I do not like cycling

  • Soort:Nieuws Fietsberaad
  • Datum:11-10-2012

"I don&'t like cycling" is often uttered by young immigrants in Amsterdam when asked why they don&'t ride. An anthropological study investigating the reasons for riding or not riding the bike in the Amsterdam New West district confirms that it is not easy to give bike riding a better image within this group.


  • The investigation was carried out by a team of anthropologists and students of the University of Amsterdam (UvA) and the Wijkwiskunde research bureau. A combination of research tools aided the investigation; in addition to counting cyclists, the researchers interviewed 280 inhabitants asking them about their cycling experiences in the Nieuw West neighbourhood. This took place during door-to-door visits and group discussions. A large number of cyclists on the streets were also photographed to establish precisely who was cycling.
    The conclusions from this research agree with other research into bicycle use by immigrants. The bike is rated poorly by boys, starting at about age 10. Especially Moroccan boys don’t think that the bike is cool anymore. Up to that age, boys do cycle quite a lot, mainly because they see cycling as part of playing. They have little understanding of traffic rules and frequently walk to school or are driven there.
    The bicycle comes back into the picture with older immigrants. Moroccan men are generally positive about bicycles. Women also, but they are more fearful and insecure in traffic. There are plenty of reasons not to ride the bike (the weather, costs, etc.); also health is brought forth as an excuse (“I’m too heavy to ride a bike”). It may be possible to restore the bike’s image amongst the young by combining sport and cycling since this does have appeal for that age group.

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