Deakin University

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Key influences on motivations for utility cycling (cycling for transport to and from places)

journal contribution
posted on 2013-01-01, 00:00 authored by K Heesch, Shannon SahlqvistShannon Sahlqvist
Issue addressed: 
Although increases in cycling in Brisbane are encouraging, bicycle mode share to work (the proportion of people travelling to work by bicycle) in the state of Queensland remains low. The aim of this qualitative study was to draw upon the lived experiences of Queensland cyclists to understand the main motivators for utility cycling (cycling as a means to get to and from places) and compare motivators between utility cyclists (those who cycle for utility as well as for recreation) and non-utility cyclists (those who cycle only for recreation).

For an online survey, members of a bicycle group (831 utility cyclists and 931 non-utility cyclists, aged 18–90 years) were asked to describe, unprompted, what would motivate them to engage in utility cycling (more often). Responses were coded into themes within four levels of an ecological model.

Within an ecological model, built environment influences on motivation were grouped according to whether they related to appeal (safety), convenience (accessibility) or attractiveness (more amenities) and included adequate infrastructure for short trips, bikeway connectivity, end-of-trip facilities at public locations and easy and safe bicycle access to destinations outside of cities. A key social–cultural influence related to improved interactions among different road users.

The built and social–cultural environments need to be more supportive of utility cycling before even current utility and non-utility cyclists will be motivated to engage (more often) in utility cycling.

So what?
Additional government strategies and more and better infrastructure that support utility cycling beyond commuter cycling may encourage a utility cycling culture.



Health promotion journal of Australia




227 - 233


Australian Health Promotion Association


Camperdown, NSW





Publication classification

C1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal

Copyright notice

2013, Australian Health Promotion Association