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Type: Book chapter
Title: Women cycling through the life course: an Australian case study
Author: Bonham, J.
Wilson, A.
Citation: Cycling and Sustainability, 2012 / John Parkin (ed./s), pp.59-81
Publisher: Emerald Group Publishing Ltd
Publisher Place: United Kingdom
Issue Date: 2012
Series/Report no.: Transport and Sustainability; 1
ISBN: 9781780522982
Statement of
Jennifer Bonham and Anne Wilson
Abstract: PURPOSE: The research reported in this chapter focuses on understanding the experiences of women who had decided to return to cycling in adulthood. It was anticipated these experiences could assist other women contemplating taking up cycling as well as cycling lobbyists, policy makers and planners. METHODOLOGY: The research targeted women returning to cycling in the city of Adelaide, South Australia. It was conducted using qualitative research methods including in-depth interviews, helmet-mounted video cameras and diary entries. Forty-nine women participated in the study ranging in age from early 20s to mid-70s. FINDINGS: Respondents learned to cycle between the ages of 5 and 12 and most stopped in the early years of secondary school. Almost half the respondents had returned to cycling several times through the life course while another significant group had cycled occasionally up to the time of the interview. Women returned to cycling through a combination of circumstances but women in their early 20s emphasised the importance of social relationships while women in their late 30s (and older) stressed concerns about health and fitness. Becoming mothers or grandmothers was given as a reason for both taking up and giving up cycling. Although there was no pattern in the specific trigger that shifted women from ‘thinking about cycling to getting on a bike’, knowing someone who cycled – partner, family member, work colleague or acquaintance – featured in most women’s experiences. RESEARCH IMPLICATIONS:The findings suggest further research into mobility through the life course will be productive.
Keywords: Women cycling; life course; returning to cycling; sustainable transport
RMID: 0020125178
DOI: 10.1108/S2044-9941(2012)0000001005
Appears in Collections:Geography, Environment and Population publications

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