Biking Bell Curve

Imagine if there was a group of people who had superior skills regarding to cycling so that they could do so in such a way as to make it much safer.

Should we listen to this group?

The vast majority of cyclists says “NO!” In fact, they flat out ignore this group.

Why?

Because they are women of course.

How do I really know that these cyclists are the most “competent” of them all?

Let’s look at the facts. After all, just going on our own “superstitions”, we’d never learn anything!

Women account for only 40% of cyclists nationally, but they make up only 10% of the fatalities. Men on the other hand, are 60% of the total, but are 90% of the fatalities. Thus, women are less likely, even when their smaller total numbers are factored out, to die when cycling.

But who are the chest thumping bike xperts? (sic) :)

Men!

So here’s the thing. Why the hell would I listen to someone who is more likely to die?

I shouldn’t.

We really don’t know _why_ women are less likely to die, and we probably never will because, like I said, nobody listens to women.

We’d rather continue to die in larger numbers while mocking the safer sex.

I do have a theory on why women are in less accidents, and that is because they ride more intelligently.

In order to promote bicycle safety, I’m going to advocate riding more like women.

Other idiots can continue to ride their own made up ways, but I’m going to peddle down the path of wisdom.

Here are some of my preliminary findings in the wonderful, innovation I call “listening to women”.

Notice that these are all tendencies and the opinions of the women cyclists that I have spoken with and read about. Thus, there are going to be women who ride the exact same as the prototypical male. If this offends you, please close your browser window now. I’m not here to offend, but merely to collect data to keep myself alive.

Women tend to ride only when they feel comfortable. Other morons call this “superstitious” or whatever, but guess what, the proof’s in the pudding.

Women don’t tend to look at made up “crash diagrams” nor do they obsess over door zones or the dangers of sidewalk riding.

They go out of their way to ride longer routes which are quieter and avoid heavy, loud traffic.

They wear what they want.

If riding is too hard or scary, they just won’t ride at all which probably accounts, in part, for their lower numbers of cyclists. This also happens to be one of the cornerstones of Cross’ conclusions. Be very careful on what roads you ride on. Don’t be bold. Don’t ride too fast.

And overall, if you aren’t part of the safer sex who rides like the safer sex, shut up about safety. The numbers are against you, and whatever you say is bound to be wrong and just get people hurt.

4 Responses to “Biking Bell Curve”

  1. IT Says:

    Did you consider that perhaps men ride more than women (in miles per capita)? Or that some men ride in more dangerous situations due to their job? (I’d say 99% of food delivery/messenger cyclists are men, at least in NYC.)

    • Fred Says:

      No, I didn’t consider it. Thanks for bringing that up. The data is fairly messy and incomplete.

      On the other hand, to say that men ride more or they ride in worse places, definitively, needs more data.

      Honest criticism is welcome, but often we have the situation where speculation and criticism are seen as on par with the facts. This, I can not accept.

      Also, the female cyclists I know, can kick an average man’s ass in distance and risk taking. I was introduced to fixies by a woman. I was taught most of what I know on bike repair by a woman–several actually.

      Finally, I feel that if the stats went the other way, there wouldn’t be so many details of the study put under a microscope. Rather it would be accepted that of course men are better riders.

      I just wanted to point out that women have much to teach, and that one should show some kind of data to back up one’s supposed expertise.

      The data so far shows that women are safer. I’m eager for more information on this topic–not to have the boring men vs. women thing–I like both–but to teach us all to ride more safely and comfortably.

  2. Wes Oishi Says:

    As there is no shortage of sperm, while eggs are limited, we may be biologically hardwired to preserve the female of the species. In general, women take less risks then men.

    • Fred Says:

      Thanks for commenting. I appreciate it.

      I’d like to elaborate on how I think that biology plays in bicycle safety.

      I do like biology (I minored in it), and the way that our animal bodies affect our minds and decision making process.

      That being said, ee may or may not be hardwired to preserve females. I’m really not sure about a lot of what goes on for biology of the sexes, and “just so stories”. I have found that a broader study of cultures shows a diversity that contradicts nearly everything that we believe is “hardcoded” regarding maleness, femaleness, and sexuality. Humans, especially our minds, are far more plastic than most of us know.

      I mean, we can argue (quite wrongly) that men don’t listen to women because men tend to be stronger and more violent.

      For me, that’s not been the case as I know very many strong women and lots of weak men (and the reverse, too).

      Also, it’s a shitty way to run society in an unequal way due to these stories. The point was, whatever the reason, we should listen to women more.

      I would say that it’s tautological that women take less risks. By definition less risk results in less injury.

      On the other hand, I am not sure whether there’s something special about women’s biology that men can not learn from.

      I just thought it was ironic that most bicycle safety gurus are from the riskier sex.

      I would love to see women put together a bicycle safety course for me based on what how they ride. Though I speculated on why women are safer, I really don’t know the reason which is why I say that more research is warranted.

      Obviously, as a man, there’s not a lot I can do to get this research going.

      I’m eager to hear the results and to take the class.

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