Cyclists are attached to their bikes and form strong bonds with them, study finds

Cyclists form emotional bonds with their surroundings and are attached to their bike because of memorable moments, researcher finds

bristol riding club cycling route avon valley
(Image credit: Jesse Wild/Cycling Weekly)

A researcher from a Canadian university has found that cyclists found strong, emotional attachments with their bikes

In findings that won’t come as a shock to most readers of this article, Karly Coleman of the University of Alberta interviewed 28 cyclists to gauge on how their identities are linked to their cycling and their bikes.

Coleman – who owns a not-so-measly 15 bikes herself – found that because cyclists ride in cities and towns on a frequent basis, they become unconsciously aware of a number of minute details and thus form a closer attachment with their surroundings than car drivers do.

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“They all really loved their way of getting around and how they can interact with the world as a consequence of the way they’re moving through it,” Coleman told the Metro News.

“You know your neighbourhood intimately; you know the stop signs, the potholes, your neighbours, the dog that will brush the fence. It creates a way of knowing a place that is really, really strong.”

One of the main positive effects of riding a bike is the friendships created and the memorable experiences that cyclists have.

“It does create a desire to ride it more frequently,” Coleman said. “You experience pleasurable memories of going out with your friends. I think that’s why people are so devastated when they are stolen.”

Coleman added that, unlike a car driver who rarely interacts with other vehicles, a cyclist frequently communicates with other cyclists and car drivers which increases the emotional attachment.

"Mostly, cars provide the skeleton that doesn’t connect you as intimately or as tangibly with your environment,” Coleman went on. “In your car, it’s very unlikely that if you see your neighbour, you’ll stop your car and roll down your window and hold up a great deal of traffic to chat with them about their flowers.

“You’re not going to have those conversations.”

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