There’s no question that John Pucher (Rutgers) and Ralph Buehler (Virginia Tech) are two of the most prominent researchers on bicycle issues here in the U.S. So it’s no surprise the bike world is all abuzz with the fall publication of their new book City Cycling. The 365-page resource is billed as “a guide to [the] urban cycling renaissance” and, being in touch with the pulse of the movement, Pucher and Buehler included a chapter on “Women and Cycling.”
This week, Pucher himself gave a preview of the chapter over on European Cyclists’ Federation blog. Being a friend of the League, Pucher gave me a sneak-peak of the chapter, too. Written by leading researchers Jan Garrard, Susan Handy and Jennifer Dill, the chapter discusses the benefits of cycling for women, patterns of participation and strategies for increasing ridership in countries like the U.S. where female cyclists make up a mere 25 percent of bike transportation trips.
It’s a wealth of insight packed into 23 pages, to say the least. Here’s just three items that stood out to me…
- Better bicycling can liberate women from disproportionate time spent driving other passengers. “In two worker households, [U.S.] women were twice as likely as men to pick up or drop off children during their commute… Consequently, when cycling-friendly conditions support independent bicycle trips by children and other dependents, women are the principal beneficiaries of a reduction in these particular household responsibilities.”