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credit: citibike.com

credit: citibike.com

The brightly-colored vehicle in the lede photo is a Citibike, which is one of many primarily to be found in New York City. It’s actually not a bad idea. One purchases membership in the Citibike network and is then allowed access to Citibikes, which are locked into docking stations placed all over the Big Apple. Need to travel ten blocks? Take a Citibike and return it to an empty docking station at or near your destination.

The bikes are designed with three gears, a little carrying basket and a relatively comfy seat, and with that always stylish, curved girly downtube. In other words, no self-respecting cyclist, male or female, would want to be seen anywhere near one, let alone riding it, but I suppose there are more than enough New Yorkers willing to gain a bit of greenie street cred, or perhaps leggy models wanting to be photographed looking stylish in a “practical chic” outfit while riding.

Unfortunately, there is a snake in progressive paradise. No, it’s not that there might not be an empty docking station where you want to leave your bike, though I imagine that could be a problem, or that there isn’t a bike available when and where you need one, though I’m sure that’s possible too. And it’s not that wisenheimers attach streamers to the ends of the handlebars or slip playing cards in the spokes with clothespins. No, it’s nothing that simple. It’s a horrific matter of gender discrimination, as The New York Times reports: 

When she passes a row of shiny blue Citi Bikes in Manhattan, Yael Steren often wants to stop and take one for a ride. Then the doubt creeps in.

Braving city traffic without a helmet seems too risky. But carrying one around all day would be an inconvenience.

‘I know how crazy the drivers are here,’ said Ms. Steren, 36, a personal stylist who lives in Greenwich Village.

Like many women in New York City, she has weighed the wind-in-your-hair joy of urban cycling with the pulse-quickening anxiety of steering between barreling trucks and decided against taking a spin.

When Citi Bike arrived here, it promised to spread the benefits of biking to the masses, an uphill push in a city where large potholes, heedless yellow cabs and darting pedestrians can make riding on busy streets seem like an activity best left for daring messengers.

But two years in, Citi Bike’s inroads have been decidedly uneven, with men far outnumbering women in using the bike-sharing system. A little time on Eighth Avenue on a recent morning, watching the stream of Citi Bike riders heading north past Pennsylvania Station and toward Times Square, was instructive. Man after man pedaled by, some in suits, others in jeans. From time to time, a woman on a Citi Bike rode by.

credit: citibike

credit: citibike

Uh, so what’s the problem? There’s no such thing as male and female money, so why do the Citibike folks care?

For the bike service, that is a problem. A new leadership team installed last fall has set out to recruit thousands of new users. Upgrades to troublesome software and plans for more stations have been welcome steps, but persuading more women to join is seen as vital to the success of Citi Bike. Today, women take about a quarter of all trips by Citi Bike riders and make up just under a third of its members.

‘Women are early indicators of a successful bike system,’ said Sarah M. Kaufman, the assistant director for technology programming at the Rudin Center for Transportation at New York University and an author of a new report on Citi Bike. ‘If you have more women riders, that means it’s convenient and safe.

Let’s review:

Men:

More inclined to ride bikes from boyhood.

Big risk takers.

Don’t mind a bit of sweat or rumpled clothing.

Don’t care much about wearing bike helmets.

Don’t care all that much about their appearance.

Generally more mechanically minded.

Could care less about color.

Generally goofy.

Women:

Never had a boyhood (except Bruce Jenner, etc.)

Most risks taken on sleazy men.

Sweat? Rumpled clothing? Eeeuuuuuw!

Bike helmets over the latest hairdo equivalent in desirability to bathing in bat guano.

Don’t care all that much about anything but their appearance.

That’s what men are for–and lifting heavy objects, getting things on high shelves, and occasionally, sex.

Citibikes clash with so many of the latest fashions.

Generally goofy.

I wouldn’t want to be gross the whole day,’ said Maeve McCarthy, 21, an intern at an interior design firm in Manhattan, who has not tried Citi Bike but said she would consider taking a nice ride through Central Park, if not commuting to work from Brooklyn.

Told you. I take no position on whether Ms. McCarthy is gross all day without riding a Citibike. But CitiBike is trying to make up this unfortunate lack of attention to gender equality:

Citi Bike’s gender gap is part of a broader pattern among cyclists across the country; bike-share systems in Chicago and Washington also have more male riders. To woo women, Citi Bike is hosting rides with women’s cycling groups and trying to make cycling seem stylish.

The bikes appeared in the windows of Bloomingdale’s and in an episode of Comedy Central’s slacker millennial show ‘Broad City.’ The company recently posted a photo on Twitter of the actor Leonardo DiCaprio and the model Kelly Rohrbach kissing on Citi Bikes, and Vogue’s website praised the model Karlie Kloss’s ‘practical chic’ outfit while riding. Citi Bike has even dipped into cycling history, highlighting how bicycles symbolized independence for bloomer-wearing suffragists.

What Vogue thinks everyday chic looks like credit: vogue

What Vogue thinks “practical chic” looks like
credit: vogue

The rest of the article includes a few comments from brave girls that have found true enlightenment via a bicycle seat–ooooo! That sounded rather inflammatory, didn’t it? Ooops! I mean it stimulated the wrong…darn! So did that. It probably rubbed those girls the wrong, er, right way…no! That’s not what I meant! I think.

Somehow this wouldn't tend to compel me to ride a Citibike...

Somehow this wouldn’t tend to compel me to ride a Citibike…

Anyway, the point is that the NYT thought this a fitting topic for a significant story. I don’t want to draw too many inferences here. There are issues of far more significance illustrating how the Left is obsessed with matters of race and gender. This little article primarily reveals how frivolous such people can be, though it does demonstrate their tendency to try to demand that people conform to their idea of reality rather than adapting to actual reality in the first place.

They support Citibikes. Citibikes are good. Therefore, everyone–including women, must love Citibikes too and must want to ride them at every opportunity. When it turns out women don’t want to ride them at every opportunity, it must be a messaging issue. If they come up with proper messaging, all will be well.

Far more guys than girls have always liked to ride bikes. As long as human beings exist, that will always be the case. It’s because guys are guys and girls are girls, with all the that implies.

Reality can be so annoying.

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