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Shouldn’t everyone cycle? ‘Using design thinking to encourage the use of the bicycle’

Jonathan Pye-Finch MA Design for Development Kingston University September 2012


SUMMARY This report is a detailed account of initial research undertaken between June and September 2012. Initially aimed at understanding the value of cycling and encouraging more individuals to take up this activity. It has evolved to explore the practice of bicycle touring and the value that travel can have on young adults. It has been left as an open-ended exploration of a possible intervention that can inspire and support more young adults to take a bicycle tour as part of their gap year. That looks to work closely with existing initiatives and organisations who are campaigning to make cycling mainstream.


CONTENTS

04 > ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS 06 > BLUEPRINT

08 Framing

09 13 15 17 19 20 21

> > > > > > >

SO LET’S START BUILDING SO WHY SHOULD WE ALL CYCLE MEETING THE DEVOTED ONES THE GAP YEAR? PROJECT STAKEHOLDER MAPPING CONCURRENT ACTIVITIES UNDERSTANDING AND MAKING USE OF CURRENT ACTIVITIES 26 > GETTING SOCIAL 27 > ON TOUR INTERVIEWEE

29 Steering

30 32 33 34 35

> > > > >

PICTURING THE SCENE MINDSET OF THE TOURER USER JOURNEY MAPPING WHO IS MY TARGET AUDIENCE? CHOSEN ROUTE

36 Mechanics

37 > CO-EXPLORERS WORKSHOP

42 Ride-on!

43 45 46 47 49

> > > > >

CONSTRUCTION COMPLETE? SWOT WHAT NEXT? AMALGAMATED PIXELS LEARNINGS & CONCLUSIONS

50 Appendices 63 Bibliography


ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS I would like to thank all those who have helped throughout this project, for having been supportive & inspiring and to the contributors and motivators.

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Let’s get this project rolling!


BLUEPRINT This project will utilise the Design Council’s Double-Diamond (http://www.designcouncil.org.uk/designprocess) design process which is divided into four distinct phases which will the map the project.

For the purpose of this bicycle focused project the phases have been described as (alongside Design Council’s terminology): Framing, Steering, Mechanics and Ride-on. Different research methods also outlined by the Design Council (http://www.designcouncil.org.uk/about-design/How-designers-work/Design-methods/) which can be attributed to each phase, were utilised to give structure to the research questions that I was exploring.

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INITIAL RESEARCH PROJECT TOURS

Three research tours can be described with each subsequent tour building upon the findings from previous research probes. During each tour FRAMING and STEERING research methods such as ‘Project Stakeholder Mapping’ ‘Concurrent Activities’ and ‘Collecting’ have been utilised but only final versions have been included in this report. An overview of my initial research probes that defined my overall aim will show which questions have remained throughout the project and how new ones have arisen.

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Framing

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SO LET’S START BUILDING! Aim ver 1.0 Influence more people to travel by bicycle. To send this research project along a particular path I asked the following questions. >

+ What am I passionate about? + What do I want to do once I graduate?

So Aim ver 1.0, was influenced from a newly found passion to cycle, born from a personal experience of traveling solo by bicycle covering 3400 miles over 63 days through 7 different countries. Only a month before starting this trip did I upgrade my bicycle from a rusty old child’s mountain bike that has inhabited the family shed for the last ten years. Check out where I went at pye-finch.co.uk.. Aim ver 1.0 is based on the assumption that there is value in cycling and propose an enquiry as to how? where? when? and why? the bicycle is being used to travel. So the following questions were asked >

1. Where do people travel to by bicycle? 2. What initiatives are trying to influence more people to travel by bicycle? 3. So why should we all cycle?

1. Biycle Travel travel |’trav(o)l| verb to move or go from one place or point to another. dictionary.com By increasing journey length and by changing the end destination we can start to picture the cyclist and journey being completed by a bicycle. The bicycle is a method for getting from A to B to A, If we disregard Boris Bikes which would look like A to B to C What could A to B to A look like for those cycling from home? A .. to B .. to A - to the local shops and back (2-5 miles) A …… to B …… A - commute to and from work ( 6-15 miles) A ………. to B ………. A - to friends and family (16-25 miles)

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2. Current Initiatives A charity that supports disabled people to cycle in London. Allowing three and four-wheelers to be hired and additionally sessions are organised weekly to enjoy the simple pleasure of riding a bike. (Wheels for Wellbeing, 2012) There are three bike ability levels awarded to children of different age groups who have been trained to cycle and stay safe on the roads. Over 250,000 young cyclist have been trained and Bikeability aim to have no child leave primary school without taking part in Bikeability. Also provide courses for adults wishing to learn how to cycle. (Bikeability, 2012)

