Children, Youth and Environments
Vol. 16 No. 1 ( 2006)
Fun, Fast and Fit: Influences and Motivators for Teenagers Who Cycle to School
Arthur F. Orsini
Data collected from questionnaires, individual interviews and a group interview shed light on influences and motivators for six Vancouver teenagers who were old enough to drive but regularly cycled to secondary school. The participants began cycling by themselves around the age of ten because it afforded independence, fun, speed and time efficiency. Their parents resisted habitual chauffeuring and modeled bicycle use for recreation and transportation. The participants continued cycling throughout their mid-teen years because those early motivators—along with fitness and health—were stronger than negative comments from peers. They rode neither new nor expensive bikes, and considered bicycle “advocacy” to be too aggressive to be directed at their peers. However, rigorous tactics to encourage friends to cycle indicated that friends of current cyclists are an important target in bicycle promotion at secondary schools.