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  1. #1
    Senior Member randya's Avatar
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    Simple Question - Are There ANY Women Advocating for Vehicular Cycling?

    ...and don't you ever wonder why that is?

    If we want to boost the number of cyclists and make the streets safer for cyclists, we need to forget about the Type A Alpha Male Racer Boys and their 'needs', and focus on what women want.


    http://www.scientificamerican.com/ar...ts-on-the-road

    http://www.newwest.net/city/article/...ays/C108/L108/

    (sorry about the cross post, but I'm sort of interested in what sort of response this receives here as opposed to out in the general forum)


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    Wow, I didn't know all women want the same thing.

    In all seriousness, the person in charge of our local bike to work effort is female, the local coop is run by a gal and her husband although she is the better wrench of the two. I would say the female contingent of our local scene is very equalized.

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  3. #3
    Senior Member randya's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by (BB) View Post
    Wow, I didn't know all women want the same thing.

    In all seriousness, the person in charge of our local bike to work effort is female, the local coop is run by a gal and her husband although she is the better wrench of the two. I would say the female contingent of our local scene is very equalized.

    Glad I don't live in the animal zoo.
    you didn't really answer the question, perhaps I should rephrase it: are any of these women you mentioned active advocates for vehicular cycling or do they advocate for other forms of bike infrastructure and facilities that are more conducive to cycling without elevated adrenaline and testosterone levels?

  4. #4
    Kaffee Nazi danarnold's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by randya View Post
    ...and don't you ever wonder why that is?

    If we want to boost the number of cyclists and make the streets safer for cyclists, we need to forget about the Type A Alpha Male Racer Boys and their 'needs', and focus on what women want.


    http://www.scientificamerican.com/ar...ts-on-the-road

    http://www.newwest.net/city/article/...ays/C108/L108/

    (sorry about the cross post, but I'm sort of interested in what sort of response this receives here as opposed to out in the general forum)

    I think it's a great idea to encourage women to cycle. Those stats make sense to me, that most cyclists in the US are men, which means it makes sense to make cycling appeal to women if the goal is simply to increase cycling.

    But remember, the goal of increasing cycling is not necessarily consistent with the goal of making cycling safer. The perception that X increases safety is not the same as demonstrating that X actually making cycling safer.

  5. #5
    Senior Member sggoodri's Avatar
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    The question is loaded - what do you mean by vehicular cycling.

    By my definition - defensive bicycle driving according to the rules for drivers, on roadways - the answer is yes. I know two women League Cycling Instructors in my area, one an avid roadie and ride leader married to a former bike shop owner, and the other a professional transportation planner/consultant. I also taught some women in my classes who went on to become advocates for lawful vehicular on-road cycling.

    Now, if your definition is someone who meets some polarizing, straw-man definition of a facility-hating, always-lane-taking alpha dog, I know few people like that of either gender.

  6. #6
    totally louche Bekologist's Avatar
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    increasing rider share across all age brackets and among both men and women is a valuable goal.

    increasing rider share in any group, much less the "A" type cyclists -Steve, Danarnold, me, Randya, etc. will require a variety of stick and carrot techniques shown to work in other countries that facilitate rider share for all, not just us "A" types.

    Danarnold, you are proving the axiom a little knowledge is a dangerous thing! have you read any John Pucher? How about the FHWA's "who is the design bicyclist?"

    and the recent missive coming out of Portland.... let me search.... Roger Gellers' "the four types of cyclist"?

    Randya, thanks for the briefs. That Scientific American article mentioned researcher Jennifer Dill, whose work analyzing rider share using actual tracking versus surveys or counts is gaining widespread notice.

    likely her methodology will catch on as a virtual survey technique. heck, on g5 phones i see the possibilities of people being able to voluntarily sign up to be a participant in this type of stuff.
    Last edited by Bekologist; 09-28-09 at 10:41 PM.
    "Evidence, anecdote and methodology all support planning for roadway bike traffic."

  7. #7
    Senior Member randya's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sggoodri View Post
    I know two women League Cycling Instructors in my area, one an avid roadie and ride leader married to a former bike shop owner, and the other a professional transportation planner/consultant. I also taught some women in my classes who went on to become advocates for lawful vehicular on-road cycling.
    I'll bet neither of them go on the internet to rail against bike specific infrastructure

  8. #8
    High Roller
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    Quote Originally Posted by sggoodri View Post
    By my definition - defensive bicycle driving according to the rules for drivers, on roadways . . .
    I agree with Steve's definition. I don't see any reference in that definition to "Type A Alpha Male Racer Boys".

