April in Sweden posted on Six reasons the world needs more women on bikes, mentioning some of the reasons women don’t bike to work as much as men. April mentions that only about 30% of bike commuters in Portland (Oregon, presumably) are female; in San Francisco, it’s currently about 27%.
Why the gender split?
Natalie Ramsland of Sweetpea Bicycles told me last year that she thinks “the broader scope of women’s responsibilities (work, caregiving, schleppin’) plays some role in female ridership. It’s easier to be the heroic bike commuter if you’ve got somebody else picking up the dry cleaning and shuttling Johnny off to soccer practice. It seems that too often that somebody is female.”
In out society, there are also greater expectations placed on women’s appearance in the workplace. Men can more easily get away with sloppy clothing and hair. Blogs like Velocouture, Copenhagen Cycle Chic (which turned two years old today!), Velo Vogue, Chic Cyclist, Riding Pretty, and many others work to illustrate that’s possible for men and women to look good on and off the bike.