Now that the weather is warming up we are beginning to see more than a few bicyclists out on the road. Bike racks are filling up at schools and businesses and you might have to be a little patient as you ride in bike lanes or bike trails as more people take out their bicycles and get back into the habit of riding.
The Alliance for Bicycling and Walking 2014 Benchmark reports that 0.7% people in Wisconsin commute to work. Our state is ranked 13th in the country. Of those commuters, 31% of women. This number is up 28% from five years ago.
Census Bureau released a new report on U.S. commuting, heralding a 60% increase in bike commuting over the past decade. Men are almost 3 times more likely to bicycle to work.
In the Netherlands, women make 55% of all cycling trips; in Germany they make 49% of all cycling trips. By contrast, in the U.S. only 24% of all cycling trips are made by women.
Why does this matter:
- Bicycling has a large impact on Wisconsin’s economy; a greater number of women riders would be good for tourism dollars and bike shops, where women are more likely to make bike related purchases
- Health cost savings; active commuting improves health and reduces health care costs
- Budgets: commuting saves money; a 10 mile round-trip commute saves $10 a day
- Women are concerned about the vitality of neighborhoods and communities where we can bike are where we want to live
We would like to utilize women from around the state who have found the joy of bicycle transportation and would like to share that passion with women in their lives who have not had the opportunity to experience bicycles to travel.
We are excited to launch our Women & Bicycles Roll Model Program where women will agree to be Roll Models to inspire women in their lives to try riding a bicycle. The commitment involves:
- Host one meet-up for ten women centered around a casual conversation about bicycling
- Organize one workshop for women on your choice of bicycle content
- Organize one social bicycle ride for women
- Communicate about events and ideas through our Women & Bicycling Facebook Group
Claire loves to bicycle on cross-country cycling adventures during the summertime, but her bike remains her main form of transportation when she’s at home, too. She’s an an active member of the cycling community in Stevens Point, advocating for safer bike routes and supporting local bike maintenance facilities. She’s a constant advocate for choosing to ride rather than drive.
Maddy‘s family has been influential in her love of biking. Biking gives her an escape from everyday life as well as allows her to clear her head and really put things into perspective. There are very few obstacles on the road that cannot be maneuvered around and each one given Maddy. Maddy looks forward to sharing her family’s love of biking with her daughter
Cassandra is a long-time resident of Madison. It’s hard for here to imagine her life without cycling. But it wasn’t until she started working in the cycling industry five years ago that she realized the impact commuting by bike had! It’s a way to stay physically fit, a way to reduce traffic congestion, a way to relieve stress, and a way to bring people together. My regular mode of transportation quickly became a passion that she want to share with others.
Are you interested in becoming a Roll Model in the Women & Bicycle program? Contact Carolyn Dvorak to find out more.