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-   -   What's going on? Why don't more U.S. women ride bikes? (http://www.bikeforums.net/advocacy-safety/745405-whats-going-why-dont-more-u-s-women-ride-bikes.html)

slowandsteady 07-14-11 01:48 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Mithrandir (Post 12928747)
Not to diminish the concerns you have over sexual assault, but I would wager it is just as if not more likely that someone would assault a male (or female) to get access to any cash/wallet they are carrying with them on their bike.


I would much rather be mugged for the 6 dollars in my wallet than raped. Just sayin... Plus you happen to be wrong. It isn't a zero sum game, because it isn't as if we are immune to being mugged either. So what applies to a man in regards to getting mugged, also applies to us plus the risk of ****. Street robberies = 174,000 in 2009, 88,000 rapes

chipcom 07-14-11 01:55 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by slowandsteady (Post 12928826)
I would much rather be mugged for the 6 dollars in my wallet than raped. Just sayin... Plus you happen to be wrong. It isn't a zero sum game, because it isn't as if we are immune to being mugged either. So what applies to a man in regards to getting mugged, also applies to us plus the risk of ****. Street robberies = 174,000 in 2009, 88,000 rapes

The perception that women are weaker, more timid and less able to resist makes them much more attractive targets for mutts looking for a quick buck to support one habit or another...but are not necessarily *******. **** requires more risk and even planning.

slowandsteady 07-14-11 02:03 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Brontide (Post 12928762)
Can't read your own post?

Men seem to fall into two categories ignorant or predator according to women like you.

Take for example the "lecherous men", have you even stopped to think they could be confused or be checking out the frigging bike?! I know I'm always checking out what others are riding be it a man or a woman riding. Maybe they wanted to form a pace line, but after getting a death stare they reconsidered.


No, not all men or even most men are ignorant. skye is ignorant. That is the only ignorant person I was referring to. Try rereading my posts.

I doubt the dude in the beat up ford bronco who passed me on a rural road, only to then turn around to give me this look wanted to form a pace line. Unless what I call a pace line and what you call a pace line are two different things.
http://www.fromthegreenwood.com/asse...lier-thumb.jpg

I get asked often if I need help. As a woman on the side of the road, it is to be expected. I may even get asked that up to four times in one ride. The vast majority of these folks clearly mean well. I am quite sure of that. However, maybe three or four times a year there will be one creepy dude that makes my skin crawl with his actions.

Let me make this clear. I do not think men fall into one of two categories of ignorant or predator. That is ridiculous. Men, like women cannot be categorized in such a simplistic manner. I do not hate or dislike men. In fact, I often feel much more comfortable socializing with men than I do women. I can do my own mechanical work, hate make up and frilly ****, and just generally tend to get along with men better. So don't start thinking I am some Oprah-loving man-basher. I am not.

I merely stated in my post some possible reasons as to why many women might not feel comfortable riding a bike as an activity. I ride 100 to 200 miles a week, so clearly those things aren't enough to sway me away from cycling.

slowandsteady 07-14-11 02:07 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by chipcom (Post 12928873)
The perception that women are weaker, more timid and less able to resist makes them much more attractive targets for mutts looking for a quick buck to support one habit or another...but are not necessarily *******. **** requires more risk and even planning.

That goes for the elderly too.... Now if only I could legally carry my shotgun on my bike in NJ.....

slowandsteady 07-14-11 02:08 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by chipcom (Post 12928811)
what kind of a woman am I, toots? Huh? Huh?

http://www.chipcom.net/stuff/Artichip.jpg

Hope you don't mind me sharing your man here for a bit, S&S, but I figure there won't be much left of him later. :D

chipcom, I forgot how hot you were. :p

Brontide 07-14-11 02:32 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by slowandsteady (Post 12928922)
I merely stated in my post some possible reasons as to why many women might not feel comfortable riding a bike as an activity. I ride 100 to 200 miles a week, so clearly those things aren't enough to sway me away from cycling.