Known a “Boris Bikes’ this initiative is available 24 hours a day, is a self-service system and allows you to choose a cycle and return to any docking station. The service is intended for short journeys and is free for up to 30 min before charges incur. (TfL, 2012)

An 11,000-strong membership charity, who are lobbying decision makers by ‘presenting them with rational arguments for encouraging cycling’ (lcc, 2012a). Members are provided with insurance in addition to offers and discounts to London bicycle shops. A UK charity that aim to make ‘smarter An independent charity that relies travel choices possible, desirable and on 70,000 members, volunteers, inevitable’. grant funders and partners for They work with communities, local support. They campaign to make authorities and cycling mainstream, promote the organisations on transport infrastructure benefits of cycling to individuals, decisions and projects to increase levels society and to the economy. Have of walking and cycling. online forums, articles, magazine (sustrans, 2012) and work closely with initiatives like Bikeabilty.

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What if we increase the length of time between A to B to A? A …..…..…..…..…..….. to ? …..…..…..…..…..….. to A - bicycle tour (extended trip over one day). Like with any journey as the time between A (Home) expands the activity of taking a holiday occurs as individuals break away from their daily routine. Exploring concurrent activities looking to encourage more individuals to take to the bicycle as their chosen means of transport for short distant trips has highlighted many initiatives underway. Looking towards longer distant trips as part of a holiday their is little mainstream attention with support and advice confined to the web. This reveals a research directions that interest and excites me to explore!

Aim ver 2.0 Influence more people to take a bicycle tour. Objectives at this stage were to:

Map relevant groups, networks and initiatives supporting travellers and bicycle tourers.

> to highlight exiting resources > to explore potential stakeholders > to discover shortcomings

Connect with non-cyclists, cyclist and individuals interested in travelling.

> to understand why they have chosen to travel by bicycle > to find potential collaborators > to gain support & inspiration

Propose a project outcome that is informed by my research and prototyped appropriately.

> to communicate my project outcome to potential contributors and individuals with skill-sets that can address my own shortcomings. > to provide feedback > to allow testing of different solutions

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3. SO WHY SHOULD WE ALL CYCLE?

“A personal and collective realisation of the importance of adopting cyclic cycles rather than linear consumption” (Fuad-Luke, 2009)

This project is motivated by a newly found passion for cycling along with an interest in cyclic systems of consumption and the indirect delivery of eco-efficiency by changing behaviour. Which have been explored through assignments and delivered in an award winning product concept proposal (see Appendix a). From a personal experience of cycling through many European countries, observing and conversing with different members of society that cycle. I wanted to further understand the value that cycling can create: a key means of achieving sustainability “Whenever I see an adult on requires a social shift from the car to other modes of mobility; a bicycle, I have hope for the public transport, foot and bike (Christensen, 2004). human race”. H.G. Wells This is the underlying assumption behind this project, that cycling should be encouraged. Here I will address this assumption and provide an overview as to why the bicycle has been given particular prominence to realise our idea of sustainable development: ‘the ability to meet the needs of the present while contributing to the future generations’ needs’ (Needham, M). Transportation is a major economic, environmental and social issue. The bicycle as been attribute as a solution to many of these concerns due to its ability to offer multiple benefits, including easing congestion, improving health, and reducing pressure on infrastructure.

A quarter of the UK’s carbon dioxide (165.8 MtCO2e) emissions come from transport, 68% of which from road transport and 6% from air travel (DfT, 2009a). A high proportion of air travel is for leisure as five out of six flights made from the UK are for holidays (directgov, 2012). The UK Climate Change Act includes legally binding targets for the UK to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions (GHG) by at least 60% by 2030. The Low Carbon Transport: A Greener Future published in 2009 sets out the >

government’s long term vision for creating an efficient and sustainable transport system. A strategy that specifically highlights the importance of cycling especially for short journeys to meet such targets (DfT, 2009b). The scope of this project is on longer cycle trips which alleviates reliance on air, rail and road transport for leisure; reliance because they are still used by some tourers to get to start locations, yet I’m also revealing extended value from those taking a tour by continuing to cycle during their daily routing. ‘It is in travel behaviour that the real change must take place’ (VIBRAT, 2006).

