Thursday, June 21, 2007

Women's Bike Forum meeting

Well, I went to that Women's Bike Forum last night. What an inspiring collection of women! As a group it's still in the process of defining itself, but one thing we all had in common was that we want more women on bikes. Why? Because women are the ones least represented on the bike lanes, and the more women that are out there, the more bikes that are out there. We need those numbers on the road in order to gain traffic planning clout. Plus women are more safety oriented, so if a higher percentage of the bike population is women, the more the bike culture will go the direction of safe, practical riding, rather than the direction of loony-tunes testosterone-driven types in spandex superhero outfits and their hair on fire whose goal is to get across town as quickly as possible no matter how many heart attacks they cause. Call me sexist, but this is what I see. Really. I invite you to disagree, but expect me to argue back with evidence.

I'm sorry to say that my camera batteries failed me all at once last night, even my extras, so I have no photos. But Jonathan Maus of was there taking zillions of pictures and scribbling away in his tiny notebook -- after introducing himself politely and apologizing for not being a woman. We were of course thrilled to have him there making news of our meeting. Don't know when he'll post on it, but probably soon. (No pressure, JM!)



At 11:22 AM, Blogger Jeff said...

I think cycling may have the best female representation of any sport/activity/lifestyle. Unlike many other sports, women participate as equals...not just some speechless trophy girl at the end of an event.

Since women have joined our lunch time riding group, the level of courtesy, civility, and manners have certainly gone up! The guys are finally over getting beat up a climb by a girl too.

At 4:14 PM, Blogger kate gawf said...

Well, Jeff, I don't know what the statistics are on % of women involved in other sports as compared to cycling, but if what you say is true, then Yay!

Regarding the level of courtesy? I was just going to blog on that in today's entry, so scroll up to my post for June 22nd.

As for guys getting over it, Yay to that too. And by the way, anybody of any gender who wants to feel fast is welcome to ride past me, and I'll gladly provide that experience, at no charge. They don't call me Sister Slo-mo for nothing.

At 4:29 PM, Blogger Jeff said...

I can't back up my statistics. I've heard that 68% of all statistics are made up on the spot. I'll just say that from the sports I'm into or have been exposed to, this seems to be true!

At 10:46 PM, Anonymous Aaron said...

For those of you who weren't able to attend the Bicycle Master Plan meetings, Mia Burke (who you would love if you met her) talked at length about the gender gap in Portland. She of course mentioned the stats from Amsterdam showing that there is a more even 50-50 gender ratio there and that this is a sign that bicycling is a safe activity. What was interesting is that she broke down the gender gap by segment. Much of Portland including North Portland, Northeast, and the outer areas had a 20-30% female segment. However inner Southeast Portland had nearly a 50-50 split. This shows that inner southeast is the area that residents consider most safe and comfortable to bike in.


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