cycle BOOM | Newsletter
Issue 1 | December 2014
Welcome to the first edition of the annual cycle BOOM Newsletter.
Here you will find information about what we have been busy doing since the start of the cycle BOOM study in October 2013 and throughout 2014.
cycle BOOM is all about understanding how the adoption, or continuation, of cycling can be supported in older age. This is particularly important as we are faced with the twin challenge of designing our towns and cities to support an ageing population and that also promote more sustainable ways of living.
Supporting wider participation in cycling for everyday practical purposes and for leisure could help to promote health and wellbeing by providing a means of independent mobility and engagement with physical and social surroundings. Cycling can also help to create a more pleasant living environment less dominated by motor traffic.
This leads us on to highlighting the important issue of spatial justice. We know that older people in the UK participate less in cycling than in other Northern European countries such as Germany and Denmark and the Netherlands. Why is this? Is it because British older people are in someway different to their Northern European counterparts? Or is it perhaps because the landscape in those countries is more supportive for older cycling? And what does this mean in terms of promoting happier more fulfilled lives? These are perhaps the 'bigger' questions that, by the end of the study, cycle BOOM will be able to address. But for now we believe that people are being 'sold short' in terms of the challenges and possibilities for cycling outside of their front doors and that older (and younger) members of our society stand to lose the most.
So, in 2014 the cycle BOOM team has been busy engaging with people and finding out about the experiences of those ('rare species') who have continued to cycle in older age. We have also been talking to people who no longer cycle and inviting a selection of them to use an electric bicycle or a conventional pedal cycle over an eight week period in order to record their experiences.
Below you will find out how we have been doing this, details about field visits to two cities in Europe where older cycling is on the increase, as well details about the actions we have made and the events we have attended, and plan to attend, to put older cycling firmly on the agenda.
We'd like to thank all of those people who have taken part or shown an interest in our work. Please get in touch if you would like any further information, if would like to take part in the study in some way or another, or if you know of someone who would like to tell us about why they don't cycle!
Happy riding in 2015!
Dr. Tim Jones (Principal Investigator)
Click on the links to find more about our Objectives, Scope, Methods and Case Study areas. Project Information Sheets [Oxford/Reading and Bristol/Cardiff] are also available to download from our website.