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Women remain minority when it comes to bike commuting


PROVO — For Kira Johnson, the affection of biking to paintings led her to her present task at Provo Bicycle Collective, a nonprofit used bike store.

Though she says she does not imagine herself an avid bicyclist in line with se, “we will enjoy our neighborhood extra and enjoy human interplay extra when we’re on a bike slightly than when we’re in a automotive,” Johnson stated.

She is a part of a minority of girls who decide to journey their motorcycles to paintings and faculty. Though bike commuting is a rising pattern national, ladies make up best about 28 p.c of bicycle journeys in 2014, in accordance to the League of American Bicyclists.

Johnson got to work at Provo Bicycle Collective as a result of she sought after to be told extra about how bicycles serve as. She says she believes fewer ladies use motorcycles to trip in Utah on account of a loss of infrastructure for riders within the state.

“I have been blessed with safety, but I also bike pretty defensively, and so I won’t enter an intersection unless I’ve made eye contact with both the person turning left and the person turning right,” she defined.

The program supervisor and bike mechanic at Provo Bicycle Collective additionally says she believes some ladies would possibly really feel intimidated about problems that might rise up whilst driving, like getting a flat tire and no longer understanding how to repair it.

Kristin Murphy, Deseret News

Florence Luna stops on the UTA bike pit prevent at no cost breakfast and swag for bike commuters in Salt Lake City on Tuesday, May 15, 2018. Luna bike commutes day by day on an GREENbike.

However, she says some great benefits of driving outweigh the hazards if a rider takes precautions.

“I think if we understand how to bike in urban places, I believe we can be very safe. That the concerns with safety are mostly just barriers to us, but once we learn how to overcome those, I think that it’s very safe to be biking,” she stated.

In Provo, ladies make up best 23 p.c of bicycle commuters, in accordance to a find out about led by means of BYU well being science professor Robert Chaney.

The researchers noticed bike commuters all through height trip occasions over a two-week duration in fall 2014. They discovered that gender variations do have a tendency to have an effect on how riders view protection and “their concerns for being seen while riding.”

“There may not be, in reality, any different kind of risk (to women) compared to men on bikes, but women on average may think that their chance of getting hit is different, so their perception of safety is different,” Chaney defined.

The professor, who himself has been cycling to paintings for years, says he used to be triggered to do the analysis when he moved to Utah and spotted ordinary issues in regards to the state’s cyclists and roads.

Kristin Murphy, Deseret News

Chris Fraizer leaves a SLCMoves pit prevent that gives unfastened breakfast and swag all through her trip in Salt Lake City on Tuesday, May 15, 2018.

He stated the vast roads create “some unique opportunities, but also some unique challenges for bikers.”

The University of Utah does not file knowledge about bicyclists according to gender, in accordance to Ginger Cannon, U. lively transportation supervisor. However, “research tells us that women do not bike commute primarily because of barriers related to perception of safety, lack of bicycle facilities, and lack of end of trip facilities, such as showers and changing rooms,” she stated.

She additionally says the U. “supports annual events that encourage and educate bicyclists and includes women-specific programming. We also have curriculum that teaches bicyclists how to bike commute and explore the city by bike.”

Bicycle advocacy crew People for Bikes additionally did a find out about on gender variations in bicycling, surveying 16,000 other people. They discovered that extra ladies concern about their protection whilst driving a bicycle than males do.

Additionally, “it is also worth noting that women are significantly underrepresented in some areas of bicycling, such as racing. … Women are more often outside of the core of bicycle enthusiasts, and strategies to get them riding should keep that in mind,” in accordance to People for Bikes.

There are a number of occasions in Utah, some held by means of bike retail outlets, aimed at together with extra ladies on the planet of bicycling. Among them:

Kristin Murphy, Deseret News

A biker cruises previous a SLCMoves pit prevent that gives unfastened breakfast and swag for bike commuters in Salt Lake City on Tuesday, May 15, 2018.

• On Saturday, the yearly Cyclofemme Ride, an off-the-cuff journey for every age of girls, came about in Provo.

• Provo Bicycle Collective places on a weekly Women’s Volunteer Night on Mondays from four p.m. to 7 p.m. During the development, ladies are invited to volunteer within the store and know about bicycle mechanics.

• Trek Bicycles in Salt Lake City holds a Ladies’ Night Out for feminine cyclists to connect to each and every different. The retailer additionally provides a bike assortment designed particularly for ladies.

• Salt Lake City Bicycle Collective holds a “Women, Trans, Femme Night” each Wednesday from five:30 p.m. to eight p.m.

• Red Rock Bicycle Company in St. George sponsors mountain bike rides and workshops for ladies.

• In June, the Little Red Riding Hood all-women, noncompetitive bike journey will happen in Cache Valley.

• In September, Goldilocks Provo will even grasp an all-women, noncompetitive bike journey.

Momentum Mag, a bicycle-focused newsletter, discusses some great benefits of bike commuting to people and communities as a complete.

It’s amusing and wholesome; it contributes to health and happiness; it can give a boost to mind efficiency; and it saves cash and offers riders a sense of freedom, the mag personnel writes.

According to the U. lively transportation supervisor, “if you look at the history of bicycles as a technology, they are strongly connected to the history of women’s rights and independence in America.”

Kristin Murphy, Deseret News

Andrea Birch stops on the UTA bike pit prevent at no cost breakfast and swag in Salt Lake City on Tuesday, May 15, 2018.

“Bikes empower women. Getting more butts on bikes, no matter the gender, benefits our entire community with almost 50 percent of Utah’s urban air pollution coming from tailpipe emissions,” Cannon stated.

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Utah ranks 16th nationally for its percentage of bike commuters, with a number of towns together with Orem, Ogden and St. George rating prime amongst different towns of an identical inhabitants sizes, in accordance to the League of American Bicyclists. More than 800,000 Americans pedaled to paintings in 2016 as a part of a rising pattern against bike commuting, the league estimates.

And with extra other people cycling to paintings, roads transform more secure for bicyclists, Momentum Mag claims, bringing up a find out about from the University of New South Wales that discovered “driver behavior actually changes to include safer driving practices when the number of cyclists and pedestrians increases.”

Chaney consents.

“The more you have a diverse and inclusive population of riders, the more likely it is to be a big group, and the bigger the group, the safer it is for everybody,” he stated.


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