Reimagining the Ideal Landscape of the Cyclist

Authors: Dane Atkins*, Texas State University
Topics: Human-Environment Geography, Transportation Geography, Qualitative Research
Keywords: cycling, mobility, photography
Session Type: Paper
Day: 4/7/2019
Start / End Time: 3:55 PM / 5:35 PM
Room: 8223, Park Tower Suites, Marriott, Lobby Level
Presentation File: No File Uploaded


The term 'cycling' refers to a diverse range of activities that are performed in equally diverse landscapes. Although there are many discussions about what constitutes the ideal cycle path, such normative approaches risk overlooking the diversity of cyclists and their desires. This consideration suggests we conduct a critical reexamination of the contemporary, often vernacular, and even contestable landscapes of the cyclist. This reexamination can be achieved, in part, through an intensive exploration of photography that provides an empirical frame for viewing the various landscapes encountered by the cyclist. What is discovered through this photographic content analysis are new challenges for defining the ideal cycling space and a new appreciation for the cultural diversity within the cycling community. Acknowledging these new and potentially conflicting perspectives might engender more public participation in the planning and development of new cycling infrastructure, with an optimistic view that the net benefits extend well beyond the immediate cycling community.

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