Taking Risks Can Be Expensive

Flickr: Ken Mayer

DCentric reader Martin Moulton left this comment on Elahe’s post about WABA’s attempts to encourage bicycle use east of the Anacostia River by hosting riding classes for adults:

Bravo WABA. In California, 40+ years ago, my mom cycle commuted daily to work well into her late 30s. You see a lot of African American men taking advantage of cycling as well as Latinos going to and from work downtown. But I think that minority women in DC are still [wisely] waiting for facilities and safety conditions to improve. Those who are sole heads of households can’t take hazardous risks every day when they have young or senior citizens who depend on them.

According to Elahe, the majority of the ten people who showed up for WABA’s class were women. Still, reading Martin’s last sentence reminded me that being able to try new things is a form of privilege. Biking in the city is already daunting for some people; single parents who work at jobs that don’t include health insurance or sick days may– with good reason– think twice about taking risks they cannot afford.