More on Women and Cycling . . .

Picture 1Check out today’s BBC Woman’s Hour, which posits that women are actually more at risk on a bike than men (six out of seven cyclists killed in London by “heavy goods vehicles” this year were women), though no real reason or further figures on this were given. Training videos for truck drivers, safety devices like proximity sensors, and other ideas for improving cyclists’ safety are discussed. It’s nothing ground-breaking (I was disappointed that the discussion with four female commuters focused on, you guessed it, helmet hair), but at least women are speaking for themselves, even if it’s just for a minute or two. You can download here (right-click and “save target as”) or stream it live here.

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12 thoughts on “More on Women and Cycling . . .

  1. I too was massively disappointed by Woman’s Hour. I’d say the proportion of women who don’t wear helmets in London is equal to the proportion of men. The real problems are traffic flow systems, a lack of common sense, flagrant car invasion of the space at junctions set aside for bicycles and, I hate to say it, other cyclists. I’m often tutted at and harassed by other cyclists eager to risk death by creeping up on lorries and going through red lights. Stand your ground girls, if you think you’re being sensible stick to it!

  2. Trisha says:

    Comments like yours make me kind of glad I’m basically the only cyclist on the road in Nashville! But yeah, I expected more from the woman’s hour.

  3. anna says:

    Do you know the awareness videos the did in London to improve safety for cyclists? I think they are great: http://www.dothetest.co.uk
    Well, that’s not gender-specific, but still a good campaign. For the rest, I’ll follow your links right now…

  4. I am confused about the purpose of this piece. They mention in the middle of the programme, that the 6/7 statistic this year and is not typical of the general trend. So why repeat it over and over in a misleading manner? Between the statements about not being able to ride without reflective gear, the necessity of helmets, and ear-phones as cause of death, no woman would want to ride a bicycle after listening to this.

  5. tsalyards says:

    Brits, just like Americans, are fixated on the crash (i.e. helmets) instead of well-thought out infrastructure. The English-speaking world just doesn’t get it. Make biking safer and easy to adopt and more women will bike.

  6. Shelly says:

    What a hot topic this whole Women/Gender/Cycling thing has become.
    Congrats for helping to raise the consciousness.

  7. dukiebiddle says:

    I think the great big safe elephant in the room that nobody seems to want to talk about is the fact that the study sample is so small that percentages of male to female fatalities is irrelevant. Alarmism in discussions about bicycle safety is so tiresome. Seven examples in a city of over seven million is no more a reliable study sample than it is an indication of a significant public safety concern. I would be curious to know how many pedestrians were struck and killed in London during the same period. If the statistics are similar to those we see in the States, then that number should be about 50, as about 7 times as many pedestrians are killed by motor vehicles than bicycles, and yet there is never a public outcry about the dangers of pedestrian traffic.

    • dottie says:

      So true! Seriously, helmets for pedestrians and car passengers would make a lot of sense…

      • dukiebiddle says:

        Hey, I coincidentally just ran across an article from 2007 about this same issue:

        http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/uk/article1695668.ece

        Very interesting. They theorize that that London women are being struck by lorries because they are following the law at red lights, which leave them in the lorry driver’s blind spot. Men, conversely, almost always run red lights and blow through stop signs, putting them in a far more visible position to all drivers.

        Now, I’m certainly not going to say the people should always run red lights, but I think maybe they should pull ahead of all drivers by 5 or so feet at all red lights, even if that puts you in the cross walk.

      • dukiebiddle says:

        zonks, the article actually says just in front of the lorries is the most dangerous spot. So I guess people should just run red lights all the time. Heh. Awesome!

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