That’s one of the questions the Association of Pedestrian and Bicycle Professionals asked women last year. Everyday riders, racers, and non-bicyclists alike were asked open ended questions; answers were categorized and tabulated. They’ve compiled, categorized, and released answers to three of the survey questions, which you can download from the front page of their site.
The table above shows that nearly a quarter of the 13,000 women surveyed say they would ride more…if only cycling were more convenient. (Here’s a pdf.) Just what is “convenience”? The category is built from various responses, led by time, weather, and distance.
Convenience was followed closely by a wish for better-planned and maintained streets. Safety concerns? Barely a blip.
At first glance, these results corroborate my theory that women ride less than men due to inequality in time and resources, rather than overwhelming concerns about safety.
The survey appears to have a qualitative goal — it’s not taken from a random, representative sample, and we don’t have much demographic data to help put the responses in perspective. So it could be that the survey results agree with my ideas because its 13,000 respondents tend to be people like me.
It’s not science, but it’s something. I’m watching with interest for more results as they’re released.
Incidentally, that’s my photography on the three report covers. I gave them those photos a while back for their library of pics showing women using bikes. It’s cool to see them used here.