Why don't ladies commute?

Beating the system - the cycling commuting section

Re: Why don't ladies commute?

Postby Chops » Tue Sep 21, 2010 11:24 am

Fletcher wrote:
Chops wrote:I'd say about half of the women commute to my work. I put this down to a few things:

1) The intelligence level of the women. Most have phd's and are very highly powered.
2) Their age. I don't think any of them have children, although most are taken. :(
3) They work in an industry or area where they try to encourage it, or see the benefits, so to them it is obvious.
4) It seems to be a work place which is very pro-exercise and a lot of staff work out together separately as well.
5) They don't care about looks because they are nerds and don't have to deal with the public.

Interesting to note that I don't think any of the secretaries or admins cycle.


Man, that sounds cool. any vacancies?

Agree with several of the above that the main reason more women don't commute seems to be perceived risk, though only speaking from observation and exp. A frequently heard response when I tell people, especially women, I commute daily is "You ride on the road??" and is usually accompanied with :shock: Even met a few women who are heavily into mtb, compete in enduros and clock up a ridiculous number of km offroad and spinning but rarely venture out onto the roads. When they do, it's usually on the weekend in the safety of a group as they're genuinely concerned about getting wiped out.
It's a bit of a shame, but I don't see many women riding the roads through the week.


I'm sure if you could find work here, you could find the same work in Canberra... if you have some post-grad expertise.
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by BNA » Tue Sep 21, 2010 7:22 pm

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Re: Why don't ladies commute?

Postby marinmomma » Tue Sep 21, 2010 7:22 pm

As I only work 5km's from my home it's not really worth my while to gear up, ride through terrible traffic (for Brisbanites, up the length of Newnman Rd :shock: ) shower and change before work...I also have a storage issue with where to keep my bike for the day....then repeat the process at the end of the day....not too mention that i have a teenager to either drop off at her school bus before or after work....

I probably would if I worked in the city, had better bike storage and didn't have a teenager to transport to school as I'd find it a good way to start my day and a great de-stresser for the end of a day....
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Re: Why don't ladies commute?

Postby Chops » Tue Sep 21, 2010 7:49 pm

marinmomma wrote:As I only work 5km's from my home it's not really worth my while to gear up, ride through terrible traffic (for Brisbanites, up the length of Newnman Rd :shock: ) shower and change before work...I also have a storage issue with where to keep my bike for the day....then repeat the process at the end of the day....not too mention that i have a teenager to either drop off at her school bus before or after work....

I probably would if I worked in the city, had better bike storage and didn't have a teenager to transport to school as I'd find it a good way to start my day and a great de-stresser for the end of a day....


Even more reason to IMO. I only live about 7k's from work and just use it as a sprint, and don't bother to gear up unless I'm riding a lengthier route beforehand.
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Re: Why don't ladies commute?

Postby hannos » Tue Sep 21, 2010 7:57 pm

marinmomma wrote:As I only work 5km's from my home it's not really worth my while to gear up, ride through terrible traffic (for Brisbanites, up the length of Newnman Rd :shock: ) shower and change before work...I also have a storage issue with where to keep my bike for the day....then repeat the process at the end of the day....not too mention that i have a teenager to either drop off at her school bus before or after work....

I probably would if I worked in the city, had better bike storage and didn't have a teenager to transport to school as I'd find it a good way to start my day and a great de-stresser for the end of a day....



5kms. I reckon you could take a nice leisurely ride to work and arrive still fresh and unsweaty.
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Re: Why don't ladies commute?

Postby il padrone » Tue Sep 21, 2010 8:13 pm

hannos wrote:
marinmomma wrote:As I only work 5km's from my home it's not really worth my while to gear up, ride through terrible traffic (for Brisbanites, up the length of Newnman Rd :shock: ) shower and change before work...I also have a storage issue with where to keep my bike for the day....then repeat the process at the end of the day....not too mention that i have a teenager to either drop off at her school bus before or after work....

I probably would if I worked in the city, had better bike storage and didn't have a teenager to transport to school as I'd find it a good way to start my day and a great de-stresser for the end of a day....



5kms. I reckon you could take a nice leisurely ride to work and arrive still fresh and unsweaty.

+1

If you think it's too humid in Brisbane's weather, just ride it nice and slow. Skip the shower/change routine and do a quick wipe-down in the ladies, baby wipes, deodorant etc. You'll still get some exercise benefit and save yourself $$$ in needless fuel use and wear and tear on the car.

