20 September 2009

More Ladies on Bikes, Please

Blonde. Bicycle. Pictogram.
Sustrans, the UK's leading sustainable transport charity, has started a petition on their BikeBelles website that encourages women to cycle

They interviewed 'over 1000 women to find out what they believed would most persuade them and other women to cycle more'.

'Overwhelmingly women wanted more cycle lanes separated from traffic, so Sustrans has launched our Motion for Women petition calling on governments to prioritise the creation of environments that encourage and support cycling, including cycle paths separated from traffic, as a way of enabling many more women to travel by bike.'


In Copenhagen, half of the citizens cycling each day are women. Much the same is seen around Denmark and Holland.

Sustrans has started a petition to show support for safer bicycle infrastructure.

Cycle Chic encourages you to sign the petition until November 29, 2009 right here.
Red at Red Light *

12 comments:

Adrienne Johnson said...

Mikael, I do not want to be a "lady" on my bike. Could we have a campaign to get more ballsy broads on bikes? I could really get behind that ; )

Mikael said...

lol!
that would scare the bejesus out of the male motorists and perhaps increase sales of bus passes and bicycles!

m e l i g r o s a said...

i vote for more caffeinated monster broads. I smell a ballsy broads SF campaign coming up, ttssss...
<3 m

the opoponax said...

Yeah, here's to ladies with moxie! W00t W00t from the Brooklyn Ballsy Bike Broads chapter!

In all seriousness, I saw this on another blog and it made me wonder. Aren't bike lanes and separated paths good for EVERYONE, not just women? Are they going for a chivalry angle? When I ride on the greenways here I notice all sorts of cyclists and pedestrians, of all gender permutations...

Kim said...

Sadly it is not a good idea in the UK many of the cycle lanes are down right dangerous. They are not about prioritizing cyclist the way they are in Denmark, they are about keeping cyclist out of the way of the far more important (to policy maker) motorised traffic. Just take a look at Cycle Facility of the Month and you will see what I mean. To make matters worst, many of these "Cycle Facility" where put in by Sustrans, a well meaning but badly misguided organisation. The road to Hell is paved with good intentions...

Kim said...

Ops, I mean signing the petition is not a good idea. Getting more women cycling is a good idea, it is just the sadly Sustrans does not have a good track record with with providing good quality cycle facilities...

WestfieldWanderer said...

It's a common misconception that Sustrans is a "provider" of these facilities. They have no mandate to provide anything. They are just an obscure charity that campaigns for and encourages highway authorities to provide proper cycle facilities in Britain. They raise funds, provide civil engineering expertise and advise. Sadly, because of the car-centric attitudes and almost total lack of interest and the utter ineptitude of the authorities in question (most of the time they can't even design a functional road system) what we ultimately get is the fifth rate replicas of mediaeval cart tracks to nowhere and strips of paint here and there.
Such is life in the bike-phobic, car-obsessed hell-hole that is Britain.

WestfieldWanderer said...

Having said all that...
Sign the petition.
It can do no harm.
One small step at a time...

miss sarah said...

I'm with the bikes lanes in general, for EVERYBODY. Why is it when a man goes out there and contends with traffic it's sort of his domain and his safety is somehow not as much a concern?

Us delicate flowers need the infrastructure more than others? Ha! Make sure the bike lanes are wide enough so I can bring my chaperone with me:) And we should also get petitions going so that I can start wearing dresses that expose my ankles too.

Lauren said...

Proper bike lanes/paths are good for everyone. End of story. But I suspect arguing that point requires a far deeper commitment to getting people out of cars and onto bicycles (and into public transport) than any government agency is willing to make.

So I'm not all that opposed to this particular suggestion, even if the language is a bit idiotic (and the apparent disregard for the safety of male cyclists extremely stupid.) Put bluntly, I know a lot more men than women who are willing to risk - and it is a serious risk in many parts of the UK - riding in traffic. I do it now that I've moved to pancake-flat north Germany, where the car drivers are ridiculously well trained about cyclists, but I'm frankly terrified of trying it elsewhere. If useable bike lanes get a few more (female) riders out there challenging the lycra culture, then in the longer term it may encourage campaigns about infrastructure for all with a chance of success. Perhaps.

I hate to be stereotypically feeble and girly, but in all honesty, if I hadn't moved somewhere with serious cycling infrastructure, I would never have started using a bike as my main form of transport. And I'm still a tad frightened, mainly because everyone else has about 30 years of experience on me and doesn't always understand why an adult may sometimes wobble at traffic lights! So while the petition may be dopey in itself, I'm definitely a living example of "if you build infrastructure, they will ride," and I'm in favour of anything that supports this rather than the current UK standard "if they ride, we'll build them something."

Hmm. It seems when I finally delurk, I go on at length! Sorry!

richard irvine said...

Bike lanes=Good idea
Rubbish bike lanes filled with potholes, debris, cars, dangerous junctions a la UK=Bad idea.

Also, recent research shows cars go closer to cyclists who are in cycle lanes so wotcha gonna do?

Dottie said...

I consider myself a lady on a bike. Until someone cuts me off - then they get the finger.