleans, and an average of 267% on streets with added bike lanes in Philadelphia.
Women are still marginal within the industry and advocacy groups, but organizations such as Black Women Bike, Cyclofemme, Women on Bikes SoCal, and the League’s Women Bike program, in addition to grassroots cycling clubs like the Ovarian Psyco-Cycles and FWOD, are providing the community and resources to make biking less of a boys club and more fun for everyone. Do your part and get involved, go for a ride with your female friends, teach ‘em how to fix something (or let them teach you); share what you love about bikes with the ladies in your life. Read the full report and at www.bikeleague.org/womenbike.
About Krista Carlson
A regular contributor to the print edition of Urban Velo, Krista Carlson is a cyclist obsessed with bike polo, baking, pickles, and all things bike-y. She is a native Angeleno and is madly in love with the city and everything that makes it the beautiful, crazy place that it is.