Publication Detail

What Is It About Bicycling? Evidence from Davis, California



BicyclingPlus Research Collaborative

Suggested Citation:
Handy, Susan L. and Amy E. Lee (2020) What Is It About Bicycling? Evidence from Davis, California. Travel Behaviour and Society 20, 348 - 357

Enjoyment of alternatives to driving can make up for what are often longer travel times in the mode choice calculus. In particular, studies show that liking of bicycling is a significant predictor of bicycling, but few studies have systematically explored what it is about bicycling that people like. We address this question in an exploratory analysis of positive statements about bicycling drawn from 54 in-depth interviews with residents of Davis, California about their experiences with bicycling over their lifetimes. Eight themes emerged from our analysis of these statements: activities, bonding, sensations, feelings, pride, convenience, nice places, and memories. The incidence of themes differs across stages of life and gender. Participants often talked about the freedom and excitement of bicycling when they were children, for example, but tended to focus on convenience and health benefits when talking about bicycling as adults. These results reinforce findings from previous studies while adding new dimensions. This study provides a starting point for further research as well as guidance for the development of policies and programs to encourage more bicycling.

Keywords: bicycling, cycling, attitudes, enjoyment