BITS survey shows four types of cyclists: which one are you?

13 October 2020 - Published by CIE Communications

In Spring, the BITS survey was launched on a large scale. Over 7000 inhabitants of the participating BITS cities and regions completed our survey on cycling and intelligent transport systems (ITS). The survey results provide insight into people’s cycling behavior, their perceived motivations, the barriers to cycling, as well as their interest in ITS technologies in cycling.

Based on peoples motivations for cycling (health, pleasure, environmental or practical reasons etc.), four different types of cyclists could be identified in the analysis. We are happy to give you an insight into these cyclist types.

Four types of cyclists: who are they?

Cyclists within the first type are named as the ‘happy cyclists’. These people definitely like to cycle and regularly go for a ride: 75% of them use their bicycle more than once a week for shopping and almost 60% use it more than once a week for commuting. These cyclists are on the right track.

Cyclists within the second group are labeled as the ‘diehards’. These people cycle very frequently: 95% of them cycle at least once a week. Diehards use their bike very often for shopping, commuting, and sport. They also score very positive on cycling motivations. Together with the happy cyclists, diehards are on average higher educated. Furthermore, more retirees are part of this diehard group. As you can read: you are never too old to be a diehard cyclists.

The ‘procrastinators’ represent the cyclists within the third type and are usually younger than the cyclists in the other types. Procrastinators use their bike often, but also make frequent use of a car. Interestingly, cyclists within this type have a high aspiration for cycling more in the future: 55% want to cycle (a lot) more for shopping and 61% want to cycle (a lot) more for sport. An important lesson for this type: procrastinate less and cycle more!

Finally, we can distinguish the type of the ‘car fanatics’. As their name suggests, car fanatics often use their car: more than 75% of them use a car more than once a week. People within this type have a low bicycle use and, unfortunately, also a low aspiration for cycling more in the future. It is striking that – compared to the other types – car fanatics live more often in the city center.  


Four types of cyclists: what do they think?

The results of the analysis showed that types who cycle more seem to find cycling more important in terms of sustainability. Mainly the happy cyclists and the diehards are willing to cycle more in the future as a more sustainable way to travel. Across all groups, about 55% of the respondents is willing to cycle more in the future assuming that driving a car becomes less beneficial.

In terms of satisfaction with policy investments in cycling, the two most frequent cycling types have a strong opinion. Especially the happy cyclists (45%) and the diehards (58%) are unsatisfied with the investments of the government concerning bicycle policy. The same goes for cycling infrastructure: mainly these regular cycling types are unsatisfied with the bicycle infrastructure. This dissatisfaction is expressed in terms of the condition of the bicycle paths, the safety of bicycle paths, the safety of (bicycle) crossings and the width of the bicycle paths. Conversely, car fanatics are more positive about different aspects of cycling infrastructure. Nevertheless, one can question whether they have a good picture of the infrastructure if they rarely use it…

Interested in what these different types of cyclists think about ITS in cycling? Keep an eye out for the next BITS newsletter!