One of the things I’ve always admired about the United States is the sheer scale of the country. With a population of nearly 14 times that of Australia, at almost 314 million, there is always a group of people (like women cyclists) who have a real voice because there’s so many more of them. I suppose proportionally there no difference to other groups but they seem to get cut-through.
In the US there’s a group called the League of American Bicyclists which has its own Women Bike program and a few weeks ago they released a really interested research report called Women on a Roll.
Women on a Roll is a first-of-its-kind report showcasing a trend seen on streets nationwide (US): Women are changing the face of bicycling, and bicycling is transforming the lives of women.
The report is a product of the League’s Women Bike program and compiles more than 100 original sources of data to showcase the growth and potential of female bicyclists in the United States. It also suggests five key focus areas — the 5 Cs — to increase women’s ridership:
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“Increasingly, advocacy groups and industry leaders are recognizing the gender gap as a clear — and critical — limitation to growing the bike movement and the market,” said Carolyn Szczepanski, the League’s Director of Communications and Women Bike. “This report puts hard data behind that imperative — and reveals what’s working in getting more women on bikes and where there is clear opportunity to increase female leadership and participation.”
According to the report:
- 82% of American women have a positive view of bicyclists
- From 2003 to 2012, the number of women and girls who bicycle rose 20%, compared to a .5% decline among men
- Women are the new majority: 60% of bicycle owners aged 17-28 years old are women.
- Women accounted for 37% of the bicycle market in 2011, spending $2.3 billion.
- 45% of local and state bicycle advocacy organisation staff are female.
- 89% of bike shop owners are male, but 33% of shops are run by a husband/wife team.
- Women are still underrepresented in leadership positions, including the boards of national industry and advocacy organizations — and their membership.
Learn more about Women Bike at bikeleague.org/womenbike.