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Is Biking Just for Young Men? (Discussion)

Cycling advocates argue that women, older people, and children are not likely to use local city streets to bike out of concerns over fast-moving car traffic.

During a common refrain from cycling advocates was that busy streets in Altadena and elsewhere make it hard for anybody but young men to ride bikes.

Several advocates both at the Altadena Town Council and the county hearing said specifically that many women don't bike because they fear for their safety on city streets that don't have separate bike lanes to keep cyclists away from traffic.

Of course, it was not just women that were mentioned: advocates named older people in general and children as other groups who are not able to take advantage of street biking.

So what do you think Altadena?  Are you a female biker?  Do you see a lot of female bikers on the road?  Do you think the majority of local bikers are young men?  And if so, do you think that is a problem?  Can it be solved?  Please weigh in below in the comments section.

Dan Abendschein November 17, 2011 at 06:43 PM
I agree with both above. I have taken my bike on a train twice, and it is a tough fit. I think what you could very easily do would be to take out the two stand-alone seats at the front of the cars, and instead, in that area, hang bike hooks from the ceiling. That is the most efficient way to contain a bike in a small space.
Lisa Hastings November 17, 2011 at 07:23 PM
There are more important things to complain about on the Gold Line than bicyclists, like the people who hog seats and block aisles and doors and the people who stink like cigarettes. So, on the train, leave the bicyclists alone. As for riding a bike on the street, I don't do it. It's way too dangerous.
Adam November 17, 2011 at 11:02 PM
Apparently, there are some plans in the works. From http://www.metro.net/around/bikes/bikes-metro/ : On Green and Gold Lines:  Please stand with your bike in the designated area marked with this symbol.  Metro will be adding open areas for bikes in these cars in the future. Note:  Frequency of rail service will increase as seats are removed, to better accommodate those with bikes and all other riders.
Alison Johnson November 17, 2011 at 11:25 PM
I would definitely ride again if my current schedule accommodated it, and hope soon to resume cycling on weekends. I used to do triathlons in my 20s and 30s and trained on city streets in Pasadena and Los Angeles-- with a few forays up and down the long bike path to Long Beach, and one great trip to Carlsbad... sigh! Those were the days! I am not afraid of cycling on the city streets. I do obey the driving rules of the road since the journey itself is my destination, and I'm not in a hurry to make a race time or get to work. Bicycles are also the most efficient transportation, using the least amount of energy for the greatest distance traveled. I think the bikeways are a GREAT idea and will likely use them with my family.
Rachel Wing January 06, 2012 at 03:19 AM
I'm a biking middle-aged woman. I've bike-commuted all this week 8.5 miles each way from Pasadena to Monrovia. The young men bike faster than I do -- does that make them safer? We're all pretty helpless against a car! I wonder if there are statistics on deaths and injuries of cyclists hit by cars, proportional by the cyclist's gender. I have to adjust my schedule so I can get home before traffic heats up. The worst part of the commute is in Arcadia between Baldwin and Michillinda because the suburban neighborhood design made for very few through routes except for a few major thoroughfares - i.e. no quiet residential streets that actually go anywhere. I use Colorado, but I have a very scary 1.5 miles coming home where Colorado is a mini-freeway. I can't wait for the Gold Line to get out to Monrovia, or for Arcadia to realize what a waste it is for beautiful Colorado Blvd. to be restricted to cars. It would be a perfect place for a road diet or for a separate recreational path. Why do they need an additional 4 lanes running parallel to the freeway anyway? I'd also like to point out that there is no sidewalk on that stretch. I tried to run it once and kept having to balance on the narrow curb when cars came by. If I had a kid in a stroller ---- I'd never go there. What a shame! So, yes, women bike. But perhaps we take the risk a little more to heart.

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