Not Just a Man's World

Social expectations of women, personal doubts, and lack of encouragement can keep a woman off a bike. What can she do to overcome these obstacles?

FIND A BIKE YOU'RE COMFORTABLE ON
Find a bike shop you like and trust; they can help you make your bike more comfortable. If shopping for a new bike, you may consider leaving your boyfriend/husband at home! Some salespeople end up talking more to your boyfriend/husband than to you about your needs. Shop around a good bike shop will be used to selling bikes to first-time cyclists and should give you the information you need to trust your own intelligence and buy a bike that's right for you.

LEARN ABOUT YOUR BIKE
By learning how your bike works you'll be less daunted by it and will notice when something is wrong. Maintain and become acquainted with your bike by cleaning it regularly. Learn how to fix minor problems on the road or have cab fare so you won't be stranded somewhere.

LEARN HOW TO PROTECT YOURSELF
Learn your rights and where it's safest for you to ride. Take a self defense course so you can gain confidence and protect yourself in the unlikely event of an attack.

SIMPLIFY YOUR HAIRSTYLE AND WARDROBE
Biking doesn't have to be an athletic event that leaves you in dire need of a shower. Ride slow and freshen up in a bathroom at work. Bring a change of clothes or leave clothes at work. Ride the bus when you feel like dressing up more.