Find me a rider here doing 100-200 miles/week that doesn't have a few "encounters" a year where they are afraid for more than just their wallet.

DnvrFox 07-14-11 03:02 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Brontide (Post 12929115)
Find me a rider here doing 100-200 miles/week that doesn't have a few "encounters" a year where they are afraid for more than just their wallet.


Me

njkayaker 07-14-11 03:12 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by sunstorm (Post 12925217)
I asked the leader of the beginner group 'are there any women who would be able to lead this?' and he assured me there are a lot of really great female riders at this weekly ride, but none of them lead the ride groups. Huh? Now, this guy was really nice, reassuring, worked hard to make beginners feel comfortable, etc, but he is still a guy. If there are competent women, why aren't they leading? Is it lack of interest on the 'better' women's parts? was it that no one had suggested, asked, or offered them the oppurtunity to lead? (the leaders weren't employees of the shop, so that wasn't the limitation.)

This is highly unlikely (if it's anything like my club). I suspect the normal situation for clubs is wanting more rides being offered and more people (regardless of gender) leading them.

Our club has a fair number of women ride leaders. We even have some women only events.

Note that one can be a "great" rider and not be a competent ride leader.

Quote:

Originally Posted by sunstorm (Post 12927512)
Penny4 - This all women's group has been meeting every week for 9 years. In 9 years, I'm pretty confident that some of these women have the experience to be leaders. Some of the women had been biking for over 2 decades, and one of the leaders was a man who had only started biking two years ago at the age of 70. I don't dislike the guys...don't get me wrong. It just seems really strange to me, as a woman, that in an all female ride, every leader was a guy, even when there are women there that the leaders say are better than they are. Part of the reason I was aware of it was that the guys were in the LBS's jerseys to lead the ride, they were obviously in charge and making all the decisions, and I showed up to an women's only ride expecting...well...all women. It just, to me, came across as very patriarchial. maybe I'm wrong. And I'm not blaming the guys, just think that perhaps it isn't just promoting biking among the rank and file of the female population...but about promoting leadership among competent female bikers at local, regional, national and international levels.

There could be all sorts of reasonable explanations beyond being "patriarchal".

Leading is an additional skill and interest.

I'd guess that the organizers of this ride would even prefer having women lead it but chose to run the ride even without having any available. It's even possible that, in the 9 year history of the ride, there were women leaders for some of them.

genec 07-14-11 04:26 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by slowandsteady (Post 12928922)

Let me make this clear. I do not think men fall into one of two categories of ignorant or predator. That is ridiculous. Men, like women cannot be categorized in such a simplistic manner. I do not hate or dislike men. In fact, I often feel much more comfortable socializing with men than I do women. I can do my own mechanical work, hate make up and frilly ****, and just generally tend to get along with men better. So don't start thinking I am some Oprah-loving man-basher. I am not.

Uh, wait a minute... you may be giving us men folk more credit than we are due...

I'm just sayin'....

;)

buzzman 07-14-11 04:52 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Brontide (Post 12928762)
...Take for example the "lecherous men", have you even stopped to think they could be confused or be checking out the frigging bike?!...

Hate to gender bash here (especially when it's my own gender) but this is where guys get it all wrong. Most every woman I know learned to discern the "lecherous look" by the time they were about 15 years of age. So I would defer to their expertise and judgement on this issue. To even suggest that you, as a guy, know better earns us yet more of these :rolleyes: and is why we so often hear the phrase, "You just don't get it, do you?"

"Lecherous men" are something women are confronted by on a daily basis every where- walking down the street, going shopping, going to the beach, going to a club or a bar, going to work but women do all of those things. So I'm not sure it's all that much of a reason for women to not ride a bike particularly.

sunstorm 07-14-11 06:09 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by njkayaker (Post 12929312)
This is highly unlikely (if it's anything like my club). I suspect the normal situation for clubs is wanting more rides being offered and more people (regardless of gender) leading them.

