Lifestyle Cycling infrastructure may pedal gender myths

Cycling infrastructure may pedal gender myths

What would it take to get you on your bike? 

It seems the answer may depend on your gender – and it has nothing to do with the yellow jersey. 

If you’re a man it’s probably the prospect of an alternative way to commute, but for women the picture is more complex. 

Governments around Australia have tried to boost cycling as a means of reducing congestion, pollution and obesity. 

But research from Victoria University suggests they may have created an unintended gender gap by investing in male-centric infrastructure such as commuting corridors. 

Researcher Matthew Bourke says female cyclists tend to use their bikes for a broader range of activities, including riding with children to school or running errands, whereas male cyclists are more likely to focus exclusively on riding to work. 

“The results indicate if we want to encourage more women to use their bikes for transport, we need to invest in local cycling networks that connect to local shopping centres, service areas, and schools as a starting point,” he says. 

Australia has a low rate of transport cycling, with only 1.1 per cent of trips to work made by bicycle according to the Australian Bureau of Statistics. 

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