Women won’t cycle. Or women women won’t cycle enough, that is the finding from a sustrans survey this week. The survey was carried out in a number of British cites including Edinburgh. 12% 0f women cycle at least once compared to 24% of men. As it happens I know a a number of these women and I’m married to one and the father of another! Funnily enough two of them turned up to our church homegroup on bikes last night. One had fallen off the day before as well.
The reasons why women don’t cycle are very obvious. Safety. From cars rather than attacks. These latter incidents are rare I’ve been chased three times in 30 years (once by another cyclist since I overtook him – he clearly had mental problems). All three times I easily outpaced my pursuers.
No the real problems are cars not people per say. Its not hair although there was a tendency a few years ago for most female cyclists I saw not to wear helmets, which I think must be the hair issue. This has changed and fortunately almost all cyclists in Edinburgh wear helmets (including all the ones I know). When I cycled to Paris for the Climate Conference a good proportion of us were female and they knew what they were doing and did not need any help from us men, which is as it should be.