Cycling has always been a gender neutral activity, however, until recent years the majority of U.S. bicycle 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. Both a decline in male riders and a dramatic increase in women cyclists have made the numbers almost even for both genders. In fact, depending on the age group you look at, there already may be more women cycling than men.
Increases In Women Cycling
There are several reports and studies that have pointed to the increase in women who have entered the sport or leisure activity of cycling. 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 is the first of its kind, bringing in some eye-opening results on women cycling trends
- From 2003-2012, the amount 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 bicyclists
- In 2011, women accounted for 37% of the bicycle retail market
The report showed the increase in women involved in cycling. 45% of staff in bicycle advocacy groups and organizations are women. However, in the retail market, 89% of bike shop owners are still male, with 33% owned by husband and wife teams.
Another study released in September 2013 showed the exact 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 have almost reached the 50% mark of total bicyclists for 2012. Just from 2011 to 2012, there were 1.3 million more women and 1.2 million fewer men participating in cycling. This brings the male percentage of bike riders down to 51% and increases women to 49%, an increase of 8% over 2011.
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, as well as retailers, are realizing that their new market is quickly moving toward a female majority. This will undoubtedly create a change in how these products are marketed, with a large emphasis in obtaining the female cyclists interests.
This trend did not necessarily happen naturally. There have been several advocacy groups and programs to increase the amount of women cycling. Groups, such as the Women Cycling Project that was founded in 2010, promote education and encouragement for potential women bike riders. Programs like this highlight the health, environment and transportation benefits of cycling for women.
With such dramatic increases in the women cycling numbers just from 2011 to 2012, it will be interesting to see where the numbers land for 2013. For the first time recorded in the U.S., women may become the majority of cyclists and begin a new chapter in the cycling industry.
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.
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