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Growth of Women in Cycling

female-bicycle-accident-lawyer Many people believe the decline in female ridership is due to safety concerns for women when riding on roads alongside cars or being harassed by men while out on a bike ride, but this isn't true!

Many other factors contribute to this trend, including lack of access to facilities, work, family lifetime constraints, and more.

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Cycling has always been a gender-neutral activity. However, until recent years the majority of U.S. bicycle owners and enthusiasts were male. That seems to be changing as women quickly encroach in numbers to the male population that enjoys the freedom and health benefits of bike riding.

However, during the pandemic, women likely felt much safer riding bicycles outdoors. This change during the pandemic year was likely due to numerous factors, including temporary infrastructure improvements, less congested roads, and heightened perceived safety risk with the installation of bike lanes.

In the 1990s, when there was a rise in women's cycling, women were much better represented across the pond. More than nine million U.K. users ride their bicycles out on the road every year in tours and group riding events.

Global figures show many more females, especially black women, than ever participating in cycle racing, tours, and group rides. In the United States, there has been a steady increase in female ridership for more than a decade. Despite this, women still represent only one-fourth of cyclists on the road.

Cycling is not just a male activity anymore as females prefer to bike around town rather than drive their car or use public transportation. A Gallup survey from 2008 to 2012 found that the number of women who bike has doubled over that time, but females still accounted for just 23 percent of all U.S. cyclists in 2012.

Time Constraints and Family Life

Many factors contribute to this trend, including lack of access to facilities, work, and family lifetime constraints, and more.

Women are also earning higher education degrees at higher rates than men but taking on more debt in the process. Childcare is another factor that often deters female participation in cycling.

According to recent data, fifty percent of American women who own bikes don't ride them because they perceive themselves as not having the time or say it makes their clothes dirty. Many also complain about the lack of safe routes for cycling, not to mention the need for more bike racks and storage facilities.

A decline in male riders and a dramatic increase in female cyclists made the numbers almost equal for both genders. Depending on the age group you look at, there already may be more women bicycling than men.

Increases in Women Cycling

Several reports and studies have pointed to the increase in women who have entered the cycling sport or leisure activity. For example, the League of American Bicyclists compiled a report titled "Women On A Roll" that used over 100 sources to show data on the female bike rider in today's riding community.

This report on women riders is the first of its kind, bringing in some eye-opening results on women bicycling trends.

  • From 2003-2012, the overall activity levels of females riding increased 20%
  • In the age bracket from 17-28, 60% of bike owners in this group are women
  • 82% of women surveyed had a positive outlook on women cycling activities
  • In 2011, women accounted for 37% of the retail bicycle market

The report showed the increase in women involved in cycling. 45% of staff in bicycle advocacy groups and organizations are women. However, 89% of bike shop owners are still male in the retail market, with 33% owned by husband and wife teams.

Another study released in September 2013 showed the same increases in women joining the cycling community. According to the National Sporting Goods Association Sports Participation Study and the American Bicyclist Study numbers released by the Gluskin Townley Group, women cyclists have almost reached the 50% mark of total bicyclists for 2012.

From 2011 to 2012, 1.3 million more women and 1.2 million fewer men participated in cycling. The change reveals the male percentage of bike riders down to 51% and increases women to 49%, an increase of 8% over 2011.

The Effects of Bicycling on a Woman's Body

Many women choose bicycling as an effective way to improve their overall health and fitness. In addition to generating physical activity, bicycling can reduce heart disease, cancer, stroke, and diabetes risks.

Studies show that women who regularly bike to work and other destinations report lower rates of depression and less stress than those riding for leisure or exercise. In addition, some reports indicate that bicycling can reduce obesity and osteoarthritis.

Steady bicycling burns over 300 calories every hour in women as a non-load bearing activity. The increase in physical activity decreases the risk of cardiovascular disease, osteoporosis, breast cancer, and depression. In addition, as women age, they are likely to have denser bones if they participate in regular bicycling.

One common injury that is associated with cycling for fitness or transportation is urinary tract infection. However, women can decrease their chances of these types of infections by following some simple steps. For example, wearing cotton underwear, taking showers after biking trips, and not sitting on damp clothing can help prevent UTIs.

