For Fear of Safety, Women Avoid Riding in NYC

While I’m based due north of New York City, I do a fair share of riding in the Big Apple. (Each weekend while riders make a mass exodus to the Runcible Spoon, three blocks from my house, often time I’ll lead rides in the reverse direction to do some laps in Central Park.)

I’m very comfortable with urban riding, though that said there are plenty of encounters in New York City that are more terrifying than they need be. Take for example this incident that occurred on the bike path along the Hudson on a BikeHugger meetup ride.

New York, like many other metropolises, isn’t the safest place to ride, despite a few years of hard work by the office of the Mayor, the DOT and the various park agencies. Cities like San Francisco, Portland, Seattle, Austin and many others all have more welcoming cycling routes and drivers that are by-and-large more accustomed to interacting with cyclists. Just a decade ago in NYC there were almost no dedicated bike lanes and the most commonly-seen cyclist was a delivery guy riding the wrong way down a street while dangling a bag of fast food.

No wonder then that the New York Times has noticed this and a recent piece starts with an interview with Julie Hirschfeld, owner of beloved shop Adeline Adeline who backs up data about the dearth of female cyclists in NYC by saying “Women want to feel safe,” Naturally. But NYC isn’t the place to feel safe and as such it lags behind many cities in terms of female cyclists. Male riders in NYC outnumber female riders three-to-one, much higher than global travel stats and much higher than other U.S. cities.

Cities like Portland have been able to close this gap, the Times says, by offering clinics for women but admits that most of the gain likely comes from safer routes.

In my experience with The City, infrastructure seems to be a key issue. The Hudson River trail, one of the few spots for casual cyclists to ride, is so full of pedestrians, bikes, scooters, roller bladers that a rock in the trail can cause a Tour de France level crash. Central Park is even worse as it adds horses, time trial riders and vendors.

The solution? Just build more and more infrastructure and calm the traffic surrounding it. A few years of safe riding being the norm and people will flock, regardless of their gender.

New Aero Wheels: Deep and In Control

A few tweets with @angryasian reminded me this morning to post about new wheel shapes from Hed Cycling and Enve Composites

Lots of riders using deeper wheels today. Add in the blustery winds off the coast and narrow roads w/ ditches = lots of ouch. earlier today

@angryasian noticed that too and a good selling point for next-gen rims from @hedcycling and @envecomposites. earlier today

@angryasian and they’re talking these new shapes as an aero advantage instead of “holding your line” when it’s blowy. earlier today

@bikehugger Funny, I was thinking it was more reason for regular consumers to be careful with wheel depth in general. earlier today

The crits I raced in last weekend we’re all windy. Swan Island in Portland had strong gusts on the backside. You fly around a corner at 32, into a wall of wind, and drop 6 mph in speed. As James notes in his tweet, lines get really fluid in the wind and especially when everyone has deep wheels. No line is predictable and certainly not the wheel you’re following.

Both Hed Cycling and Enve Composites are addressing stability in the wind and Enve is marketing it towards better times in the TTs. The thinking is, as Simon Smart tells us in this video, the more stable the bike, the more power is consistently delivered to the drivetrain and the faster you go.

Biologic ReeCharge Case for iPhone and Dynamo Hub

You can charge your iPhone while you ride with this new setup from Biologic. This package just arrived and includes the new ReeCharge Case for iPhone, bracket, and Dynamo Hub. The hub features an on/off toggle to turn off the generator when you don’t need it and reduce friction.

As soon as we get a wheel built to that hub, posts and reports to follow. We’ll also sell these in our store, as soon as they’re available.

Lined up

Local racing routines include the line up with race instructions from the official. On Facebook, our fans, have been captioning this photo with

Repeat after me…”Name…’—-“Name”…
Take the 2nd left past the burrito truck…
and this one, time, at band camp
Four score, and seven years…..

And more. What’s yours?

Uploaded by Hugger Industries | more from the Bike Hugger Photostream.

Utrecht Bicycles

Utrecht is a featured place on Flickr today and we haven’t ridden there yet, but it’s on the list.

Uploaded by beeldmark | more from the Bike Hugger Photostream.

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