Bicycle Friendly America Winter 2018 - 20

ADVOCATING FOR THE SPORT
OF WOMEN'S CYCLING
CINDY PETTED

W

omen today are riding bikes for
fitness, transportation, charity,
competition, joy and perhaps most
importantly, social connection. However, in 2009 women accounted for just
24% of all U.S. bike trips. In Germany,
49% of bike trips are by women; in the
Netherlands that number is 55%.
I started Wisconsin Women Cycling
to get more women interested in riding
bikes and to put on Wisconsin's only AllWomen Century Ride. By identifying or
creating safe environments to ride, we
offer girls and women the opportunity to
give cycling a try. For those who do ride,
we encourage them to invite a friend to
join in on the fun. The women I work
with say being on a bike brings them
closer to nature, to their community and
to themselves and, along the way, they
discover (or rediscover) the joy of riding
a bike.

20 BICYCLE FRIENDLY AMERICA

IN THE BEGINNING
I have been riding bikes since the
late-60s; first on the road then off-road
at the moon-crater (what would now be
called a pump track). My sister and I
were the only girls among the boys on
bikes. As a teen, I taught myself to be a
bicycle mechanic and was very proficient
at disassembling and then reassembling
my equipment. At 16, I was Wheel &
Sprocket's first and only female mechanic at the time. I was also training for track
racing at the Kenosha Velodrome, which
included commuting to school and work
and riding the "beat down" weekly. I remember well, I was the only girl on that
ride.
At 18, I discovered century rides and
tours. I fell in love with the challenge
each posed and really enjoyed the camaraderie (probably because there were
women on those rides). Fast forwarding,
as an adult I commuted to work and rode
after work to burn off the stresses in my

life. I rode alone most of the time. My
favorite route, still, is along the bluffs of
Lake Michigan between Manitowoc and
Sheboygan, Wisconsin. It is 21 miles of
rolling shoreline and straight with very
few stop signs. I could just hit it hard
and zone out or take in the scenery -
whatever my mind and soul was craving.
At times, I would search out a group
ride. I'd find myself among a number of
men and they had no problem leaving
me in the dust. "See ya next week," they'd
say.
That last paragraph may seem negative
because, for many women cyclists, it is.
But in defense of men - they're different. They generally ride different, think
different, and have a different ego than
women do. Looking back, I now know
these were not the right groups for me
to ride with. I've gotten better at distinguishing what they offer and if it's a good
fit.
With the help of websites and social


https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pump_track http://www.bikeleague.org/sites/default/files/WomenBikeReport_Final(web).pdf https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/getting-more-bicyclists-on-the-road/ https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/getting-more-bicyclists-on-the-road/ https://www.wiwomencycling.com https://www.wheelandsprocket.com/ https://www.wheelandsprocket.com/

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Bicycle Friendly America Winter 2018

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Bicycle Friendly America Winter 2018 - No label
Bicycle Friendly America Winter 2018 - Cover1
Bicycle Friendly America Winter 2018 - Cover2
Bicycle Friendly America Winter 2018 - 1
Bicycle Friendly America Winter 2018 - 2
Bicycle Friendly America Winter 2018 - 3
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Bicycle Friendly America Winter 2018 - Cover3
Bicycle Friendly America Winter 2018 - Cover4
http://www.nxtbook.com/mercury/bikeleague/BFA_Summer2018
http://www.nxtbook.com/mercury/bikeleague/BFA_Winter2018
http://www.nxtbook.com/mercury/bikeleague/BFA_Fall2017
http://www.nxtbook.com/mercury/bikeleague/BFA_Summer2017
http://www.nxtbook.com/mercury/bikeleague/BFA_Winter2017
http://www.nxtbook.com/mercury/bikeleague/BFA_Fall2016_GatewayDemo
http://www.nxtbook.com/mercury/bikeleague/BFA_Fall2016
http://www.nxtbook.com/mercury/bikeleague/BFA_Spring2016
http://www.nxtbookMEDIA.com