Women In Motion: New Lady Riders Reflect on NYC Cycling by Dahlia Lopez Ramsay
I was watching some of the films over at Street Films and “Women in Motion” by Dahlia Lopez Ramsay caught my attention. From the notes on the video:
There are more cyclists in NYC than ever before, and an increasing number of women using bikes are part of the story. The reasons are many. For one, NYC has added over 200 miles of bike lanes in the last three years making streets safer. Mothers are biking their kids to school and bringing home groceries on the backs of their bikes. More women are commuting to work and enjoying nightlife by bike. All the while, these women are getting more exercise and increasing their energy, saving money, protecting the environment, and getting things done more efficiently than before. Yet there still remains a disparity in the numbers of women versus men cyclists.
So what’s it gonna take to increase NYC’s percentage of women riding bikes?
Streetfilms went out to talk to a few new-to-the-streets women cyclists and find out what got them cycling, what their biking experience is like and find out the role cycling has taken on in their lives.
A couple of the comments from the female cyclists stood out for me. One woman said she had an “aha moment” when she realized bicycling is lot more than a sport. I think often times people look at cycling as either a sporting activity or perhaps a novelty activity that ends up in a landfill. There are many social, health and “green” benefits that come from riding a bike that might not be obvious to the casual observer.
The other comment I noted is related to all the bicycling activism that has gone on here in Dallas over the last few years. Many cyclists have asserted that when you build a bicycle infrastructure, or at least bike friendly streets, “they will come”. So it was especially gratifying when one woman said she began to get interested in cycling when she saw all the bikes lanes being installed throughout the city, and all of the bicyclists riding on them. In spite of some of the more perplexing critics of the “build it and they will come” philosophy, I see evidence of this each day in my own travels around town.
My take on it is build it and they will come, and be sure to tell those who are not out riding how much enjoyment is there for the taking.
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