Redisgn of Parliment Square (LCC, 2012b)

“Everywhere there is so much work to be done, for the sake of human viability on our planet, to contribute to a bicycle system. The ‘push for cycling’ must be broad, confident and powerful. We need new cycling infrastructure; new cycling stories; new cycling thinking; new cycle shops, new cycle repair services, and cycle hire services; new cycling-oriented maps, guides and websites; new cycle parking; more cycle-friendly schools, colleges and workplaces; new cycling-oriented cafes, restaurants and hotels; better integration of cycling and other modes of mobility, especially buses, trams and trains; stronger connections between cycling and other spheres of life, including business, politics, television, film, music and other media. We need people to cycle, and people to help, support and encourage others to cycle. Whoever and wherever we are,  whatever we do, we can contribute to the new bicycle system required to build a broader and better culture of sustainability”. (Horton D, 209)

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Increased > £2.9b total contribution to UK participation has had economy broad socio-economic > 28 per cent increase in volume benefits, best of cycle sales in 2010, generating communicated with a £1.62b few statistics: > £853m further contribution to the > UK economy through the purchase of cycling accessories and bicycle maintenance, resulting in total retail sector sales of £2.47b > Over £500m generated in wages and £100m in taxes from 23,000 employed directly in bicycle sales, distribution and the maintenance of cycling infrastructure > Health benefits save the economy £128m per year in absenteeism (ref) The importance of physical activity to health is well documented (SWQ, 2007) with major reductions to the risk of major chronic diseases (50%) and premature death (20-30%) (DH, 2004). The findings from the Department for Health report highlight the value of physical activity for adults but compared with children there is little direct evidence linking physical inactivity in children with childhood health outcomes. The SQW report on behalf of Cycling England does conclude however that encouraging cycling in young people ‘will help form behaviour when they are older’’ therefore by ‘getting people to cycle when they are older is greatly helped by them having positive experiences when they are younger’. There is an additional overlooked social attribute to cycling, which is contesting the dominant rhythms of societies seemingly obsessed with ever greater speed (Virilio, 1997). Riding a bicycle necessitates encounters with others (Spinney J, 2009); a form of private transport that embodies a far dominate public orientation than the car; which has been described as ‘re-peopling’ and ‘re-humanising’ towns and cities (Horton D, 2009). Such encounters can be available for everyone; cheap to both run and maintain, cycling is a socially inclusive mode of transport that can improve access for lower income groups and those without access to cars or public transport. > ‘Free people must travel the road to productive social relations at the speed of a bicycle.’ (Illich I, 1974)

A simple but powerful graphic being shared on Facebook Source: Unknown 2012

Within some cycling discourse they reflect on the bicycle ability to enable ‘individualised demonstration of responsibility to the planet’ (Mol B, 2002). Arguing that ‘by cycling one parades not only the taking of personal responsibility for one’s own body, but also for the inter-connected bodies of ‘the community’ and planet’ (Horton D, 2009). Findings from connecting with cyclists stress intrinsic motivations such as health, cost and connivence with little extrinsic motivations like environmental reasons as responses to ‘why they cycle?’. This imbedded language to cycling does exist however which events like Critical Mass are providing a platform for.

Motivations for cycling (LSE, 2010)

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MEETING THE DEVOTED ONES Critical Mass London, is a monthly event taking place on the last Friday of every month, which involves cyclist meeting in the evening at Waterloo Bridge and from there an unguided tour takes places across London. What is Critical Mass and its intentions are however is unclear “there are probably as many aims of CM as there are participants. Each individual comes there with his or her own idea of what it’s about, and the sum of this makes up the Mass” (Critical Mass London, 2012). It’s due to the uncontrolled nature of the event that allows such a mass of cyclist to take to the streets and make their presence known. Characteristics of which are made clear on a website documenting the event.

The interviews were unstructured and question proposed depended on previous responses. On quite a few occasions I was approached mostly by older cyclist interested in my custom built George Longstaff frame (I brought it second hand and don’t know much about its history) With my lack of knowledge about the frame it did allow me to steer the conversation away to mention my research project and gain further insights. The unstructured, quick ++ and of these interactions meant that I was unable to document them with the flip camera so notes were taken once the conversation had concluded. This was also the method of documenting conversations I had once the we started cycling, despite how easy the flip camera was to use I didn’t feel safe surrounded by so many cyclist and a quick shout out ‘ Why do love cycling so much?!!’ gave some quick off the cuff responses and the chance for asking further questions in some instances.

