Women have been biking in record numbers during the pandemic. As traffic returns, will they keep riding?

A bicycling craze has swept the United States during the pandemic, sending bike sales soaring and triggering a nationwide bicycle shortage.

In many cities, but perhaps most notably in New York, much of that growth has been driven by a surge in the number of women who took to bicycling after lockdown orders eliminated the main barrier that research has shown keeps them from cycling: streets that often feel perilous for cyclists.

In New York, there were an estimated 80 percent more cycling trips in July compared with the same month last year, with biking by women rising by 147 percent and increasing by 68 percent among men, according to data from Strava Metro, a mobility tracking application used by 68 million people globally.

But now traffic is rising again, and it remains unclear whether the momentum will continue. Cycling advocates say the city should build on what has happened

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Why Women Are Biking in Record Numbers in N.Y.C.

Every day when Betty Cheong walked from the subway to her office in Lower Manhattan, she passed a haunting reminder of the dangers of cycling in New York: a bicycle painted white and adorned with flowers, propped against a pole, marking the spot where a cyclist had been killed.

The sight alone was enough to keep her off a bike.

Then the pandemic hit, emptying the subway of wary riders and draining the streets of traffic. Cycling suddenly seemed like a safer way to get around: In April, Ms. Cheong started using the city’s bike-sharing program. Then, she started participating in bike protests. In July, she bought a bike of her own.

“The more I biked, the more confident I got about biking in the city,” Ms. Cheong said.

Since the coronavirus engulfed the United States, a bicycling craze has swept the country, sending bike sales soaring and triggering a

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