The Guardian today posted a link to its bike blog, lamenting a dismal statistic. In the UK, teenage girls cycle an average of 24 miles a year, compared with 138 miles travelled by boys on bikes.
How to get more girls on bikes? The issue is discussed pretty quickly, covering in particular the problem that many bikers have of arriving somewhere dirty and/or sweaty. Maybe girls don't want to be tousled and grubby, is the suggestion.
Two more sensible suggestions come from the blog posts after the article. One blogger points out with whimsy that based on his associates' fawning over pink sparkly tvs and technology, well, pink sparkly bikes would have more appeal to some girls. But the best suggestion comes from the blogger who points out that there is a perfectly good cycling infrastructure in most towns and cities in the UK (and probably most urban areas in Western countries) -- it's just clogged with rude MOTOR VEHICLE drivers. Thin out the vehicle traffic and it just might be safe enough to ride around a lot more.