The National Women's Bicycling Summit will be held in Long Beach, CA on September 13 and registration is now open. I've heard it said that there are many more men who ride than women. What are the reasons for such? Speaking of which, there are the claims that drivers tend to give more passing distance if they believe the rider is female; having a ponytail sticking out the back of one's helmet does the trick.
There is an inspiring story at the link that also points to the value bikes bring to people. A Zambian girl was attending school seven miles away from home. Walking took about two hours each way; having a bike enabled her to drastically reduce her commute time, and she would no longer be too tired to attend some Fridays. This difference in speed is applicable to transportation planning everywhere.