Storage? Surely there's a pole or railing somewhere? Leave a D-lock there so you don't need to carry it.

Teenager? Does he/she not have legs? :wink:
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Re: Why don't ladies commute?

Postby ghettro » Thu Sep 23, 2010 9:44 am

+3 My commute is 6km into the Sydney city. I normally wear my office clothes (jeans/trousers office shirt) which is fine. I'll wear shorts/tshirt for summer months and bring a change of clothes. I have a shower and lockup at my work as well.

There are about 6-8 people in an office of about 80 who cycle regularly. Of these there are about 3 women, 1 who rides daily and 2 other who ride occasionally. The rest are guys who ride almost every day.
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Re: Why don't ladies commute?

Postby Jimbosteen » Fri Sep 24, 2010 10:13 pm

I have been commuting from North Sydney to Parra 3/4 days a week since 2008. Started out as a solo pilot and now ride with a group of 5 regulars all from my workplace who are gathered up along the route.

The current mix is 2 guys, 3 ladies with 2 other once a week blow ins who are both female.

Primary reason that the ladies didn't ride before was they suffered on the geography front and on the route we go they find a couple of sections disconcerting for a single female, namely through homebush and along the parra river behind the silverwater prison. The reason for the unease is not the traffic it is the isolation along some sections.

I did have to make a modification in that it was voted that I was to move from the straight bike shorts to shy shorts but it is a small price to pay for the company.
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Re: Why don't ladies commute?

Postby CommuRider » Sun Sep 26, 2010 10:59 pm

Just found this folder so I guess I'll be hanging in here for awhile.

Started commuting last week. Takes me ages by bike/ferry, 30-40 mins by car depending on traffic. However, can't beat this 'convertible' way of travelling.

I'm the only female I've noticed on my bike/ferry route that does the commute. Some thoughts:

1. Big motivation was my workplace that installed proper bike parking and amenities. I can 'refresh' myself because hey, my worst critics are other females. Yes, we judge each other on looks.
2. Safety. I stop at the King St. bike lights. I obey 'bikepath/road rules'. I'm a safety freak. Pedestrians are crossing in Sydney. I'm a driver, I know their mentality. :(
3. I'm still ambivalent on whether I will last. It would be nice to see other females doing the same thing.

Tipping point would be when driving beats cycling again for me.
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Re: Why don't ladies commute?

Postby BandedRail » Thu Sep 30, 2010 12:03 am

After reading this thread I decided to also do a count on my commute this morning, results are:

Bayswater around the river to the Narrows: 21 men - 11 women (ratio of 1.91 to 1)
Narrows to Mt Henry Bridge: 143 men - 13 women (ratio of 13 to 1) :shock:
Total (~25 km, 6:15-7:05): 164 men 24 women (ratio of 6.83 to 1)

I'll do it again tomorrow but the results may be a bit odd as Tuesdays &Thursdays seem to have a lot of bunch rides and it can be hard to count when they go by at those speeds (you get counts like MMMMWMMMM?MMWM) - yep, "?" 'cause a cyclist in full kit plus sunnies at 40 km/hr can get a little gender ambiguous at 6:30 am.
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Re: Why don't ladies commute?

Postby CommuRider » Thu Sep 30, 2010 11:11 am

3 (females): 2 (males) with bikes on my ferry this week. I do think safety would rate higher for us.

And blast it was a cold evening yesterday. Had to seek shelter inside with the other passengers as shirt + vest + jacket wasn't sufficiently warm enough to enjoy the sunset outside.
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Re: Why don't ladies commute?

Postby Max » Thu Sep 30, 2010 12:58 pm

I saw three other commuters this morning. Two guys and one other woman, so that's a 50/50 split! I think I'll be seeing a different crowd next week, as I'll be riding later in the morning. Training course in town. Gotta love the KGSQ cycle centre :D

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Re: Why don't ladies commute?

Postby BandedRail » Thu Sep 30, 2010 10:34 pm

A bit late out of bed today so didn't hit the road until 6:30. Here's the count:

Bayswater around the river to the Narrows: 41 men - 9 women (ratio of 4.56 to 1)
Narrows to Mt Henry Bridge: 160 men - 25 women (ratio of 6.4 to 1)
Mt Henry Bridge to Kensington via Canning River: 14 men - 3 women (ratio of 4.67 to 1)
Total (~41 km, 6:30 - 8:05): 215 men - 37 women (ratio of 5.8 to 1)
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Re: Why don't ladies commute?

