Perceptions of cycling among homeless young people in Sydney

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Perceptions of cycling among homeless young people in Sydney

Postby Aushiker » Fri Apr 26, 2013 4:12 pm

Shameless stolen from the Cycling Resource Centre :)

This research, published in the journal Youth Studies Australia in November 2012, examines the perceptions and attitudes toward cycling of young people who were experiencing or at risk of homelessness in central and south-western Sydney. The benefits of cycling for physical activity, personal transport, independence and social inclusion were recognised. Barriers to regular cycling included compliance with mandatory helmet legislation; a lack of cycling skills and experience; a paucity of cycling infrastructure and reliance on cars for personal transport; and access to affordable bicycles and equipment.


The rest of the summary can be found at the Cycling Resource Centre post and the article can be downloaded from my Dropbox.

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by BNA » Fri Apr 26, 2013 4:48 pm

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Re: Perceptions of cycling among homeless young people in Sy

Postby find_bruce » Fri Apr 26, 2013 4:48 pm

Thanks Andrew, initial impressions raise a few issue with me, but to be fair I will wait until I have read it properly before I comment
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Re: Perceptions of cycling among homeless young people in Sy

Postby Ross » Fri Apr 26, 2013 5:43 pm

They just don't want to cycle. Excuses are all I see in that article, not reasons. A bicycle is a lot cheaper to buy and maintain than a motor vehicle. You can buy BSOs from K-Mart et al from around $50, helmets from about $15 and maybe something to lock it up for $5 (I know these aren't quality items for these prices but they are better than nothing). If you look around for secondhand you'd probably get stuff cheaper again. I bet a lot of these kids have smart phones and designer clothing but say they can't afford a bike.

As for not having the skills to ride a bike...it's not rocket surgery, seriously how do these people manage to dress themselves in the morning, doing up buttons is pretty complex and surely you need an engineering degree to tie shoelaces. :roll:

Not sure if I should laugh or cry at the girl who would be too emabarrassed to ride a bike and would rather be riding in a sports car...

Same for the guy that complains a helmet messes his hair up...
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Re: Perceptions of cycling among homeless young people in Sy

Postby human909 » Fri Apr 26, 2013 6:13 pm

Ross wrote:They just don't want to cycle.


Just because they don't have the same drive and passion towards cycling as you do doesn't mean that they don't want to cycle. Why do so many enthusiasts so dismissive about encouraging others to cycle. :(
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Re: Perceptions of cycling among homeless young people in Sy

Postby trailgumby » Fri Apr 26, 2013 6:28 pm

Those excuses are not unique to the homeless IME.

They're pretty much universal to the non-enthusiast non-cyclist.

People cra* on about how trivial the "muss my hair" excuse is, and they're right, but it is a hurdle nonetheless.
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Re: Perceptions of cycling among homeless young people in Sy

Postby biker jk » Fri Apr 26, 2013 6:30 pm

human909 wrote:
Ross wrote:They just don't want to cycle.


Just because they don't have the same drive and passion towards cycling as you do doesn't mean that they don't want to cycle. Why do so many enthusiasts so dismissive about encouraging others to cycle. :(


Strawman again? Ross was correctly pointing out that the reasons these young people provided for not riding a bike were really just excuses because they don't want to ride a bike. Helmets, cost of bikes, image, etc. are not legitimate deterrents.
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Re: Perceptions of cycling among homeless young people in Sy

Postby human909 » Fri Apr 26, 2013 6:37 pm

biker jk wrote:Helmets, cost of bikes, image, etc. are not legitimate deterrents.


What is a "legitimate" deterrent. Who decides whether a deterrent is legitimate or not?

There are many reasons in our society for not riding bikes. Dismissing other people's reason is not productive. Just because helmets, image etc isn't a deterrent for you doesn't mean they don't deter others.
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Re: Perceptions of cycling among homeless young people in Sy

Postby familyguy » Fri Apr 26, 2013 11:23 pm

human909 wrote:
biker jk wrote:Helmets, cost of bikes, image, etc. are not legitimate deterrents.


