The barriers to women cycling

From Jesse Mulligan, 1–4pm, 1:37 pm on 1 May 2017

A new exhibition in Wellington aims to boost the number of women cyclists in Wellington.

Cycling is becoming a favourable commuting option for many in the capital as a way to save money on parking, get exercise and help the environment.

But in Wellington up to three times more men cycle than women.

Victoria Vincent has created an exhibition of photographs of women on their bikes to try and inspire women to get into two wheeled traveling.

Vincent says she started to ride her bike again last year because she was was sick of paying for parking.

It was her first time riding since 2002 and Vincent says she was a bit wobbly to start with.

She asked a friend who was riding into town to help her through the city.

“He showed me the ways that he goes and there are all these different routes through the city.”

She discovered that bus lanes are also available for use by cyclists.

“When I arrived at work that day I just this incredible sense of joy, like I had found this thing I had completely forgotten about… I just felt like I owned the city.”

She hasn’t had any problems with aggressive drivers and has never felt threatened by a car.

“I don’t feel like I’m a threat, like I’m not going to get in their way, it’s obvious that they are more powerful than me.”

Vincent says she doesn’t plan her clothing choices around cycling.

“I ride in a skirt, I ride in my jeans.”

Her exhibition aims to inspire women who may be nervous about cycling to get on their bikes.

“Hopefully if they come to this exhibition they’ll see all these women and how delighted and empowered they are looking and feeling and think ‘maybe I should just try it’.

Vincent’s exhibition is on at Thistle Hall on Cuba Street until Sunday 7 May.

Get the new RNZ app

for easy access to all your favourite programmes

Subscribe to Jesse Mulligan, 1–4pm

Podcast (MP3) Oggcast (Vorbis)