    The implication that women are unwilling/incapable of lawfully and defensively operating a human-powered vehicle on the roadway is insulting.

  9. #9
    Been Around Awhile I-Like-To-Bike's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by randya View Post
    I'll bet neither of them go on the internet to rail against bike specific infrastructure
    There are a couple of 'em on the ChainGuard list, but they are not as belligerent and smarmy as their male colleagues, and don't issue cascades of electrons belittling all who don't follow the party line.

  10. #10
    Senior Member randya's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by High Roller View Post
    The implication that women are unwilling/incapable of lawfully and defensively operating a human-powered vehicle on the roadway is insulting.
    I implied no such thing, I implied that women are not interested in competing for roadway space with dangerous motor vehicle operators and would prefer bike specific infrastructure; why don't you read the links?

  11. #11
    Blocking your fire exits coffeecake's Avatar
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    Ha. I'm a woman, and I ride wayyy more aggresively and VC than my boyfriend. Of course, I've also been accused of being petty and vindictive, but hey, comes with the territory. I've since become slightly more cautious after a few incidents where I realized that I was close to becoming "dead right".
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  12. #12
    High Roller
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    Quote Originally Posted by randya View Post
    I implied no such thing, I implied that women are not interested in competing for roadway space with dangerous motor vehicle operators and would prefer bike specific infrastructure; why don't you read the links?
    Read the links. The Scientific American article is speculative at best. The comments from Kristin Armstrong (my hero and a fellow member of Boise's Bike Safety Sounding Board) are not gender-specific.

  13. #13
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    Originally Posted by High Roller
    The implication that women are unwilling/incapable of lawfully and defensively operating a human-powered vehicle on the roadway is insulting.


    Quote Originally Posted by randya View Post
    I implied no such thing, I implied that women are not interested in competing for roadway space with dangerous motor vehicle operators and would prefer bike specific infrastructure; why don't you read the links?
    What's the difference between "lawfully and defensively operating a human-powered vehicle on the roadway" and "competing for roadway space with dangerous motor vehicle operators"? Two views of exactly the same process and conditions, aren't they? However, why is it particularly important to add new female transportational cyclists? If bicycle transportation is the good that we seek to maximize, I would think that adding 10 new female cyclists would be the same as adding 10 new cyclists at the present mix, say 2 female plus 8 male.

  14. #14
    Senior Member randya's Avatar
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    because this discussion here is entirely male dominated

  15. #15
    Kaffee Nazi danarnold's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by randya View Post
    because this discussion here is entirely male dominated
    It may be, but how would you KNOW that, considering most here post with pseudonyms?

  16. #16
    Senior Member sggoodri's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by randya View Post
    I implied no such thing, I implied that women are not interested in competing for roadway space with dangerous motor vehicle operators and would prefer bike specific infrastructure; why don't you read the links?
    I know plenty of women roadies who both prefer to avoid high-traffic roads and dislike bike-specific infrastructure. They prefer vehicular cycling over depending on mode-separated facilities, but they choose routes that feature less potential for social friction. How should one classify them? I still consider them vehicular cyclists.

    Even the most die-hard female vehicular cyclists have better things to do than waste time and energy arguing about facilities, especially online. They tend to focus more on harassment prevention and legal issues, if anything, and are more consensus-oriented. Or they have better social lives.

  17. #17
    Blocking your fire exits coffeecake's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by High Roller View Post
    The implication that women are unwilling/incapable of lawfully and defensively operating a human-powered vehicle on the roadway is insulting.
    +1.

    There are less women VC advocates because there are less women cycling than men in general. Postulating that women bike less because they are afraid of vehicles is reductionist and does nothing to get more women on bikes. I would say that some people bike less because they are less assertive or have seen accidents or do not like the idea of being on the road while not in a car.

    Women are still struggling for equal treatment in the cycling world to begin with, let alone becoming outspoken advocates of VC. And titling the thread "Simple Question - Are There ANY Women Advocating for Vehicular Cycling?" sounds accusatory - as if women are at fault for not becoming or having any strong VC advocates. Sorry, sir, we'll get right on that!
    Most people are other people. Their thoughts are someone else's opinions, their lives a mimicry, their passions a quotation.
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  18. #18
    just a commuter
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    Have you met Keri Caffrey, or read any of her items on her Commute Orlando blog?
    1999 Specialized Allez Elite Triple
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  19. #19
    Commuter JohnBrooking's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by coffeecake View Post
    +1.

    There are less women VC advocates because there are less women cycling than men in general. Postulating that women bike less because they are afraid of vehicles is reductionist and does nothing to get more women on bikes. I would say that some people bike less because they are less assertive or have seen accidents or do not like the idea of being on the road while not in a car.

