Cycling Past 50: A Closer Look into the World of Older Cyclists, Year 4 Survey

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Cycling Past 50: A Closer Look into the World of Older Cyclists, Year 4 Survey


This document reports on approximately 5,000 responses to a North American survey of older adults who cycle. The survey, open from August 2021 through March 2022, included questions that captured a person’s cycling over their life course, as well as their current cycling styles, habits, and preferences. Responses reflect the impact of various factors on an older adult’s cycling habits with respect to their ability and agility and their expectation to continue cycling. The survey asked about falls and near misses in the past-year coding fall descriptions into six categories and sorting them by the respondent’s gender and age. The survey’s Visual Preference questions offered photos of cycling contexts and asked respondents to select four to six options for traveling within each context, then scored its safety and comfort level between 1 and 5. Key takeaways include: many older adults can continue to cycle as they age by using a different bicycle, establishing a different expectation with regard to cycling, finding others to cycle with, and using safe and comfortable cycling facilities. Survey questions about e-bikes, adult trikes, and tandems show the variety of bicycle types available, but point to the need for higher-capacity bikeways and education about sharing bikeways safely. The report ends with several issues for further consideration, including risks for older cyclists of color, ways that caregiving can enhance or reduce cycling benefits, and how injury recovery can affect a return to cycling, or not. The population of older adults is growing, and examining the needs of this group ensures a community’s ability to create environments conducive to equitable mobility for all.

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Carol started dblTilde CORE, Inc. in 2021, a nonprofit whose mission is to advance knowledge about and planning for sustainable mobility and wellness in communities through outreach, research, and education. dblTilde CORE’s work draws on Carol’s knowledge of and expertise in transportation planning and operations, working at both the city and regional levels, including school- and community-based active transportation plans and older adult mobility. She understands the importance of both big data and personal experience to determine feasible changes to transportation systems that make travel by all modes safe, accessible, and comfortable for all ages and abilities. Carol has spoken nationally and regionally on the need to revise long-standing perceptions of older adults through words and images. She continues to conduct research on older adult mobility and wellness, partnering with several universities. The Mineta Transportation Institute published her pioneering work, “Cycling past 50: A Closer Look into the World of Older Cyclists,” and hosted the 50+ Cycling Survey Year 4. 

December 2023
Older adults
Active mobility
Cycling infrastructure



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