Advancing the Age of Cycling


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In the Netherlands, the number of older cyclists is increasing. This is desirable because cycling supports healthy ageing and personal independence. Older cyclists, however, run relatively large risks on (single) bicycle crashes. The goal of this thesis is to explore which parts of the infrastructure and (on-road) interactions lead to problems for older cyclists and, thereafter, to test the effectiveness of infrastructural and on-bicycle interventions to increase safety. ‘Everyday cycling’ observations of older cyclists revealed that obstacles, irregular surfaces, sharp corners, slopes, and narrow paths may cause difficulties. Some cyclists were also observed to (unintentionally) ride into the verge. Predicting the behaviour of other cyclists was also found to be difficult. At different locations, the effects of virtual 3D-objects, edge lines, slanted kerbstones, shoulder strips, and edge strips on cycling behaviour of older cyclists were measured. With small GPS action-cameras mounted on older participant’s bicycles, on-site experiments revealed that shoulder strips and edge strips were the most beneficial interventions for safety: at cycle paths with these modifications, participants rode further away from the soft verge compared to other (control) paths. They also cycled slower on the cycle paths with shoulder strips. Lastly, effects of using bicycle lights to communicate speed, braking, and turning intentions to other road users were investigated. The results showed that the tested speed signal was not effective. The turning indicator and brake light, however, seem useful for older cyclists.
Originele taal-2English
KwalificatieDoctor of Philosophy
Toekennende instantie
  • Rijksuniversiteit Groningen
  • de Waard, Dick, Supervisor
  • Brookhuis, Karel, Supervisor
  • Fuermaier, Anselm, Co-supervisor
Datum van toekenning14-okt.-2021
Plaats van publicatie[Groningen]
StatusPublished - 2021

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