Discussion in 'General Cycling Discussions' started by Heltor Chasca, 9 Jul 2019.
Do you ever stop preaching?
Only on Fridays
See you tomorrow then...……...
Well that would be lovely..
But lotsa fieldwork to do tomorrow.
Trapped in a barn with a load of veg today.. Need some 'company' to relieve the tedium
I hope you are not using me as an excuse to stop working.
Anyway I am away for a cycle, I will try not to oppress anyone, promise!
Drifting back to the topic...
I do wonder how the demogrpahic of where you live / cycle affects the mix.
For example I cycle a lot in central london where frankly every type of person is likely to be found on a bike. Black, white, brown, male, female etc.
It seems to be pretty diverse, although probably still more men than women and more white than BAME.
On the other hand, when I get back to surrey, it is a lot less diverse amongst the adults but still farly diverse amongst the kids cycling to school.
Some of the male / female divide in Surrey could be around child-care. In my experience it is still the majority case that mums do school run in the car. There are dads and grandparents too, but it's mostly the mums.
On yet another hand (I think that's 3 hands now) most cycling clubs tend to be majority white middle aged men. However white middle aged men is probably a majority demographic for that age group in my area of Surrey, so is it just reflecting the current diversity of that age group and the desire of our wives to have us out from underfoot?
And on yet another hand there is also the impact of religion - for example some varieties of Islam regard cycling to be immodest for women.
It's OK.. I'm my own boss..
Which nowadays roughly translates as
"Spends wayy too much time d*cking about on internet forums, under the pretence of answering customer emails"
Never mind just policing your own oppressive tendencies, it's now your job as an enlightened 'white male' cyclist to see that no one else does any oppressing.. ..
Now be on your way, with the righteous sword of inclusivity at your side..
(or strapped to the cross bar - if you must)
There are some interesting Segways coming out of this for me. I for one am also interested as to why I am harsher on my own demographic. I could often be in the same boat as @mudsticks and find myself being harshest towards the white, male and stale group. It’s the same group I belong to so I’m intrigued as to why I am like this. I think I need to psycho-analyse myself or at least get a professional to do it. My background is complex so good luck to them.
Supporting female and POC/BAME cycling I think I’ve justified why I want to do that. Something is broken in that regard in our society and nothing upthread has fully addressed my OP. Do not get me wrong, I’ve learned a few things. I appreciate and respect @mudsticks for putting ones head above the parapet in this respect.
Maybe solo cycling is easy to start and take up regardless of who and what you are. So let’s forget solitary pursuits and commuting.
Maybe if I respectfully narrow my questions in my OP specifically to GROUP or CLUB cycling and getting diversity within those realms. Minority groups do not want to dive in. A member of one of my clubs belongs to BOB (Brothers on Bikes which is a Muslim club) I need to find a way of asking him stuff without offence.
Just a guess here, but could it be that you have recognised that male, white, older people have traditionally wielded the most power.
Set things up (consciously or unconsciously) for their own benefit.
And have taken advantage of or exploited even, these power imbalances to suit their own agenda.
There is plenty of evidence to support this theory, so your discomfiture at this realisation is merely a manifestation of your conscience, speaking some truth to you.
The conundrum as to what we do about all of this, how we redress the balance, is another matter.
But I reckon your speaking to, and far more importantly listening. to these other groups is vital..
Narrowing down on club rides simplifies things a bit, however in order to get people cycling in a club, you need people at least interested in cycling. Therefore it is all related.
In my own club and local clubs I would estimate the BAME members at about 10% and female about 20%. This is significantly lower than 'people on bikes' that I see in the local area. Reasons for this - I am not expert, but I think they are probably the same reasons that have been discussed in the past and indeed in this thread; lack of free time, status, danger perception, lack of role models, cultural dominance of other sports/activities etc. I am aware of some success Breeze rides nearby that the clubs have not really tried to capitalise on for various reasons.
I see all sorts of people cycling in suburban Manchester. The commuters are mostly men in lycra, but lots of school kids (mostly boys), and lots of women during the day. I think many women, including me, would be put off joining a cycling club because of the perception that it would be a competitive environment and most women seem to cycle for fun or as a way to get from A to B.
What is interesting is why girls and boys both learn to ride bikes as kids and after around age 11, and the move to high school, many girls stop riding bikes. Is it the perception that it's a boy thing? Is it uncool to be seen riding a bike as a girl?
This applies to me. I assume that if I turn up to a group ride with people I don't know that, if I am the only woman, i am going to be the slowest and hold everyone up. This is, however, in my head - I have been in this situation several times and it rarely turns out to be the case.
I think that applies to quite a lot of male cyclists too. I'm pale , male and stale and have absolutely no interest in being competitive on two wheels.
I wonder if its just a self fulfilling image problem.
I'm no club rider, I'll go riding with at most three other friends, and that's pretty rare, mostly it's just me and the countryside, going at whatever pace suits.
I do come across groups of what appear to be mostly gentlemen of a certain age, wearing similar t shirts, when I'm out for a ride, I'll even stop for a chat sometimes.
I guess they're club riders of some sort.
Maybe it's just me, but it all comes across a bit blokey banterish, and slightly competitive, even if not intentionally so.
I'm sure it's great, for those who are inclined to such things.
But maybe the whole slightly cliquey thing, and Strava stats comparisons, doesn't suit everyone.
I get a slightly astonished reaction, if it is discovered I've been on the road for days on end, but that I don't have a bike computer*.
* I guess this is a variant on "I don't have a telly"
- don't have one of them, not neither..
Actually, I am very competitive. I just tend to assume that if I am the only woman, I will be too slow for the group.
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