Breaking down race-related barriers to recreational cycling: experiences from diverse cycling groups

Melissa Bopp, Scherezade K. Mama, Oliver W.A. Wilson, Lucas D. Elliott

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Cycling offers many health-related, environmental, and economic benefits, though rates of participation are low among ethnic minorities. Studying individuals who have successfully adopted the behaviour can provide insight on addressing factors that could influence participation in the activity. This qualitative study aimed to examine experiences and perceptions of a diverse group of recreational cyclists. An online survey with open-ended questions was distributed to members of minority cycling clubs. Questions addressed norms, barriers, supports and stereotypes surrounding cycling. Responses were coded within a social-ecological framework and common themes identified using thematic content analysis. Participants (N = 33) were mostly middle-aged adults and predominantly African American, male, and college educated. Concerning norms around cycling, the most frequent response addressed race-related stereotypes; income was also noted to be a theme, related to disposable income necessary to participate in cycling, as well as sex. Participants responded that cycling clubs could play a role in demonstrating the diversity of participation in cycling. This study provides new insights into the experiences, attitudes and beliefs of ethnic minority cyclists. The main themes that were identified were related to social and cultural norms surrounding participation in this activity and have implications for further promotion of cycling among diverse populations.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)166-179
Number of pages14
JournalWorld Leisure Journal
Issue number2
StatePublished - 2022

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Social Psychology
  • Cultural Studies
  • Tourism, Leisure and Hospitality Management


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