Postby anth73 » Fri Oct 01, 2010 3:40 pm

marieparr wrote:IIf anyone can recommend a safe way to the CBD (top end of Collins Street) from Heidelberg Road, Fairfield, Melbourne that would be really great!! Current using Heidelberg Road, Queens Parade, Alexandra Parade, Brunswick Street... Cheers!

You can avoid some of Heidelberg Rd by turning onto Yarra Bend Rd and then get onto the pathway that follows the Yarra to the Gipps Street bridge. From there you can take Gipps or Langridge St all the way to Wellington St. As it runs east-west the traffic isn't too heavy.

I do this sometimes in the warmer months, or take the Boulevard if I want some extra hills. Otherwise it's Heidelberg Rd and Brunswick St for me also.
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Re: Why don't ladies commute?

Postby Comedian » Sun Oct 17, 2010 2:00 pm

I had lunch with my niece the other week. She is young (28) and has a responsible position at her work. She lives 6k from town, and has dedicated cycleway all the way to the CBD where she works. They have full facilities at another company building nearby.

She applauded me for my progress in cycling. I asked her to have a go at it and she just said I have to look professional at work (often wears suits) and she just couldn't do that if she rode a bike in. End Of Discussion. :shock:
Once you can climb hills on a bike it's all downhill. :mrgreen:

Hopefully I'll know what that's like..... one day. :shock: :lol:

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Re: Why don't ladies commute?

Postby Max » Sun Oct 17, 2010 2:15 pm

Um... she understands she can get changed after riding in, doesn't she? :roll:

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Re: Why don't ladies commute?

Postby Parker » Sun Oct 17, 2010 3:37 pm

Comedian wrote:I had lunch with my niece the other week. She is young (28) and has a responsible position at her work. She lives 6k from town, and has dedicated cycleway all the way to the CBD where she works. They have full facilities at another company building nearby.

She applauded me for my progress in cycling. I asked her to have a go at it and she just said I have to look professional at work (often wears suits) and she just couldn't do that if she rode a bike in. End Of Discussion. :shock:

The chief financial officer at my company is a women whose in a VERY professional position, rides her bike. The national HR Manager rides her bike and the women in charge of employee relations across the country... well she rides her bike as well, as does the corporate receptionist and the EA to the CEO
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Re: Why don't ladies commute?

Postby CommuRider » Sun Oct 17, 2010 3:48 pm

I agree with Max and Parker, if you have the facilities, you just need to allocate more time to the dressing before and after. I wear cycle gear, get changed into work gear, then change back into cycle gear. Probably takes me 30 minutes in total before and after and that's me taking my time. This includes the grooming aspects such as brushing hair, getting out of the lycra and into something more comfortable (have panniers so have room for clothes) and trying to look good. I hope to get it down to 10 minutes before and after but I don't want to rush things either. If Comedian's niece needs to wear tons of make up, I suggest that she does it at her changing room. You just need to plan ahead. But if she ain't into cycling, then no use in forcing her. It's just the excuse that she's given isn't resonating with me especially if the workplace has lockers for her gear + cosmetics.
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Re: Why don't ladies commute?

Postby Comedian » Sun Oct 17, 2010 3:58 pm

Max wrote:Um... she understands she can get changed after riding in, doesn't she? :roll:

Max

Well yes. But I hope you appreciate how little the chance, and how fraught with danger it is that any man (let alone an uncle) dare suggest to her how to complete her morning ritual? :mrgreen:

Seriously, there is nothing I can do about this. If I were to push the issue she'd just avoid me. More is the shame. :(

I take on board CommuRiders examples, but it shows again that you have to want to change to make this happen. It adds insult to injury that she will happily take 1.5 hours out of her evening 3 nights a week to go to the gym while free exercise is passing her by.
Once you can climb hills on a bike it's all downhill. :mrgreen:

Hopefully I'll know what that's like..... one day. :shock: :lol:

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Re: Why don't ladies commute?

Postby jet-ski » Sun Oct 17, 2010 7:56 pm

I did a count - Perth - Bayswater at 5pm 27 dudes, 6 ladies (including me) .
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Re: Why don't ladies commute?

Postby Parker » Sun Oct 17, 2010 8:20 pm

Comedian wrote:
Max wrote:Um... she understands she can get changed after riding in, doesn't she? :roll:

Max

It adds insult to injury that she will happily take 1.5 hours out of her evening 3 nights a week to go to the gym while free exercise is passing her by.

well thats her right to make that choice, not everyone wants to cycle and why should they. One of the women at work does RPM about 3 times a week but wont ride a bike outside, it works for her.