Riding a bicycle provides benefits combined with the dramatic increase in women participating in cycling for transportation or fitness. It appears that bicycling is on its way to becoming mainstream among the female population.

How to Get Involved in Cycling as a Woman

If you're looking to get into bicycle riding, it's important to stay safe on the road. All riders should wear helmets, follow traffic laws, use proper lighting, and wear visible clothing. In addition, riding at night should only be done if the rider is properly equipped with lights and reflective gear.

Most importantly, training your body for biking is essential for injury prevention as you get started. Taking a practice ride on less busy roads can help you learn to maneuver without getting hit by other cars or suffering an accident that may cause injury.

You will also need to understand the correct bike for your body and how to maintain it. For example, it's never a good idea to ride while standing up or sitting down on the seat. Instead, finding a middle position for your hips and allowing yourself to coast while standing can help you avoid pain and numbness after long rides.

Riding in a group can also help you get started with joining the bicycling community. Those just starting will have an easier time understanding traffic flow and finding their place on busy roads when surrounded by fellow riders who know what to do.

The Future of Women in Cycling

As bicycle commuting becomes more widely accepted, female participation in bicycling will likely continue to grow steadily.

Of course, there are concerns about the safety of bicycle riders on roads around the country, but the steady growth in female riders signals a positive outlook for those who choose to participate.

Women can take advantage of this trend by making sure they understand the safest and most efficient ways to commute via bicycle. They should also be aware of the physical changes that can come with riding regularly.

It's never too late to start bicycling among the young and nearly all other age categories. Still, women who are just getting started should be sure to wear a helmet and safety gear, understand local traffic laws for riders, and find a riding group that enjoys popular cycling areas. By doing these things, even novice riders can avoid accidents and injuries as they become part of the new wave of women cyclists.

The Evolvement of Bicycles Designed for Women

These new numbers show a shift that makes everyone in the cycling industry take notice. Manufacturers of bicycles and equipment and retailers realize that their new market is quickly moving toward a female majority.

This marketing shift in the bicycle industry among major brands will undoubtedly change how these products are marketed, emphasizing female cyclists' interests. The bicycle group activity levels have stabilized during the same period, with women taking to cycling areas and quieter roads.

This trend did not necessarily happen naturally. There have been several advocacy groups and programs to increase the number of women bicycling. Groups, such as the Women Cycling Project, founded in 2010, promote education and encouragement for potential women bike riders.

Programs like this highlight the health, environmental, and transportation benefits of cycling for women.

With such a huge increase in the number of women riders from 2011 to 2012, creating a real boost in cycling enthusiasts, it is good to see where the numbers land for 2013. For the first time recorded in the U.S., women may have become the biggest blocks of bicycle owners that begin a new chapter in the cycling industry.

The Future of Women's Pro Cycling in the United States

While there has been much debate and development of women's pro cycling in the U.S. over the past decade, significant steps have been made in awareness and participation of women's cycling that suggest continued growth.

The rapid rise in the number of collegiate cycling teams, including over half of NCAA Division I programs having women's teams, and the inclusion of almost half of USAC's NRC races on the 2013 calendar that explicitly promises women's inclusion on the podium are steps toward this growth.

Additionally, there is increased participation in women's racing at all levels, including under-23 and junior road, time trial, and mountain bike racing. Thus, the consensus is that women's cycling has a very positive future in this country.

Since the Women's World Cup in 1998, cycling has become one of the most successful international women's sports. By 2009, it had acquired the most World Cup events of any women's sport.

Similar to its international development, there has been a rapid growth in women's racing in the United States. From 1998 to 2010, national professional championships were held on or following UCI (International Federation for Cycling) race days.

In 2011, the National Racing Calendar (NRC) was established as a USAC (United States Cycling Federation) national series. This series is composed of nine UCI-sanctioned events. The NRC is very significant for women's cycling in the U.S. because it aims to provide the 'best American professional road racing teams' with a pathway to compete at international events.

The growth of women's cycling is also evident in the competition itself. In 1998, only two countries had a UCI sanctioned women's road race; in 2012, the United States hosted 20 such events involving more women than ever for several reasons.

