New report: Women are on a roll

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By Carolyn Szczepanski, League of American Bicyclists

As the summer riding season peaks, the League of American Bicyclists has released a first-of-its-kind report showcasing a trend seen on streets nationwide: Women are changing the face of bicycling, and bicycling is transforming the lives of women.

“Women on a Roll”—a product of the League’s Women Bike program—compiles more than 100 original and trusted sources of data to showcase the growth and potential of female bicyclists in the United States. It also suggests five key focus areas—the 5 Cs—to increase women’s ridership:

  • Comfort
  • Convenience
  • Consumer Products
  • Confidence
  • Community

Increasingly, advocacy groups and industry leaders are recognizing the gender gap as a clear—and critical—limitation to growing the bike movement and the market. This report puts hard data behind that imperative—and reveals what’s working in getting more women on bikes and where there is clear opportunity to increase female leadership and participation.

According to the report:

  • 82 percent of American women have a positive view of bicyclists From 2003 to 2012, the number of women and girls who bicycle rose 20 percent, compared to a .5 percent decline among men.
  • Women are the new majority: 60 percent of bicycle owners aged 17-28 years old are women.
  • Women accounted for 37 percent of the bicycle market in 2011, spending $2.3 billion.
  • 45 percent of local and state bicycle advocacy organization staff are female.
  • 89 percent of bike shop owners are male, but 33 percent of shops are run by a husband/wife team.
  • Women are still underrepresented in leadership positions, including the boards of national industry and advocacy organizations—and their membership.

Download “Women on a Roll” here and stay engaged as we dig further into the data and concepts in the report with female leaders over the next three months.

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