What is a "legitimate" deterrent. Who decides whether a deterrent is legitimate or not?

There are many reasons in our society for not riding bikes. Dismissing other people's reason is not productive. Just because helmets, image etc isn't a deterrent for you doesn't mean they don't deter others.


You can bet they'd jump at a car that was that cheap...

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Re: Perceptions of cycling among homeless young people in Sy

Postby human909 » Sat Apr 27, 2013 9:41 am

Cost was only mentioned by a very few as a factor. The most dominant factors mentioned was image and helmets.

Denial that these are real reasons why people don't cycling is head in the sand type stuff. Australia has a massive car culture and using a bike as transport is seen as uncool, embarrassing and poor. Whether you agree with these reason or not is beside the point. This is REALITY.

If you are genuine about cycle advocacy it is worth recognising this.
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Re: Perceptions of cycling among homeless young people in Sy

Postby Ross » Sat Apr 27, 2013 11:33 am

These are homeless people that presumably don't have jobs and can't afford to rent a house or afford to own a car. They still need to get from A to B to see friends, buy food, go for job interviews and wherever else they need to go so they only have a few choices. Public transport (buses or trains - because taxis are too expensive), which is fine if you like spending half the day travelling and sharing a packed bus or train carriage, or walking, which is really only practical for a few kms. A bike as I mentioned in my previous post is relatively cheap to buy and next to zero costs in maintenace and in some cases can be faster from point to point than a car. You have the freedom to come and go when you please, don't have to memorise a bus/train timetable and work out if it is a weekend or public holiday (when you aren't working one day is much the same as another). Then of course is the added benefit of keeping fit while riding.

When you are in that situation you just do what you can do to survive. You can't afford to be fussy and say "I'd rather be in a sports car" or "the helmet messes up my hair". These sound like the type of people that want everything handed to them on a silver platter rather than work and achieve it themselves.
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Re: Perceptions of cycling among homeless young people in Sy

Postby find_bruce » Sat Apr 27, 2013 2:44 pm

Confirmation bias
Confirmation bias (also called confirmatory bias or myside bias) is a tendency of people to favor information that confirms their beliefs or hypotheses. People display this bias when they gather or remember information selectively, or when they interpret it in a biased way. The effect is stronger for emotionally charged issues and for deeply entrenched beliefs. ... They also tend to interpret ambiguous evidence as supporting their existing position. Biased search, interpretation and memory have been invoked to explain attitude polarization (when a disagreement becomes more extreme even though the different parties are exposed to the same evidence), belief perseverance (when beliefs persist after the evidence for them is shown to be false), the irrational primacy effect (a greater reliance on information encountered early in a series) and illusory correlation (when people falsely perceive an association between two events or situations).
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Re: Perceptions of cycling among homeless young people in Sy

Postby Howzat » Tue Apr 30, 2013 9:27 am

It's not their hairstyle they're worried about.

I suspect it's their social status. They don't want to be seen by peers as having to ride a bike because they're too poor to afford a car.
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Re: Perceptions of cycling among homeless young people in Sy

Postby Marty Moose » Fri May 03, 2013 1:18 pm

Howzat wrote:It's not their hairstyle they're worried about.

I suspect it's their social status. They don't want to be seen by peers as having to ride a bike because they're too poor to afford a car.


:idea: :idea: :idea: +1 Its just not cool.
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Re: Perceptions of cycling among homeless young people in Sy

Postby human909 » Fri May 03, 2013 4:10 pm

So why spend the time sneering at non cyclists rather the recognising the problems and having sensible discussion?
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Re: Perceptions of cycling among homeless young people in Sy

Postby gorilla monsoon » Wed May 08, 2013 5:50 pm

Howzat wrote:It's not their hairstyle they're worried about.

I suspect it's their social status. They don't want to be seen by peers as having to ride a bike because they're too poor to afford a car.


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Re: Perceptions of cycling among homeless young people in Sy

Postby ohexploitable » Thu May 23, 2013 7:53 pm

Completely understand the image factor.

