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Living Car Free Do you live car free or car light? Do you prefer to use alternative transportation (bicycles, walking, other human-powered or public transportation) for everyday activities whenever possible? Discuss your lifestyle here.

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Old 05-12-12, 07:54 PM   #1
Artkansas 
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Why we fall in love with bicycles

Seven Reasons to Ride

http://www.alternet.org/visions/1553...e/?page=entire
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Old 05-12-12, 08:26 PM   #2
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I can definitely see some culture differences when viewing the pictures in the article posted in the OP. US-Helmets, Europe/Asia-No Helmets.
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Old 05-12-12, 10:40 PM   #3
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The article kind of answers the question about why cycling tends to be so male-centric and how to get more women interested:

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Women are also far more likely to participate in and benefit from cycling encouragement and training programs than men. A study done in London showed that 73 percent of London residents who participated in on-road cycling training programs were women. The same study interviewed female cyclists and found that “cycling helps bolster a self-confident, independent identity” for many women. An Australian study shows that cycling outreach and support events have a greater positive impact on behavior change among women than among men. Why else is it important to get more women riding? American women make more major household decisions than men and can hence influence the entire family to get out of the car and on to bikes. Some people also assert that more women cycling can contribute to a more visually pleasing urban environment.
Kind of interesting in that in my city, there tends to be lots of female recreational riders... but commuters... not so much.

We'd love cycling if there were more female carfree cyclists.
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Old 05-13-12, 12:59 AM   #4
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I didn't discover upright cycling until I hurt my lower back from helping a friend move (blessing in a disguise, I guessed). I got my wife a Dutch bike because she got into an accident and I thought upright riding is safer than riding in a aggressive posture. Since then, we both enjoy cycling more because we can just wear whatever we feel like and even without helmets on short journeys. The less hassle the easier to bike. Notice the Dutch bikes all have attached locks. With all the obstacles that we have to face everyday like shady neighborhoods, noise and air pollution, and poor road infrastructure, so having to not worry about putting on gears helps.

I rode a 15 miles to work this past week for Bike to Work Day and I was the only one in a group of 25 with a Dutch-style bike. Everybody was surprised and asked me the exact question, "it must be comfortable, huh?". They were in gears, the whole outfit or clip-less pedals, helmets, and on road bikes. It's just too much to get anyone to cycle especially with women. They see it and get turned off.
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Old 05-13-12, 05:25 AM   #5
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It's just too much to get anyone to cycle especially with women. They see it and get turned off.
That must be why another chick and I are kicking everyone's keisters in the commute mileage challenge for bike month at work. She has a 25 mi round trip, and we're the only ones who commute with actual road bikes. Everyone else is on old roadsters, hybrids, or MTBs.



I'm just givin' ya a hard time. I get what you're saying. Unfortunately since most of childcare and household chores still falls on women, with the additional burden of being expected to maintain a much more time and maintenance intensive appearance for most jobs than their male counterparts, it's going to take more of a cultural shift than adding some bike paths to make cycling appear to be a viable option to more women.

Last edited by kookaburra1701; 05-13-12 at 05:39 AM.
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Old 05-13-12, 01:21 PM   #6
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That must be why another chick and I are kicking everyone's keisters in the commute mileage challenge for bike month at work. She has a 25 mi round trip, and we're the only ones who commute with actual road bikes. Everyone else is on old roadsters, hybrids, or MTBs.



I'm just givin' ya a hard time. I get what you're saying. Unfortunately since most of childcare and household chores still falls on women, with the additional burden of being expected to maintain a much more time and maintenance intensive appearance for most jobs than their male counterparts, it's going to take more of a cultural shift than adding some bike paths to make cycling appear to be a viable option to more women.
Hahaha...yeah. I didn't so well as compared to the other folks on road bikes but I did enjoy the ride and that was the purpose of BTWD.

Did you know that there are more female riders in Copenhagen and Amsterdam than male counterparts? When I was in Copenhagen, the females were dressed really well with makeups and heels and still riding bikes. I think seeing a women on a bike makes them even more sexy. I think a bike's form goes better with a female body than a male one. I think the women in America care way too much of how they look, like you said. I prefer women with less maintenance and into some sort of sports. And I always thought that's what men are attracted to. Can you men chime in?
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Old 05-13-12, 02:20 PM   #7
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Copenhagen and Amsterdam are also much more egalitarian society, with men being able to take paternity leave. And quite often, women here don't have a choice about being high-maintenance. When I was in my corporate job, I was basically told that because I was gender non-conforming (ie, I wore practical shoes, slacks, and a men's business shirt...just like all the men in management) I was "unprofessional" unless I shaved, wore pantyhose and high-heels, styled my hair, and put on makeup. (All of the products women are supposed to buy and use to look "natural" just BLOWS MY LOBE WHAARRGBL) I'm very fortunate that I had the resources to get into a different field where those sorts of things don't come into the picture much, but not everyone does.

Of course, you don't HAVE to look windblown and disheveled from riding a bike, and that's why, despite really not understanding the form-over-function mindset at ALL, blogs like LovelyBicycle and the cycle chic movement are valuable, I think.

One thing I will say - the carfree/carlite/utility cycling culture seems to celebrate and encourage fatherhood way more than USian culture-at-large. So many awesome dudes posting pictures of themselves with their kids out for rides always makes me smile.
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