Our club has a fair number of women ride leaders. We even have some women only events.

Sorry, I phrased part of that very poorly. I am not actually saying it is the ride organizers fault, or the solid female rider's faults or the LBS's fault. I am saying it raises some questions, for me, that on an all female ride (hence this IS a women's only ride already) all of the leadership for as long as any of the leaders can remember (so at least the last 6 years) has been all male.

Am I really the only person that thinks that on a weekly women only ride where at least 50 women are riding the leadership for as long as anyone recalls is all male? If this was a mixed group ride, it wouldn't have really struck me as odd.

sunstorm 07-14-11 06:20 PM

Another observation tonight.

I stopped at a book store on the way home (on my bike). To get to any biking magazines, I had to paw past a bunch of car/motorcycle magazines with half naked (or more) women on them. Here the magazines are in the transport section. That encourages my interest ;-) Then, as I flipped through the magazines, the first article I came to by/about a female rider described her stripping her shirt and bra off to find freedom on a long day of solo riding, and how she'd fib and say she was a 15yo boy if anyone stopped her. Yeah, that's someone I can empathize with....as I look at the 38DDs that I wouldn't dare free on a ride since every bump would hurt! It just comes across that biking is targeted at men. Not saying that is wrong, just an observation.

Bethany 07-14-11 07:57 PM

After riding now for something like 2 mos and the past week has been hell, I may have an answer. It's a giant PITA.

Most women and everyone else are going to gasp..Walmart to get a bike. After all, LBS bikes cost a fortune and the Walmart bike is 150 bucks. Not knowing any better, the bike doesn't seem "right" due to it being the wrong size and after realizing that you suck going around the block a few times, it gets dumped into the garage (that's if it doesn't fall apart after the first time around the block). Why try cycling again after that experience?

If she goes to a LBS, it's easy to lost in everything the guy says, even if he knows his stuff and means well. Size? Fittings? I didn't know that got so freaking detailed down to top tubes and all the other unknown named parts on a bike you can change. Every store I've been to has something different to add to the confusion. Cadence? Clipless shoes/pedals? Raise this..lower that... You need this part A to make that work better. All I wanted to do was to ride a stupid bike not change every part as store A "may" have fitted me wrong.

After realizing you suck (and we women are hard on ourselves) but keep going after some time, you realize you still can't get on/off the damn bike without nailing the right side of your leg against the front gears leaving small gashes. Your legs are bruised because the pedals keep banging them up trying to get it out of the garage and the large handprint size bruise on your thigh from who knows what probably makes people people think your DH abuses you.

And then, when you start thinking about the cost of it all, you realize you could have had that new washer/dryer set you were looking at a couple of months ago instead.

So now, can someone explain why I was drooling over a Surly Pugsley and came home with a Brooks B17 saddle today for my Sirrus to see how it compares to the B17 narrow for my thigh eating Madone? And I know I don't even have the strength to truly enjoy the Pugsley which makes it that much more depressing.

At least I feel better venting..LOL. Now if someone can "fix" my thigh eating Madone, it would be much appreciated.

gcottay 07-14-11 07:57 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Brontide (Post 12929115)
Find me a rider here doing 100-200 miles/week that doesn't have a few "encounters" a year where they are afraid for more than just their wallet.

Okay, I'm here. Is there some point you are trying to make?

buzzman 07-14-11 08:13 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by sunstorm (Post 12929971)

...Am I really the only person that thinks that on a weekly women only ride where at least 50 women are riding the leadership for as long as anyone recalls is all male? ...


I find it odd. And it seems to defeat the point. But then I also think it's an interesting phenomenon that in order for women to feel comfortable biking in a group they need to get rid of the men. My friend just did an all women's carpentry class, taught by women and not a guy in sight. She loved it.

Please note I said I found it "interesting" and am not implying a judgment on it as either good or bad. I know that I sometimes ride "with the guys". It's not intentionally gender exclusive but I admit there's a camaraderie that's different from a mixed gender ride.

