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Why Are Three Out of Four Cyclists on the Street Men?

10:58 AM EDT on March 21, 2012

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I’ve never thought of myself as a female cyclist. For the last 13 years, I've been a bike commuter in DC, and I figured my needs were the same needs as any cyclist. But for the last six months, I’m a biker that doesn’t bike, and that has everything to do with the fact that I’m a woman. So the Women’s Cycling Forum, which kicked off the National Bike Summit yesterday, hit home for me.

After all, I had taken the metro. To the Bike Summit.

Why wasn’t I riding? I just had a baby. So did my partner, but somehow he never had to stop cycling. But then, he didn’t find himself gaining 28 pounds in nine months. Or pushing a baby out his bike-seat anatomy. And since he's not nursing every three hours, he leaves the house without Luna more often than I do, so he has more cause to bike. At two months, she’s too young for a bike trailer.

At least, I think she is. I have to admit I’m not sure when babies can start riding along. No one at the hospital made sure I had a child bike seat properly installed before I went home. None of the parenting websites and blogs I read list “old enough for a bike trailer” as a milestone. There are other cyclists in my mom’s group, but somehow no one talks about getting back in the saddle the way we talk about the challenges of going back to work or getting babies on a sleep schedule.

Now that I’m beginning to take short forays out of the house with Luna, I’m missing my bike. Bypassing the bus would make those short forays shorter, and more enjoyable.

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