More on Who Bikes

New graphic shows demographic data on cycling.

Following up on Eric de Place’s look at some of the demographics of bicycling, We Bike Eugene has an interesting graphic by UO grad student Kory Northrop detailing more about cycling trends across the nation. Take a look (click to embiggen):

bike infographic-author permission

Not surprisingly, the Northwest holds its own, nabbing the #1 (Portland) and #3 (Seattle) spots for most bike commuters.

But one staggering finding is the division between men and women who ride. Only 27 percent of bike commuters are women. That trend is less pronounced in Oregon (40 percent female) than Washington (30 percent), and Idaho and Montana actually have a closer ratio of riders, though fewer bike riders over all. (The chart also shows female rides increasing 2008 and 2009 while male riders took a dive.)

Check it out and let us know what you find most surprising.

Infographic used with creator’s permission.

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  1. Kevin Downing says:

    At the risk of making a too generalized statement, I think the number of female riders is more telling than the number of riders overall. I have seen a number of very strong, fearless women riders on the road but a greater proportion of the ride-like-you-own-the-road, duke-it-out-with-cars segment of the bicycle riding populaiton are male. These people are going to be out there almost regardless of roadway accommodation and motor vehicle driver behavior. If you want an indicator of how much the given infrastructure of an area supports, much less how people in cars accommodate, bicycling as active transportation, I suggest the number of women riders is a good measure. Similarly, the number of riders who are not wearing bicycle togs would be another good indicator of how widely accepted bicycling is in a given area.

  2. Andrew Gray says:

    Not to brag or anything, but the highest proportion of female bikers is in Oregon. Why is that? I know we’ve had efforts in many of our towns for years to put in bike lanes and other bike-ped modifications, but are we that different from, say, Washington? I used to bike-commute in Seattle years ago, but not sure I would have the nerve to do it now—especially if the infrastructure is still in such lousy condition.

  3. Kamala Rao says:

    This is a great article from Scientific American that examines the issue:How to Get More Bicyclists on the Road

  4. Matt the Engineer says:

    Love the graphic. But don’t love the little boxes. It’s hard to visually compare the area in a square to two rectangles that make up the surrounding square. I’d color a percentage of the left side of a square one color, and the rest the other – this would make it easy to tell at a glance how male-biased a state’s bike commute is by percentage. I didn’t realize how male-dominated biking was. There’s nothing about a bike that seems particularly manly, and at least the Danskin is widely popular here (women generally have to sign up for that triathlon within days of open registration to get a spot, and there are 3,500 spots at over $100 apiece).

  5. Heidi Dietrich says:

    Do you know the original source of the data in the infographic? I’m working on a column about women and cycling and wanted to be sure I attribute properly. Thanks!

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