BarracksSi 07-15-11 03:43 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Bethany (Post 12930461)
After riding now for something like 2 mos and the past week has been hell, I may have an answer. It's a giant PITA.

Of course, none of that has anything to do with gender..

I-Like-To-Bike 07-15-11 04:57 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Bethany (Post 12930461)
Most women and everyone else are going to gasp..Walmart to get a bike. After all, LBS bikes cost a fortune and the Walmart bike is 150 bucks. Not knowing any better, the bike doesn't seem "right" due to it being the wrong size and after realizing that you suck going around the block a few times, it gets dumped into the garage (that's if it doesn't fall apart after the first time around the block). Why try cycling again after that experience?

If she goes to a LBS ...Every store I've been to has something different to add to the confusion. Cadence? Clipless shoes/pedals? Raise this..lower that... You need this part A to make that work better. All I wanted to do was to ride a stupid bike not change every part as store A "may" have fitted me wrong.

Apparently you did learn something from your visits to the various LBs'. You gathered all the conventional wisdom you need to know about Walmart bikes from your "experiences" with the bike pros at the LBS. Falling for that stuff, hook, line and sinkeris not a woman thing, as BF is filled with posts from men who repeat the same LBS sales rap too.

chipcom 07-15-11 05:00 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Brontide (Post 12929115)
Find me a rider here doing 100-200 miles/week that doesn't have a few "encounters" a year where they are afraid for more than just their wallet.

Quote:

Originally Posted by DnvrFox (Post 12929257)
Me

me too

njkayaker 07-15-11 07:04 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by sunstorm (Post 12929971)
Sorry, I phrased part of that very poorly. I am not actually saying it is the ride organizers fault, or the solid female rider's faults or the LBS's fault. I am saying it raises some questions, for me, that on an all female ride (hence this IS a women's only ride already) all of the leadership for as long as any of the leaders can remember (so at least the last 6 years) has been all male.

What I'm saying is that if they could (easily) get women to lead the ride, they would do so. I'm assuming there's a reason/purpose for making the ride "women only" and the current (male) leaders are running the ride are doing so with that reason/purpose in mind.

For your situation, it may be a choice between having male leaders or having no ride. In my situation, given that my club is large with many women, my club would (likely) have women leaders. (Our club has 1450 members with 106 leaders, 41 of which are female.)

Quote:

Originally Posted by sunstorm (Post 12929971)
Am I really the only person that thinks that on a weekly women only ride where at least 50 women are riding the leadership for as long as anyone recalls is all male? If this was a mixed group ride, it wouldn't have really struck me as odd.

You sound awfully suspicious!

Clubs are run by volunteers who don't get a lot of benefit from their volunteer work. I'd guess (if it's anything like my club) that they would be quite happy to have women lead the ride!

If it's a reasonable group, you should be able to ask the leaders about it.

njkayaker 07-15-11 07:19 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by buzzman (Post 12930535)
I find it odd. And it seems to defeat the point.

I think people need to be clear about what the purpose (of a particular "women's only" ride) is. Then, one can discuss whether or not leaders (who happen to be male) can support that purpose.

While I might agree that it would be preferable to have women leaders, I assume that there is probably some reasonable (and boring) explanation of why that isn't happening.

Given the apparent popularity of this ride (50 people is a huge turn-out), it doesn't seem necessary to have women leaders for this ride.

Denelle 07-15-11 07:27 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Bethany (Post 12930461)
After riding now for something like 2 mos and the past week has been hell, I may have an answer. It's a giant PITA.

Most women and everyone else are going to gasp..Walmart to get a bike. After all, LBS bikes cost a fortune and the Walmart bike is 150 bucks. Not knowing any better, the bike doesn't seem "right" due to it being the wrong size and after realizing that you suck going around the block a few times, it gets dumped into the garage (that's if it doesn't fall apart after the first time around the block). Why try cycling again after that experience?

