Is London's Cycling Culture Too Macho?

Cycle//UK

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Over recent weeks we have heard a lot about cycling and the need to do more to get people on bikes, and provide a greater infrastructure for those who opt to cycle.

However, as the pressure mounts on the government to make good of their promises to increase funding for cycling, one of Boris Johnson's top advisors has claimed that cycling in London is too macho.

The Mayor's Cycling Commissioner, Andrew Gilligan, believes that we need to see more women on bikes in order to 'reduce the testosterone' and create a 'continental' culture with riders of all ages and both sexes riding bikes.

"At the moment cycling is disproportionately young and male and that’s because of the conditions. I suppose those are the people who feel able to cycle," he said.

"What I want to see from these changes, and I think we will see, is far more women doing it, for more older people doing it.

"What that will do is just generally reduce the testosterone level, calm things down a bit, change the culture of cycling a bit more towards what we see in continental cities; people of all ages, riding along quite slowly on quite clunky bikes in their ordinary clothes."

Gilligan claims that a change in culture would mean fewer pedestrians being injured by boisterous male riders, as well as the plans for cycling superhighways helping different riders feel safe enough to get on their bikes.

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