Recruiting More Female Cyclists

Background Reading

Summary

A woman rode a Citi Bike near Madison Square Park on Monday. Women take about a quarter of all Citi Bike trips and make up just under a third of its members. Credit Christopher Lee for The New York Times

A woman rode a Citi Bike near Madison Square Park on Monday. Women take about a quarter of all Citi Bike trips and make up just under a third of its members. Credit Christopher Lee for The New York Times


TakeAways

Citi Bike is unlikely to find the means to untie the Gordian Knot of sexism in Urban Cycling. Hipster Culture in general is fairly male-centered from all my observations. Trying to get women to participate at the same levels as their male counterparts requires reshaping the Culture that overlays Urban Cycling.

It is not that females in the Urban Cycling Community are unaware of this. But their approach has been segregationist. They have tried doing a non-frontal assault on the male bastion of Urban Cycling by creating splinter groups.

So what you will find are female groups that cater to females that may or may not succeed in getting women to bike on their own (when not with the group). Frankly the whole Urban Cycling Community scene is more like a high school cafeteria than anything else.

You know how that looks. All the Asians are over at their table. The Blacks are at theirs. And the Hipster males are standing over by the door with their longboards. And somehow this segregation passes as integrated living. Hah!

E-Bikes Will Level The Playing Field

All that needs to happen is for the E-Bike to present itself in Urban Cycling here in America to make it clear that you do not have to be clad in skinny jeans, wearing tattoos and stealing a cultural look from Blacks (by virtue of your stocking cap in summer weather) to be good at holding your own in urban automobile traffic.

In fact with a decent E-Bike even the oldsters will come out of their shells. People shrink from cycling for one reason alone. Performance Anxiety. But level the playing field and take mere muscle and testosterone out of the equation and things will change.

The hipster males will grumble through their ginger beards that the lifestyle has gone to hell. It hasn’t. It has undergone the same transition as did automobile driving. By making the motor the bastion of no single class of operators, by removing the need to shift a stick and pop a clutch you make it easier for everyone to simply get behind the wheel and drive.

And with the advent of things like GPS you can handle getting to grandma’s house without having to fumble with a map or rely on a co-pilot. Neat!

So take the weight off of Citi Bike. This isn’t their problem. This is something generated by Hipster Males who have grown into the all-white country clubs of the Old South. Augusta, Georgia would be proud. Fore! Hand me down my green jacket.