A Beginner's Guide to the Growth of Women in Cycling

The first step is just getting over any inhibitions about cycling, which can be daunting for some people. For example, if you're worried that riding a bicycle will change the way your body looks, you may be looking at the situation in entirely the wrong way.

Bicycles are one of the easiest ways to get into shape while still leading a normal life. Cycling is easy on your joints and has very low impact, so it's much better for you than running, leading to knee problems when done incorrectly. So if there was ever a way to get in shape without really trying, this is it.

Cycling can also help you lose weight by increasing your metabolism. You burn more calories with every mile you cycle instead of walking or running the same distance.

In addition, cycling regularly will help train your body to become more efficient, which means that even if you're not cycling any faster, you will be burning a larger number of calories in less time.

As a bonus, cycling can make your backside look better. It is true for women who start exercising after years of being inactive, and it's also true when combined with a healthy diet. Cycling does not change the shape or size of your derriere - instead, helping you lose weight reveals your body's natural curves.

Once you get past any apprehensions, you'll need to get a bicycle that fits your needs and is appropriate for where you are going to ride it. Putting together your first bike can be an enjoyable experience, but if this isn't something you have done before, it's best to let someone help you who does know what they're doing.

Cycling Accidents Among Women Cyclists: The Downside of Outdoor Bicycle Activities

According to the Insurance Institute of Highway Safety, the incident rate of catastrophic bicycle accidents on the nation's roads has risen significantly over the last few decades. In addition, the data shows a marked increase in the number of bicycle riders injured and killed each year as a result of this tragic trend.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), more than 800 bicyclists were killed in crashes with motor vehicles. In addition, more than 50,000 riders were injured in 2018 - the latest year that data is available. These numbers may seem high, but they're an improvement from previous years. For example, in 2016, the number of fatalities was 922.

These injuries and deaths could have been prevented if the bicyclist had worn a helmet or reflective clothing. Still, other accidents are unavoidable even when the rider is following the law and wearing safety gear.

Concerns of Women Riders: How to Stay Safe While Riding Your Bicycle

Safety is a top consideration in women's cycling in traffic. Although motorists are required to follow bicycle safety laws, most do not know about them.

That said, there are also some things you can do to improve your safety. Be aware of the law, don't assume other people are paying attention, follow traffic laws yourself, and be prepared for the unexpected.

In most states, bicyclists have the right to share the road with other vehicles. Unfortunately, this means that motorcycles and cars must share the road with you.

Follow these basic rules in women's cycling to stay safe while riding:

  • Always wear a helmet and reflective gear, such as brightly colored clothing or an LED light on your bike
  • Always use hand signals when turning and stopping
  • Obey all traffic laws just like motorists, including yielding to pedestrians and stopping at all stop signs and traffic lights
  • Be aware of your surroundings, especially in a busy area
  • Never assume a motorist can see you or will follow the rules of the road when driving near you
  • Never ride your bike on sidewalks in most areas

The law requires drivers to give bicyclists three feet of clearance when they pass them on the street and one foot when sharing a lane. If a motorist violates this law, they could be at fault for an accident involving you and your bicycle.

In addition to knowing rights as a bicyclist, it's also important to know the laws of your state regarding helmets and reflective gear. In most cases, these rules will prevent you from being ticketed for breaking the law, but be aware of possible exceptions.

If you are hit by a car or truck during your ride, you will likely need to hire an attorney to protect your legal rights. In addition, if another person's negligent actions caused the accident, you may be entitled to compensation for medical bills, lost wages and pain, and suffering.

How a Personal Injury Lawyer Can Help If You Are Injured in a Bike Accident

Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers LLC is committed to protecting the safety of all bicyclists. If you have questions about a bicycle crash in Illinois, contact our attorneys for a complimentary consultation.

Were you left with severe injuries or the death of a loved one in a bicycle accident caused by another's negligence? Are you seeking financial compensation? Our bicycle accident attorneys can provide immediate legal advice during a free case consultation.

We accept all personal injury cases and wrongful death lawsuits on a contingency fee basis. This promise ensures you do not pay us anything until we resolve your case through a jury trial or negotiated settlement.

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