On 7 July 2022 Azahara Sillero presented her doctoral thesis “Urban cycling in Barcelona: A feminist perspective” to the UAB. Doctoral Programme in Geography. Thesis supervised by Àngel Cebollada Frontera and Anna Ortiz Guitart.
This doctoral analyzes urban cycling in Barcelona from a feminist perspective. This general issue has been addressed here from three specific objectives. Firstly, the study of the city’s cycling advocacy groups. Second, the dialectical relationship between the gendered space and cycling practices. And finally, the forms of resistance generated by women (consciously or unconsciously) who confront patriarchal practices. Data production is based on qualitative methodology, closely linked to gender studies. For this, 37 semi-structured interviews and participant observation have been carried out in different cycling spaces, highlighting the participation in two only women cycling groups (Cicliques and Las Palometas). The analysis of the results has been structured in three main blocks that correspond to the specific objectives. There is a lack of women in various spaces linked to urban cycling that causes other experiences to be made invisible apart from the masculine one. It also investigates the practices of the users, who show that they have different experiences in the public space: a greater sense of security, a different relationship with the body or greater sexual harassment. But the women themselves are generating resistance strategies dismantling gender roles, either from the cycling practice itself or from the incursion into historically masculinized spaces. These reflections demonstrate the importance of understanding the symbols and practices of urban cycling from a gender perspective.