Shift Up Podcast: Breaking down the barriers to entry for female cyclists

This week’s Shift Up Podcast, the latest in a new series dedicated to delivering equality in the bicycle business, is now live and available to listen at the base of this page, or at the head of our homepage for the next seven days.

Delivered alongside QBP, whose women’s scholarship is leading by example in the bike business, this episode chats with Eillie Anzilotti, a city cyclist and Fast Company journalist. Anzilotti is the author of the viral piece, “What Will It Take To Close The Gender Gap In Urban Cycling?”.

In this article Anzilotti kicks off with the statement that less than 25% of the trips taken by bicycle in the United States.

Challenging the reasons for this, our host, Arleigh Greenwald of Shift Up Strategies, takes 30 minutes to explore the barriers for women getting in to urban cycling. She asks: what is working to overcome this gap and what can the bike industry do to help more women feel comfortable riding on our city streets.

Delivering an outside of the bike industry perspective and on a platform far from dedicated to the subject of cycling, Anzilotti is involved with bike advocacy network Transportation Alternatives in New York. Through this network work is taking place to gain more acknowledgement for cycling from city Governments in a bid to develop safe infrastructure and subsequently grow modal share. But what does this have to do with Gender equality?

“In response to the article that I wrote it was often put to me that talking about gender in the urban cycling conversation would slow down the effort to get more people cycling in general,” starts Anzilotti. “I’ve heard from some people, mostly men, ‘why drag this conversation through the gender equity machine, it may turn people off the idea; it’s another roadblock’. I don’t view it that way at all, if we can have this conversation at the same time about boosting women’s participation that’s more bums on bikes and helps us understand what’s required to make people feel safe in an urban environment.”

Citing progress made on Queens Boulevard in New York where a new protected bike lane has been installed, Anzilotti spoke of a women’s ride that recently took place on the segment that perfectly illustrated the difference protected bike lanes can make.

“The ride is going to go along a historically terrifying stretch dubbed the ‘boulevard of death’ and this new lane, since it’s gone in, has seen fatalities plummet on the stretch. It’s a much better public space too. The organisers are making the point that its infrastructure like this that opens the doors to a culture shift and to accommodate new cyclists,” adds Anzilotti.

To hear the segment in full click play below and be sure to follow the conversation on social media using the hashtag #betterbikeindustry.


The views, thoughts, and opinions expressed in this podcast belong solely to the host and guest speakers and are not necessarily representative of the views, thoughts, and opinions held by Quality Bicycle Products (QBP).