we've come a long way baby?

Velocipede, tobacco label, 1874

Resulting from the discussion of women and bikes last week, I've received some interesting links that shed additional light on the issue at hand - Why don't more women cycle?

First, a report from CNN about how the invention of the bicycle emancipated women. Women of the world who bike unite with me and say YEAH!

And following a similar yet strange wave, the wikipedia page about how cigarettes were marketed as an emancipator for women. (See? We can be brainwashed too.)

One step forward, two steps back - here's a study on how the automobile gave women more freedom of movement.

So it comes down to - well - spin (pun intended). If society says "the bicycle gives you freedom and you should spend your money on it," it has been proven that people, including women of every income bracket, will do just that.

Which brings me to the facts. Serendipitously, I received notice after last week's reaction to Elly Blue's article in Grist about a survey that was done on the state of women's cycling in North America. 13,000 women answered questions about why they cycle, where they cycle and how they feel when they do it.

You can download all the info you need here, and this reading material should keep you busy for a few days!

And this site, the Association of Pedestrian and Bicycle Professionals, will give you surveys, articles, webinars and more ways to get involved.

I think this discussion has opened a door to a wide superhighway of thought regarding the popular use of the bicycle by women. I'm happy to continue the discussion here on Vélo Vogue, and please take what you have learned or discussed here back to your own homes, families, neighborhoods, city councils and beyond.

We've come a long way, but we've got a long way to go, baby.

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