For the last few months, we’ve noted the increase in cycling among people of all ages. Among those who consider cycling a staple in their lives–people over 50– who recently participated in a national survey. Over 3,000 men and women age 50 to 85+ participated in the survey and these are the takeaways:
- Top trip purpose was to be social and for companionship, followed by commuting to work, and for exercise.
- Among people who indicated they bike to be social, 27% bike 2 to 10 miles, 14% 11 to 15 miles, and 22.3% bike 15+ miles.
- More than 33% of respondents said they bike 2 to 10 miles for daily errands.
- 52% of respondents said they biked more in the last year.
- 18% of respondents said they biked less in the last year.
- Top reasons for biking less include roads feel less safe, work and family responsibilities, loss of energy, loss of biking companion, job or house change, and feeling less confident.
- The use of eBikes increased with age not with gender.
- Top reasons why older adults would stop biking include, health, not feeling safe, and not having anyone to ride with.
- Best ways to support biking include having a companion, bikeable destinations with bike parking, pleasant views, benches, bathrooms, and water.
- The top best supportive biking condition cited was safety and included the following aspects: having an overall feeling of safety, good road conditions, fewer points of conflict, enough space for all users, protected bike lanes, and more trails.
Some of the recommendations to support safe biking include:
- Conducting a cycling survey to identify why do people bike, what facilities they want, and what type of infrastructure is needed.
- Update existing bicycle plan to minimize conflict points.
- Seeking bicycle-friendly certification for your community or business.
- Working with local businesses to establish bike-friendly amenities such as bike parking.
- Supporting and organizing community biking activities and partnering with aging and recreation agencies, facilities for older adults, to identify cycling opportunities.
Stay safe and keep rolling!
Carol Kachadoorian, https://www.dbltildecollaborative.com/home