If she goes to a LBS, it's easy to lost in everything the guy says, even if he knows his stuff and means well. Size? Fittings? I didn't know that got so freaking detailed down to top tubes and all the other unknown named parts on a bike you can change. Every store I've been to has something different to add to the confusion. Cadence? Clipless shoes/pedals? Raise this..lower that... You need this part A to make that work better. All I wanted to do was to ride a stupid bike not change every part as store A "may" have fitted me wrong.

After realizing you suck (and we women are hard on ourselves) but keep going after some time, you realize you still can't get on/off the damn bike without nailing the right side of your leg against the front gears leaving small gashes. Your legs are bruised because the pedals keep banging them up trying to get it out of the garage and the large handprint size bruise on your thigh from who knows what probably makes people people think your DH abuses you.

And then, when you start thinking about the cost of it all, you realize you could have had that new washer/dryer set you were looking at a couple of months ago instead.

So now, can someone explain why I was drooling over a Surly Pugsley and came home with a Brooks B17 saddle today for my Sirrus to see how it compares to the B17 narrow for my thigh eating Madone? And I know I don't even have the strength to truly enjoy the Pugsley which makes it that much more depressing.

At least I feel better venting..LOL. Now if someone can "fix" my thigh eating Madone, it would be much appreciated.

I had to smile at this. I didn't even KNOW that bikes were sold any place besides Walmart until I was in my early 20s and bought my daughter a bike. We made the mistake of buying our young daughter one of her first bikes from Walmart. It was assembled, of course, by some minimum wage worker who apparently didn't know what he was doing, because the handlebars fell off the first time she rode it (she was maybe 6-7 at the time). I will never ever buy another Walmart bike because of that!

Oh, and changing out different parts of the bike? I'm totally in AWE of how my knowledge my husband has of bicycles. I'll admit that it totally goes directly over my head when he is talking to me (although I promise I try hard to understand!).

I-Like-To-Bike 07-15-11 07:50 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Denelle (Post 12932029)
It was assembled, of course, by some minimum wage worker who apparently didn't know what he was doing, because the handlebars fell off the first time she rode it (she was maybe 6-7 at the time). I will never ever buy another Walmart bike because of that!

Oh, and changing out different parts of the bike? I'm totally in AWE of how my knowledge my husband has of bicycles. I'll admit that it totally goes directly over my head when he is talking to me (although I promise I try hard to understand!).

Handlebars "fell off"? Hopefully your child escaped uninjured from such a catastrophic equipment failure. It is hard for me to understand that failure mode, particularly on a small bike. Handlebars so loose due to poor assembly allowing them to "fall off" on the first ride surely would have been noticed by any parent with ANY knowledge at all before handing the bike off to their child for the first time. Perhaps your husband can provide some details or a picture.

Denelle 07-15-11 07:53 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by I-Like-To-Bike (Post 12932135)
Handlebars "fell off"? Hopefully your child escaped uninjured from such a catastrophic equipment failure. It is hard for me to understand that failure mode, particularly on a small bike. Handlebars so loose due to poor assembly allowing them to "fall off" on the first ride surely would have been noticed by any parent with ANY knowledge at all before handing the bike off to their child for the first time. Perhaps your husband can provide some details or a picture.

Yes, they fell off. She's 14 now, so I'll definitely have to have him pop in here with the details, but I do vividly remember that they came off :)

I-Like-To-Bike 07-15-11 08:00 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Denelle (Post 12932151)
Yes, they fell off. She's 14 now, so I'll definitely have to have him pop in here with the details, but I do vividly remember that they came off :)

Thanks. An equipment failure such as you mentioned should have initiated a product recall.

Denelle 07-15-11 08:09 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by I-Like-To-Bike (Post 12932186)
Thanks. An equipment failure such as you mentioned should have initiated a product recall.

Maybe I didn't explain it right :blush: Here's a picture.
http://i1205.photobucket.com/albums/...nPads/bike.png


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