Why Are Cyclists the Happiest Commuters? Health, Pleasure and the E-Bike

This paper explores the reasons why cyclists are the happiest commuters. Cyclists are consistently shown to have the highest levels of satisfaction with the trip to work, yet the reasons for this contentment remain understudied. Exercise science points to the critical role that pleasure plays in motivating people to engage in and sustain physical activity, and the authors argue that efforts to ‘bring back the bike’ will rely as much on a keen appreciation of its pleasures as its perils. The authors explore the emergent science of cyclist mode satisfaction: calling upon ethnographic research, transport psychology, exercise science, and in-depth interviews with 24 e-cyclists in Auckland, New Zealand. The authors conclude that research points to four important components of high commute satisfaction amongst cyclists: 1) A high degree of commuting control and ‘arrival-time reliability’; 2) Enjoyable levels of sensory stimulation; 3) The ‘feel better’ effects of moderate intensity exercise; and 4) Greater opportunities for social interaction. The authors conclude that cycling planning and promotion should move beyond merely focusing on safety to explore how cycling infrastructure can protect and enhance the physical, social and psychological pleasures of cycling. Specific recommendations include designing cycling environments in ways that support sociable riding and relaxed engagement with natural landscapes and urban design features.


  • English

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  • Accession Number: 01711669
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Files: TRIS
  • Created Date: Jun 19 2019 3:06PM