You do what works for you, the important thing is that she is fit and healthy with a future a head of her, if she thinks that commuting by bike may lower her standard then it may actually do that... perhaps she wants to get a head in her career and has a game plan, that may not include cycling.
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Re: Why don't ladies commute?

Postby Comedian » Sun Oct 17, 2010 8:28 pm

Parker wrote:
Comedian wrote:
Max wrote:Um... she understands she can get changed after riding in, doesn't she? :roll:

Max

It adds insult to injury that she will happily take 1.5 hours out of her evening 3 nights a week to go to the gym while free exercise is passing her by.

well thats her right to make that choice, not everyone wants to cycle and why should they. One of the women at work does RPM about 3 times a week but wont ride a bike outside, it works for her.

You do what works for you, the important thing is that she is fit and healthy with a future a head of her, if she thinks that commuting by bike may lower her standard then it may actually do that... perhaps she wants to get a head in her career and has a game plan, that may not include cycling.

I do take all that on board. Commuting has been sensational for me. I guess I'm just a little disappointed that she has dismissed it without trying it. :)
Once you can climb hills on a bike it's all downhill. :mrgreen:

Hopefully I'll know what that's like..... one day. :shock: :lol:

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Re: Why don't ladies commute?

Postby Alistair » Tue Oct 19, 2010 10:51 am

Missy24 wrote:Seriously, take me for example, 25 years old, single, spends time at one full time job, has one day of and then goes to work at a different whilst trying to build a good body of work to get into a journalism degree, meanwhile I'm also trying to run four days a week, get some swimming in and one decent ride. Amongst all of this there are friends to visit and washing to do, soooo if I choose to jump on a tram a few days a week for some peace and to read one of the million books that I haven't read, it really is because it's just too hard.

I don't even want to know what it would be like with children!


I think you are probably right... my gf hates the tram and is keen to get more exercise, but you have to be really committed when it is cold, damp, you are tired and the roads aren't bike friendly. We rode a bit when we were in Clifton Hill, but getting across from St Kilda to Carlton isn't her idea of fun. If there was a consistant bike lane she would give it a go, but as it is the tram is much easier.

Glad to hear you want to be a journo too, but not sure about the degree. We both have them and they are totally useless... Keep writing articles for this site and others and i think you will get more valuable experience. Journo degrees all seem very light-on for writing craft - what little i have was picked up through professional writing subjects and a linguistics major. If you are interested in tv they only want "a face for camera". The industry is !! BAN ME NOW FOR SWEARING !!, but if you have the motivation a piece of paper won't be necessary.
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Re: Why don't ladies commute?

Postby Karati » Tue Oct 19, 2010 3:40 pm

I see quite a few women between Bayswater and the CBD. Definately more than I did when I first started riding to work (Winter time.)

I deal with creased clothes, massive back pack, etc by dropping off 3 or 4 shirts and a couple of pairs of trousers, underwear and a towel on Sunday night along with keeping a second toilet bag with shower stuff, hair wax, deoderant and shoes at work. Its a little bit of hassle dropping stuff off but I do it late arvo so no traffic and its much more pleasant not to have to drag in lots of stuff.

It takes a bit of getting used to but I recommend it to everyone.
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Re: Why don't ladies commute?

Postby Chris249 » Thu Oct 21, 2010 1:11 pm

I deal with creased clothes by dropping my shirts off at the dry cleaner's once a week. It costs about $20, which seems a cheap price to pay for not having to iron them and get them to work somehow. I've never had my shirts done professionally before, but it means that I actually look better in the office when riding than I would if I caught public transport.

My wife just rides in in her normal gear above the waist, but as an academic she's allowed to look unironed.
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Re: Why don't ladies commute?

Postby Comedian » Wed Oct 27, 2010 10:08 pm

Interestingly today I talked to this lady at work... she's been on maternity leave for a bit so hadn't seen me for a while. She said you've lost weight and so I told her the whole sorry tale of becoming a Mamil (well maybe I didn't mention the Mamil bit).

Anyway, apparently I've inspired her and now she's all fired up and going to start riding to work. If she sticks at it - I'll be stoked. :) Actually I think as the workplace raving cycling loonie (we have normal sane cyclists) I think I've actually motivated some of them a bit. I'm happy about that. :mrgreen:
Once you can climb hills on a bike it's all downhill. :mrgreen:

Hopefully I'll know what that's like..... one day. :shock: :lol:

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