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City Cycling: Another Way Men & Women Differ

Rich Heap, Community Editor, Future Cities
Wednesday, December 18, 2013 05:00 EST

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mejiac
mejiac  
12/26/2013 4:41:37 PM
User Rank Village Voice
Re: Biking by gender
@Richheap,

Great Article!

I think this trend shows that the bike share programs does satisfy specific needs.

Thanks to the data gathered, marketing strategies can be expanded to show other benefits.

Like you mention, "different attitudes to risk between men and women", I agree with your statement.

So maybe if if there's a shift in attitudes, this might lead to another shift in perception and greater usage of the bike programs

richheap
richheap  
12/20/2013 12:33:56 PM
User Rank Staff
Re: Biking by gender
"Rich, I think you have made things as clear as anyone could given the limited information."

That's heartening at least. Thanks NewDream.

NewDream
NewDream  
12/20/2013 12:32:01 PM
User Rank Urban Legend
Re: Biking by gender
Rich, I think you have made things as clear as anyone could given the limited information. There are many possible explanations for the situation, and I'm not sure we can rassonably pick any one, or rather any combination of them, over the others.

We don't know if the choice of commuting v.s. relaxation was made prior to signing up or after experiencing the bike sharing program. We don't know if some people purchased memberships just because they believed in the program, even though they had no inteition of actually riding. We don't know how big the novelty effect you proposed may be. We don't know how much of a factor the perceived dangers may be.

It's so much easier, afterwards, to see the questions you wish you had asked up front...

richheap
richheap  
12/20/2013 11:39:21 AM
User Rank Staff
Re: Biking by gender
Yes, the statistics were based on all people -- businesspeople and others -- who had signed up and paid in advance, at which point they also provided data including their sex.

The statistics don't include people who just turn up and pay for a bike at the docking station using their credit or debit card, because those people don't have to give data about their sex when they sign up (although I suppose it could be extrapolated from their credit/debit card data). That's why, for people who sign up in advance, I don't think clothing is such an issue. It may be a bigger issue for casual users who think they'd like to give it a go but then realise they're not wearing the right sort of clothing.

I also don't find it so strange that people signed up in the first place and then didn't use the membership that much. You can sign up for daily, monthly, or annual membership so I'd expect some people to sign up, try the scheme on a daily membership for novelty value, and then their enthusiasm to wane. That's why people may sign up and their bike share use may wane. Does this make it any clearer at all?

Ps. Like you, I'm trying to interpret the data so apologies if I'm not being clear enough.

NewDream
NewDream  
12/20/2013 11:24:50 AM
User Rank Urban Legend
Re: Biking by gender
Rich, perhaps I'm confused about the statistics. Was bicycle riding usage computed based only on those who had signed up for bike sharing? I was thinking it compared usage by gender, as a percentage of business people (also by gender).

So...in the actual circumstance, we're looking at a lot of people who signed up and didn't ride. I'm not convinced it's because of safety concerns. Why would the women have signed up in the first place if they were not comfortable with using their membership? Or, are you saying that they use the membership, but only for casual riding, not for business...

I'm still somewhat mystified.

richheap
richheap  
12/20/2013 11:08:33 AM
User Rank Staff
Re: Biking by gender
Hi NewDream. This study dealt with men and women who had registered to be members of the bike share scheme, and so I don't think clothing is much of an issue.

Yes, women in London are more likely to wear skirts than men, which are arguably less bike share-friendly than trousers. However, if a woman has signed up for the bike share scheme and plans to use it then she'd be able to wear something that allowed her to use the bike easily. Business dress codes here aren't so strict that women aren't free to wear trousers or other clothing that would enable them to use the bike share scheme. It may account for a small part of the difference between the sexes, but other factors are more important.

I'd say it comes more down to cycle safety on London's roads, different attitudes to risk between men and women, and perhaps women are keener to use the bikes to appreciate beautiful parts of the city whereas men mainly want to get where they're going.

sunshine
sunshine  
12/20/2013 11:04:26 AM
User Rank Urban Legend
Re: Update: London cycle network map
Rich, you won't be surprised that I think the promotion of quietways is long overdue.  It's great that the Mayoral team are finally backing this initiative.  

It's very low cost as the streets are already there, no blue paint needed, just a few maps, a few signs, and publicity to increase public awareness. I learnt these routes by trial and error, not difficult and not too time consuming if you can read a map.

It's a particularly useful initiative for those who come into London and are less familiar with these routes but find the 'bike-share' or folding bike essential to complete their commute.

You are correct when you say at some point the cyclist will have to cross or negotiate busier less cycle friendly routes and it is imperative that TfL (Transport for London) ensure that cycle separation is implemented at these points otherwise we shall have the same disasters as have ocurred along the 'super-highways' where the cyclist is abandoned at the 'difficult bits', the roundabouts and intersections.

NewDream
NewDream  
12/20/2013 10:00:03 AM
User Rank Urban Legend
Re: Biking by gender
My belly laugh when I pictured pink bikes with Barbies riding them faded quickly when I realized how unfortunatly possible such a reaction was. The kney-jerk reaction to the statistics would be to address the apparent failure to reach women with the bike share program, and it's not unlikely that cosmetic changes would be the first recommendations of some "experts".

Perhaps the skewed results along gender lines can be traced to some other variation in London that differs from other cities. I'm wondering if business women in london are more likely to wear "bicycle-unfriendly" attire than their mail counterparts. Anyone have ideas about this aspect?

richheap
richheap  
12/20/2013 5:58:16 AM
User Rank Staff
Update: London cycle network map
I've gone into writing-about-cycling overload the last few weeks so I didn't want to write a standalone blog on this new info I've seen from TfL. It has published draft plans for a network of streets in London that will be designated as cycle streets and closed to other traffic. Here's a link to the TfL document and here's a news story from the BBC

What do you think about this? My first reaction is that this "Central London Grid" sounds a very exciting move for cyclists in London, but I'd be interested in getting thoughts from others.

richheap
richheap  
12/20/2013 5:31:14 AM
User Rank Staff
Re: Biking by gender
I'm curious too, Nicole. I didn't have an answer immediately to hand so I went on the TfL website to register for the scheme, and I didn't have to give any information about race, income level, or age. I did have to select whether I was a "Mr" or "Mrs" which would give the sex breakdown in the research; and I also had to give my postcode, which would show where I'm from. So the answer seems to be "no".

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