Cycling and Nature: A Look at the Connection Between Cycling and Nature for Older Adults

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Cycling and Nature: A Look at the Connection Between Cycling and Nature for Older Adults


This Perspective discusses how the benefits from cycling and spending time in nature relate to each other, especially for older adults. It also shows how certain aspects of nature, such as weather conditions, affect if and how people cycle. The interplay of cycling and nature for older adults is drawn from results of the 50+ Cycling Survey, Year 4. Research includes the work of Mel Cairns from the University of West England. By understanding various pathways to connect with nature through cycling, older cyclists see benefits such as improved mental health, overall physical wellbeing and an appreciation of nature, while wet, windy, icey, and snowy weather create challenges for all cyclists, especially older cyclists.



Carol has a breadth of knowledge and expertise in transportation planning and operations, which began in Alexandria, VA, where she served as a transit analyst before leading the City’s first Office of Transit Services. After several years working with a family design-build company and at a major university, Carol returned to the transportation industry with the Washington, DC region’s transit agency. There, she worked in operations and communications before focusing on pedestrian and bicyclists' access to transit. Carol’s work with Toole Design from 2008 to 2020 focused on school- and community-based active transportation plans. She started dblTilde Collaborative in 2020, specializing in older adult mobility and wellness. She describes the motivation for this work this way: “At age 60, I began to consider what my professional and personal life would look like during the next 30+ years. Now in my late 60’s, I am working to improve mobility for people as they age.

July 2024
Older adults
Engaging with nature
Benefits from nature



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