I ride ~30km to uni because I really enjoy it, but I'll always arrive super early to give myself time to change into nice clothes, do my hair, apply moisturiser etc. (takes about 30 min). I try to conceal the fact that I rode a bike because it's associated with the working class image.
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Re: Perceptions of cycling among homeless young people in Sy

Postby biker jk » Thu May 23, 2013 8:08 pm

ohexploitable wrote:Completely understand the image factor.

I ride ~30km to uni because I really enjoy it, but I'll always arrive super early to give myself time to change into nice clothes, do my hair, apply moisturiser etc. (takes about 30 min). I try to conceal the fact that I rode a bike because it's associated with the working class image.


Obesity will soon be the defining working class image. Are students really that bogan in their thinking these days?
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Re: Perceptions of cycling among homeless young people in Sy

Postby human909 » Thu May 23, 2013 8:49 pm

ohexploitable wrote:Completely understand the image factor.

I ride ~30km to uni because I really enjoy it, but I'll always arrive super early to give myself time to change into nice clothes, do my hair, apply moisturiser etc. (takes about 30 min). I try to conceal the fact that I rode a bike because it's associated with the working class image.


At Melbourne University it is the opposite. The hip inner city living students are the ones riding bikes!
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Re: Perceptions of cycling among homeless young people in Sy

Postby Mulger bill » Thu May 23, 2013 8:56 pm

human909 wrote:At Melbourne University it is the opposite. The hip inner city living students are the ones riding bikes!

The smart ones anyway.
They understand that the less they spend on transport the more there is for other pursuits :D
...whatever the road rules, self-preservation is the absolute priority for a cyclist when mixing it with motorised traffic.
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Re: Perceptions of cycling among homeless young people in Sy

Postby Ken Ho » Fri May 24, 2013 12:22 pm

Dismissing mussed up hair as a poor excuse is ignorant at best.
Having neat, well styled hair is a societal norm. Turning up for a social occasion, or a job interview with helmet hair is not really the way to go.
Middle aged blokes with no hair, (or fashion sense) or more likely, a bad case case of hair envy find it easy to dismiss wanting to have cool hair.
It's not only OK that teenagers care about being cool. It's essential f they are to succeed in the world in the long run. Peer acceptance and networking is very hard to live without.
You have officially become your parents.
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Re: Perceptions of cycling among homeless young people in Sy

Postby Ross » Fri May 24, 2013 1:36 pm

Disagree. The helmet hair thing is just an excuse. They can comb or brush their hair just the same as non-cyclists have to.
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Re: Perceptions of cycling among homeless young people in Sy

Postby human909 » Fri May 24, 2013 6:30 pm

Ross wrote:Disagree. The helmet hair thing is just an excuse. They can comb or brush their hair just the same as non-cyclists have to.


It an excuse. It is a reason. It is reality. It exists.

Dismissing the reality of it just means that you are being deliberately obtuse. Claiming that it doesn't matter is a PERSONAL value judgement, it doesn't apply to other potential cyclists who have different values.
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Re: Perceptions of cycling among homeless young people in Sy

Postby TigerFilly » Fri May 24, 2013 6:49 pm

Ross, I think you're confusing excuses (by which you mean invalid excuses) with reasons. I cycle to work twice a week. One of the reasons I don't cycle more often is because fairly frequently I have to look presentable when facilitating events for large groups of people on behalf of my organisation. That's not an excuse (not that I need an excuse), it's a reason.
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Re: Perceptions of cycling among homeless young people in Sy

Postby ohexploitable » Fri May 24, 2013 10:51 pm

human909 wrote:At Melbourne University it is the opposite. The hip inner city living students are the ones riding bikes!


It's hip here as well (UNSW) to wear nice clothes and ride a cool vintage roadie/fixie, not to be drenched in sweat in lycra...
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Re: Perceptions of cycling among homeless young people in Sy

Postby ohexploitable » Fri May 24, 2013 10:54 pm

biker jk wrote:Obesity will soon be the defining working class image. Are students really that bogan in their thinking these days?


Nah most of my friends are smokers so they're skinny and some girls I know are anorexic/bulimic so it's all good.
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