Cycling gender gap for good reason

One explanation for 25 per cent gap may be women’s concern about safety, particularly their children’s safety

I have been a cycling commuter for about 15 years, including the last 5 years in Victoria. I’ve also frequently participated in BTWW, and love the energy and enthusiasm generated by this event. But my perspective has recently shifted.

Last summer I became a mother, and while I was once an enthusiastic cyclist, I am now much less confident cycling in Victoria, especially anywhere there is no designated cycling infrastructure and I have to share the road with traffic.

And I’m not alone. I’ve recently learned that in Victoria men and women cycle equally up until the age of 25. After 25, the percentage of female cyclists drops by 25 per cent, resulting in a 50 per cent gender gap. One explanation for this gap may be women’s concern about safety, particularly their children’s safety.

To be fair, there have been significant improvements to Victoria’s cycling infrastructure, however we need to do much more. For example, Blanshard Street has painted bike lanes, but when there is a 40km speed difference between myself and a truck passing within a meter of my shoulder, I simply don’t feel safe.

I know many other moms who feel the same way. I think a shift is needed. Cycling infrastructure needs to be planned and implemented with our most vulnerable citizens at the heart: our kids. If children can cycle or be towed around in a way that is protected from traffic, then safety stops being an inhibitor to their cycling.

I believe this is the best path forward to reverse Victoria’s cycling gender gap and making BTWW a celebration for men and women cyclists equally.

Karen Quine,

Vic West

 

Just Posted

City of Victoria joins national food waste reduction program

The City is partnering in the Love Food, Hate Waste Program

Thousands attend 31st TD Art Gallery Paint-In

Artists display their work along 20 blocks of Moss Street

Details scarce as union confirms probe underway involving Victoria care homes

Island Health, VicPD offer no comment on report of investigation into alleged sexual assaults

Swimmer set for double crossing of Georgia Strait

Jill Yoneda’s Aug. 3 swim will benefit Canuck Place

Sport fishing ban protest organizers trolling for attention

Hook-less anglers hitting Sooke area waters July 29 to protest DFO’s summer fin-fish ban

VIDEO: Victoria woman recounts driving past wildfire near Peachland

Jenna Smith compared the fire to an apocalypse movie

Two significant wildfires burning in southeastern B.C.

More than 20 fires were burning in the Southeast Fire Centre as of Saturday afternoon

Volunteers provide the glue that keeps BC Games moving

The 2018 Cowichan Summer Games had more than 2,300 volunteers on hand across Vancouver Island

No Name brand chicken nuggets recalled due to possible salmonella

Canadian Food Inspection Agency says multiple illnesses reported in B.C., Alberta and Ontario

Lodeiro scores twice to help Sounders beat Whitecaps 2-0

Seattle’s Nicolas Lodeiro opened the scoring in the fifth minute when he converted a penalty kick

Race walker breaks 18-year-old BC Games record

Zone 6 athlete Olivia Lundman crossed finish line with ease, to loud cheers in Cowichan

PHOTO GALLERY: BC Games Day 2

A brief look at action from the 2018 BC Summer Games in the Cowichan Valley

BC Wildfire update on 14 major Okanagan blazes

Watch the media briefing on the current fire situation in the Okanagan.

UPDATED: Kinder Morgan pipeline protesters defy eviction order

Demonstrators at Camp Cloud in Burnaby say they won’t leave, but will meet with city officials

Most Read