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Local push to get more women riding bicycles

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Local groups are working to get more women on bicycles in the Twin Cities. Minnesota is a leader for bicycle participation and has been named No. 2 on the list of bike-friendly states, but only 35 percent of Minnesota bike commuters are women, according to a 2014 report on biking.

That's still better than the national average, though, which is around 25 percent.

Bike commuting is on the rise in Minneapolis, but female bicyclists want to see more women joining the movement.

“There’s an urgent need for more women to get involved in the conversation about biking in the Twin Cities,” Stephanie Weir, organizer for St. Paul Women on Bikes, told The Line and MinnPost.

Internationally, women take 49 percent of German cycle trips. In the Netherlands that number is 55 percent, according to a 2009 Scientific American article.

Some theories why women aren't commuting on bike more: pressure to "look nice," lack of storage, work travel out of town, not as safe to transport kids and high cost of equipment.

There are some signs of progress. A Minnesota High School Cycling League was recently established to get young girls into competitive racing. Another race called Babes in Bikeland, founded in 2011, attracted 300 participants this year who wheeled their way through a scavenger hunt in Minneapolis.

Here are some local organizations leading the way for female bicyclists:

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