Women Who Bublr
Biking can be intimidating to anyone who hasn’t been on a bike in a long time. The bike culture is predominantly male and many of the images we see are of racers in spandex barreling down the road at 20+ miles per hour. Getting more butts on bikes isn’t only about making Bublr accessible to all, but creating encouragement programs around biking that break down barriers to cycling.
Jen Torres is a new Bublr Pass holder in 2015 and has been maintaining spot #5 on the Bublr leaderboard, which tracks miles ridden and trips taken by everyone who has a Bublr Pass. Jen is the only woman on the leaderboard’s Top 10.
When she got started, Jen says she had to learn the rules of the road, like biking on the sidewalk is illegal, and ignore the perceptions of cycling culture.
“I wasn’t a biking enthusiast. So here’s this girl in a dress with no ‘proper’ gear who doesn’t quite fit the mold of what other cyclists look like.” Jen says. “And then you get over it and just enjoy the ride.”
Jen likes Bublr because it encourages her to get outside and increase her fitness.
“Since I hadn’t biked, or been all that active, for years until this March, it’s tremendously empowering to watch my process and try to get faster or go further,” Jen says.
One of the largest concerns of bike share users of all genders is a safe route. With streets designed for cars above all other modes, potential bike share users are less likely to ride in the first place if they feel unsafe.
For Jen, Bublr is also transportation. She takes a Bublr Bike from the Amtrak Station to the Public Market and back regularly. Bike shorts are Jen’s new “BFF” as she commutes in professional attire.
“I throw them on underneath when wearing a dress so I don’t have to haul a bunch of bike attire back and forth,” Jen says.
While Bublr does not keep statistics on Bublr Bike use by gender, we can tell you that our bike share colleagues in other cities do. Citi Bike in New York City says 31 percent of their members are female. Seattle’s Pronto has one of the larger percentages with 36 percent of memberships held by a woman. In the U.S., an average of 43 percent of bike share users are women.
Chicago’s Divvy says 31 percent of its members are female. A whopping 80 percent of rides taken on a Divvy are taken by men.
The strength of Bublr Bikes is that it offers an easy and affordable access point to ride a bicycle. In addition, when people of all shapes, sizes and colors see other people like them riding a Bublr, they are more likely to do so themselves.