Bike life

The Bicycle as ‘Constructive Hope’: children, climate and active transport (paper forthcoming – November,  Journal of Paediatrics and Child Health)

ABSTRACT: Children are experiencing an increase in so-called ‘eco-anxiety’.  Along with others we argue that children need more concrete, meaningful opportunities to feel they can make a difference on climate.  In this article we contend that bringing back the bicycle, and the opportunities for independent and active mobility that it affords children, is an important form of climate action for young people.  We assert that as well as providing sustainability and wellbeing co-benefits for children, cycling can help bolster the neighbourhood resilience and social cohesion that will be key resources for communities adapting to new climate risks.

Picture of a kid on a bike

Biking is fun (Photo credit: Zoe Woodward)

Why are cyclists the happiest commuters?
Dad and daughter biking in Rotorua
Photo credit: Lani Kereopa

Cyclists are consistently shown to be the happiest commuters.  Yet there is not a lot of research that explores why.  This project seeks to increase our understanding of what makes cycling a particularly enjoyable way to get around the city.  We bring together cycling ethnography, interview research with cyclists, exercise science, and transport psychology to improve our understanding of why cyclists are the happiest commuters.  Check out our paper: ‘Why are cyclists the happiest commuters? Health, pleasure and the e-bike.’

Commute satisfaction by transport mode
Commute satisfaction by mode (Source Smith, 2017).