Using mixed methods to explore the lived experience of age-friendly cycling

Wilbert Den Hoed

Research output: Contribution to conferenceAbstract


Research on mobility and movement gradually embraced mobile technology in an attempt to fully understand the experience of mobile subjects. This resulted in a high occurrence of mobile methods such as recorded go-alongs and geo-tracking in the study of movements like walking, cycling, car driving and public transportation. Whereas recent studies agree on their strengths, critiques remain regarding standalone authority or power (Merriman 2014; Vergunst 2011). Also, mobile data do not suffice when more complex and dynamic concepts such as ageing, well-being or senses of identity and belonging are involved.

To mitigate these limitations, this study adopts a holistic multi-method approach that seeks to provide a detailed account of lived mobility experiences of older cyclists. The current paper reports on a combination of GPS tracking, velomobile methods and qualitative interviews that reflect on longstanding processes such as ageing and personal biography. These are variously captured synchronously, through the participant research process of a go-along on regular cycle routes (McIlvenny 2015), or asynchronously, through reflection on recorded mobility patterns. afterwards.

It is found that adding a commentary from the (cycling) participant mitigates known limits to a passive digital record, and allows for profound elicitation of embodied experiences of infrastructures, technologies and well-being in the light of personal mobile biographies. In addition, this method provides promising avenues for inter-contextual comparison and engagement with experts and policymakers. However, challenges remain regarding technological limitations, traffic conditions, participants’ availability, and in observing the balance between cogito and embodiment (Büscher et al. 2011; Pooley et al. 2013).
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 5 Apr 2017
EventAssociation of American Geographers' Annual Meeting - Boston, United States
Duration: 5 Apr 20179 Apr 2017


ConferenceAssociation of American Geographers' Annual Meeting
Country/TerritoryUnited States


  • cycling
  • lifecourse
  • mobility
  • mobile methods
  • embodiment


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