PeopleForBikes survey underscores need for better infrastructure

January 17, 2013

Last fall, we surveyed PeopleForBikes.org supporters (about 500,000 of you at the time) about your bicycling habits, preferences, and behaviors. Our neighbors at the Leisure Trends Group crunched the data from the nearly 20,000 responses received. Here’s what they found. (If you prefer pictures to words, scroll down to the infographic.)

Not surprisingly, you like to ride bikes. On average, you’ve been riding for a while (16+ years) and you ride often (up to 13 times per month on average for some types of riding). Our survey respondents own three bikes on average and ninety percent self-identify as cyclists. Men and older riders are more likely than women and younger riders to identify as cyclists.

Even though you first half-million supporters are pretty avid riders, there are obstacles to riding more often. More than two-thirds of you say you would start riding for transportation (68%) or would ride more often (71%) if there were more bike lanes, paths, and trails in your community. That’s why we’re working to build more safe, well-designed places to ride through programs like the Green Lane Project.

Previous transportation research has found that the #1 reason people don’t ride is concern for personal safety. When we asked you avid riders if you think transportation riding is unsafe in your area, one-third of you said it is. Why is it unsafe? There’s not enough bike lanes (82%), too much traffic (68%), and drivers are hostile (66%).

When it comes to bicycling in general (riding for any reason, not just transportation), top barriers you list are not enough time, work/family commitments, weather, car traffic, and difficulty finding safe routes. Two-thirds of you would like to ride more often than you currently do.

Why do you ride? Of the 12 reasons we suggested, eight saw at least half of you choosing them. Health (94%), fun (93%), and to be outside (89%) top the rankings. That’s one of the beauties of bicycling—it’s hard to pick just one reason why we ride!

While going for a solo bike ride can be a great way to clear your head, you guys are riding along more than you’d like. Two-thirds of you ride by yourself most often, but only one-quarter of you want to cruise solo. You’d much rather ride with friends (35%).

One final key finding we were excited to see was that half of you don’t belong to any bicycling groups, organizations, or clubs. We launched PeopleForBikes.org to provide a new way for individual riders to join a collective movement, and it looks like even with our first-half million supporters, we found a bunch of people who don’t have a group to call their own.

Thanks to everyone who took the time to complete the survey. We’ve already seen this movement expand to a broader audience of people who bike in its first two years. We can’t wait to see what the future holds. Ride on.

People for Bikes Survey

About the survey:

The PeopleForBikes.org online survey was conducted in the fall of 2012 among the first 500,000 supporters of the organization. A total of 19,359 people completed the 15-minute survey, making it one of the largest samplings of U.S. bike riders in recent years. The Leisure Trends Group produced the survey for PeopleForBikes.org. The full survey report is available at www.peopleforbikes.org/survey.

 

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