Bicycling mag: where have all the women gone?

A quick perusal of the March 2011 edition of Bicycling magazine suggests that women are not only barely visible on our roads, but they’ve been banished from the pages of Bicycling magazine.

In a 114-page edition, with an average of one pic per page, there are 5 pics of women, total, in the entire publication.

And we wonder why so few woman ride? The message Bicycling is giving, at least, is that this is a man’s sport, so best we know our place?




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  1. Cycling takes up a lot of time. Women generally do not have the time to cycle because they’re mostly the ones who have to do the mundane household tasks [ – so that those cycling men can enjoy their pastime!!!!].

    As for bicycling mag only showing so few pics of women – shame on them, as most men LOVE to see pics of women cycling. Most men also welcome women on bicycles – it’s a great relief to the boredom of seeing men on cycles!

    • I agree – and there are even fewer women who commute by bike. What concerns me about the limited depiction of women in magazines like Bicycling is that it sends out the message the cycling is a man’s sport, and that women’s role is as spectator, or supporter… And most women I have interviewed about why they take up cycling is because they see other women doing it (and the fewer women who ride, the fewer there are to inspire others 😦 Even when magazines have a ‘special women’s section, this is even more annoying, it’s like, oh, here’s a special little section for you, you don’t really belong in the mainstream…

  2. In New York City riding is up 6% but I think at least 25% are women. I ride 12 miles into Manhattan 3-4 times per week. As a whole New York has become a more rider friendly city… but it is still male dominated. I think you have a point regarding the lack of women in magazines but I find it even ore annoying when they adorn mags with photos of women but don’t talk about them at all. I really like your blog.

    • Thanks, you’ve made my day:-) I’ll compress and then post by PPT from the Velo-City conference about the portrayal of women cyclists in the media, as I agree with you absolutely, when women are draped over bikes like we used to be over cars, as sales tactics, etc, it’s worse than invisibility.
      PS – I love riding in Manhattan, that’s where I first really started to get into urban cycling. In Cape Town I used to simply ride to work, shops, etc, after spending time in NYC, I started riding at night, changed my entire way of thinking about cycling – would ride from family in Verona (NJ) to the train station, train to the Port Authority, then all over Manhattan, Brooklyn (love the beers there :-), NYC in general. Then the same route back at night. And the rail trail from the top of NY State… I think I’ll have to post some pics:-)

  3. Fred :
    As for bicycling mag only showing so few pics of women – shame on them, as most men LOVE to see pics of women cycling.

    Real female cyclists, not just some cute woman in a kit and clipped into a bike in front of a green screen.

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