This document reports on 2,300 responses to a nationwide survey of older adults who cycle. The survey, open from February through September 2020, includes questions about a rider’s cycling history, current cycling habits, and falls. It includes a visual preference survey of various cycling facilities and an online journaling option for two rides subsequent to completing the survey (results of the online journals will be available in the summer 2021). Responses reflect the impact of COVID-19 on older adults’ cycling habits, the impact of aging on ability and agility, the impact of the built environment, types of bicycles, and opportunities to cycle with others. Responses were analyzed by gender and age. Questions such as cycling frequency and falls were compared to a modified version of Geller’s four types of cyclists. Key take-aways include: Many older adults will need to adapt to their changing cycling abilities with a different bicycle, a different expectation about their cycling experience, and local programs to encourage sustained cycling. A fair number of respondents learned to cycle as an adult which suggests that local programs can also encourage older adults to learn to ride and how to select a bicycle. Lower cycling rates may result from not having a bikeable or proper-fitting bicycle, or the money to fix or purchase a bike. Questions posed for further consideration include: Can education and outreach help reduce near misses? Can planning and engineering help reduce near misses, especially in areas where more older adults cycle? How can falls due to poor infrastructure or maintenance or the actions of others be reduced?

Publication Date


Publication Type



Active Transportation

Digital Object Identifier


MTI Project


Mineta Transportation Institute URL


Bicycling, older adults, surveys


Transportation | Transportation Engineering

2112-Kachadoorian-HL-Cycling-Past-50.pdf (5513 kB)
Research Highlights (16870 kB)