    Women are still struggling for equal treatment in the cycling world to begin with, let alone becoming outspoken advocates of VC. And titling the thread "Simple Question - Are There ANY Women Advocating for Vehicular Cycling?" sounds accusatory - as if women are at fault for not becoming or having any strong VC advocates. Sorry, sir, we'll get right on that!
    +1 again. In addition, it is also mostly men who argue about things on the Internet.

    Also +1 for Keri and Commute Orlando. She's got some great articles and videos. She also helped found a women's cycling club called "The BOBbies" (Babes on Bikes), which adheres to VC principles. Also see http://www.youtube.com/CommuteOrlando and http://luvbobbies.com/.
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  20. #20
    Part-time epistemologist invisiblehand's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by randya View Post
    you didn't really answer the question, perhaps I should rephrase it: are any of these women you mentioned active advocates for vehicular cycling or do they advocate for other forms of bike infrastructure and facilities that are more conducive to cycling without elevated adrenaline and testosterone levels?
    Clearly yes.

    More generally, there are many observed gender differences including behavior -- for an interesting and well-written take on the matter read Crossing by D McClosky -- such that asserting a causal relationship is quite difficult. A long literature that discusses how women argue/discuss matters differently than men -- at least the subset that I read -- would support some of the observations made here. My take on it, is that making assertions on "how VC" females are based on comparing female to male internet posts is probably biased.

  21. #21
    Lone Ranger Minerva's Avatar
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    I am also a female who rides vehicularly. I agree with all points made by coffeecake and would like to add something else that I have experienced as a female bike commuter. My my family, friends, and co-workers continually discourage from taking a more assertive position on the road or for commuting by bike altogether and I believe in part it is because I'm a female. I am told that I should ride on the sidewalk, not ride at all, never ride at night, don't ever ride in the cold... however, a male co-worker at my job who commutes by bike is never admonished at all. I had one woman come up to me and say, "if you had a child, you wouldn't act so irresponsibly". How insulting..

    I think women are still thought of as being delicate and nervous, and needing protection, and this attitude especially from your peers, can have an affect on women who aren't as stubborn and rebellious as I. I have also been told by other women that besides being terrified of getting hit, they are too self-conscious to get on a bicycle unless they are at the beach or in the park. I believe that building seperate paths and facilities for cyclists only reinforces this fear that cars and bicycles can't co-exist safely. We need to address the fears that some women may have in riding vehicularly which requires a little courage to get out there and assert your right to travel safely on public roads. Perhaps it's different in places where a lot of people travel by bicycle, but I can count on one hand how many cyclists I've seen on the road here. And I have never seen another female cyclist riding in the road since I have started commuting. Plenty of sidewalk cyclists- none riding vehicularly.
    Last edited by Minerva; 10-04-09 at 12:34 PM.

  22. #22
    Kaffee Nazi danarnold's Avatar
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    I find it hard to discuss these 'women' issues without buying into the bull that women should be treated differently. I have two daughters, one a Harvard educated lawyer, the other a financial analyst. I'm very proud of both of them and of the fact they were encouraged to be all they could be and that. Gender difference issues were never dignified by being acknowledged, except for the inescapable physical differences.

  23. #23
    totally louche Bekologist's Avatar
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    ask them about biking in boston and how pleasant it would be for a mom with their infant in a trailer.

    well, all those american wymmen just need to HTFU

    why is american female bicycling participation so low compared to other countries?

    why do the elderly bike in such low numbers in this country? fully 25 percent of danish over 75 bicycle for transportation. here, a fraction of a percent.



    there are barriers to more popular cycling in america. those of you blissfully unaware, read "the four types of bicyclist" by Portlands' Roger Geller.

    the four types of cyclist

    it lays out bike participation and barriers to greater US cycling in a non sexist way. very compelling, as are John Puchers' frequent visits to this topic.

    the Roger Geller article is required background reading as to why more people do not bicycle in america.
    Last edited by Bekologist; 10-04-09 at 08:22 PM.
    "Evidence, anecdote and methodology all support planning for roadway bike traffic."

  24. #24
    Fresh Garbage hairnet's Avatar
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    Yeah, I too am tired of the sausage fest that is cycling
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    I'd rather ride a greasy bowling ball than one of those things.
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  25. #25
    www.chipsea.blogspot.com ChipSeal's Avatar
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    "Filigree" at Lovely bicycle! is an advocate for vehicular cycling.
    Vehicular cycling techniques have not been tried and found difficult. They have been presumed difficult and not tried.

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