Paul Andrews

Why Fewer Women Riders? Wait a sec…

In Mountain Biking on February 23, 2010 at 9:24 pm

Angela taming a log roll in St. Ed's

Why are fewer women cycling? asks BikeRumor. Well, er… are there actually fewer women riding? Most data in urban areas suggests the opposite. And on the trails, there’s a real explosion in women mtbers (granted the base was small). On Twitter and Facebook, more women riders all the time. Still, it’s worth a read…

Case in (counter)point: Angela Sucich takes the Diamondback Lux Sport out for a thrash.

Gregg’s Cycles in Seattle has reprised W.O.W. — Women on Wheels, a Ladies Night Out. Mark it down: 6:30 p.m. Thursday, March 4, at the Green Lake store.

And at 86, still pedaling.

Then again, Martin Krieg, the “FarthingPenny” guy, checks in with this report:

“Who should roll up but Ellen Fletcher, America’s first politician/bike activist. And the woman for whom America’s first bike boulevard here in Palo Alto was named. Ellen asked me how our ride to Boston was coming along, and among other things, told me she had seen our bus parked on the other bike boulevard, Park Blvd, at Park Automotive Services. And as she pedaled off, I felt the need to corroborate her age for Chris and Caroline, the passer by who took the below photo. Ellen had to stop to get enough wind to answer me. She was still on the mend from having had a cancerous part of her lung removed.

“Eighty two”, she answered. She got back on her bike and pedaled away!!”

Alice Telford rides like ... a girl!

A less encouraging case in point: Woman rider clotheslined in steep gully.

Don’t forget the always cyclesque Kate Hudson!

And then there’s “Women of Dirt,” which is getting premieres all up and down the West Coast. The Cali premiere is this Sunday in Santa Cruz, rain or shine.

Which brings us to the subject of the bizarre dreariness and slop of this winter. In Vancouver they’re sweating in sunshine but the SF Bay Area can’t buy a ray. The big question-mark this weekend is the Santa Cruz Mountain Bike Festival. “Women of Dirt” will show, but the rides and events planned around the festival aren’t being helped by the wet. Mark Davidson & the gang at Mountain Bikers of Santa Cruz have put together an incredible weekend, with more than $15,000 worth of merchandise to raffle off. At last tweet everything is still on, Soquel Demo ride and Jump Jam included! Got my ticket from Another Bike Shop in Santa Cruz and am ready to rumble!

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  1. In my post on BikeRumor, I was actually highlighting data from British Cycling, a major advocate for everyday cycling, the national governing body for cycling sport and the fastest growing cycling organisation in the UK.

    I totally agree that it seems unbelievable! All my experience points to more ladies cycling, and there are schemes to make cycling more female-friendly similar to the ones you highlight springing up in the UK. But British Cycling has the stats and, if they’re correct, then they’re right to be concerned.

    I’d urge anyone who has a relevant viewpoint to take part in the survey on the British Cycling website.

  2. Agree that more women are getting into cycling. I have been seeing this happen over the past decade in Bay Area mountain biking.

    Some more encouraging news: I was at the first volunteer meeting for the Sea Otter Classic on Sunday and I was pleased to hear that the big theme of the Bicycle Leadership Conference in Monterey will focus on women and cycling. Also, the sea otter is supporting “Little Bellas” a program to get girls from 8-14 into mountain biking: http://www.seaotterclassic.com/index.cfm/little_bellas.htm.

    With regards to the Santa Cruz Mountain Bike Festival we are at a wait and see whether of not we will cancel Saturday’s ride at SDSF. The Santa Cruz mountains received 3″ of rain last night and the trails are pretty saturated and there have been slides. Forecast is for more rain on Friday and Saturday morning. We may have a go or no-go decision on Thursday night.

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