photo by Andy Gates
Bicycling is a great way to get to work without using gasoline or other non-renewable resources. It strengthens the body, bolsters the immune system and adds to the overall well-being of the cyclist, but a new poll shows that some may not be utilizing pedal power for the wrong reasons.
Two Thirds of Women Never Cycle
According to a poll from the United Kingdom, the majority of women, aged 18-34, do not bike at all, and most of the women polled would not bike to work. 58 percent of those women cited the fear of sweaty dishevelment as the major deterrence. 27 percent were worried about helmet hair. Other concerns included lack of shower facilities at the workplace, safety issues, unwilling to carry a change of clothing and inadequate cycling skills. Only two percent of the women polled biked every day.
Experts and Celebs Promote Cycling To Women
Although celebrities such as Elle Macpherson and Agyness Deyn have promoted biking, it didn't seem to decrease the gender imbalance. Experts have claimed that slow, even-paced cycling can prevent the unkemptness of the rider and that overall health benefits should outweigh any short-term untidiness.
Do Male Cyclists Worry About Helmet Hair?
Although this poll focused on women, it is almost assuredly true that there are men who do not bike to work for the same reasons. Can you imagine Pat Riley cycling to a Lakers' game? No one wants to arrive at work covered in sweat and smelling like body odor. Does the poll seem a tad sexist? It may have been, but it highlighted some of the societal inequalities between the genders. Men are allowed to be a bit scuzzy. There are plenty men on television with three-day beards, untucked shirts and fashionably disheveled hair. Women, on the other hand, almost always appear in the media in full makeup, with styled hair and smart clothing. The societal inequalities of grooming standards seem to extend to cycling.
Does Helmet Hair Contribute to Climate Change?
Societal standards, pressures and displays of wealth do seem to affect climate change. People use aerosol hairspray to appear more attractive at the cost of the environment. Someone might drive a tricked-out SUV to display wealth and impress neighbors. A leaf-blower might be employed to keep up with the societal standards of yard maintenance. Women refusing to cycle to work is symptom of a far-reaching societal problem. Getting a few ladies to bike to work might cut down on emissions by a negligible amount, but it will take an overhaul of societal standards to make a considerable difference.