“We have no organisers and no planned routes and this website does not try to be representative of CM in any way”. (Critical Mass London, 2012) The one thing I could be sure of was that at around six in the evening cyclist would start to congregate next to Waterloo Bridge before a mass decision would be made around seven evident from the fusion of 500 bells, 10 speakers fitted to trailers and the whistling and cheering of keen cyclists ready to follow their fellow pedaller in front. This gave me an hour to meet, share and gain insight from many passionate London cyclist across the demographic. I was armed with a flip camera which is small, light and discrete and if participants were willing would allow interviews to be documented in full I was very spontaneous and looked to engage with as many people as possible to hear their thoughts and opinions on cycling and share insight about any bicycle tours they have previously undertaken. >

Abive: Myself during an interview with Ben Photo: Louise Wilson Date

Left: Critical Mass London Waterloo Bridge Photo: Personal files 14


What was learnt? Praise the Flip camera It worked really well, interviewees didn’t feel intimidated and took some of the pressure off myself to approach strangers and ensuring that interviews were documented.

Questionnaire hand out A small piece of paper could have been handed out directing cyclist to an online questionnaire with the chance of possibly winning and cycle computer.

Safety in numbers Critical Mass London gave me access to a ‘mass’ of cyclists who were in a relaxed and celebratory setting; as cyclist started to congregate next to Waterloo Bridge it allowed for my questioning to feel less intrusive.

I planned on doing this at the following Critical Mass but was unable to attend due to unforeseen circumstances.

Outcomes?

on inions nd op a ts ! h oug uring your th ycle to I need ling and bic cyc et the ter!! and g u e out? ycle Comp m g in help nger C ra te Fancy n o.uk in a Bo uring.c e to w ycleto ic chanc b le eop etsgetp www.l Visit ->

n!

Ride-o

“It means I can sing without people hearing my voice!” “It get me places, it’s that simple” “Taking the kids was much easier when they were younger they could be on the back of the bike, now we can’t do so many miles before they get tired” (TIm, 46)

“I haven’t got many years left in me, so got put in the miles whilst I still can!” “I’ve toured since I was 19 when I made my first ride down to Brighton and back, have loved it ever since” (Mark, 69)

Critical Mass Lonfon Flip Camera Stills 2012 Photo: Personal Files

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Responses were varied, which was to be expected from some of the spontaneous interactions that I had with cyclist of various ages. With regards to the flip camera interviews, 3 out of 4 were with older cyclists (40+) which did reveal some similar insights. When asked if they had taken a bicycle tour, all of them replied that they had since a young age. That it was a positive experience which they have repeated many times since. So there seems to be sustained value that emerges from undertaking a tour at a young age, by continuing to cycle during their daily routine and also using this sustainable means of transport during subsequent free time.

“I myself did my very first bicycle tour in my “gap year” between school and University. At the time I was 19, living in the UK, and I rode from Land’s End up to near Perth … and it left a lasting impression me, as the greatest accomplishment of my life up to that point (and for a while after too)” (Niel Gunton founder of crazyguyonbike)

The feedback from attending Critical Mass London along with forum responses shaped my target audience and my research direction from this point onwards.

Aim ver 3.0 nfluence more young adult (18-24) to take a bicycle tour

BICYCLE TOURING? By highlighting difference between short and long term cycle trips we’ve discovered how the bicycle is being used to break away from daily routine. By cycling over long distances which can range from a single day trip spending one night away, several days to many months; this is known as bicycle touring. The philosophical quote ‘it’s the journey, not the destination’ can describe the essence of bicycle touring, reminding us not to focus on where we are going, but to truly savour how we got there. Note this would be a personal view of bicycle touring, but from connecting with others the feeling seems mutual. The majority of bicycle tourers will have some idea of their route and how long they will cycle for, their approach however can be different. Credit-card touring (Wikipedia, 2012) is where you pack light, allowing you to travel further over the day and stay at hostels and hotels. This greatly increases the cost of the tour, so would not be an available option for young travellers. Carrying a tent and stove however would be, allowing you to stay at campsite, wild-camp aswell as hostels and hotels.

Wikimedia Commons User: Moebiusuibeom 2008

Wild Camping/Stealth Camping Sleeping in an area that is not a designated camp site (Parker P, 2011) or a free-from-charge locations that can be whole countries such as Sweden & Scotland

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The Gap Year? 1. Context

Tour d’Arique (2012) Example Tour: Austria, France, Germany 14 days, 100 km/day €3,900!

Taking a ‘gapyear’ usually occurs between school and university, taking many forms it generally involves periods of work, which may be voluntary or paid, and travel (Jones A, 2004). Over the last fifteen years the popularity of the gap year has risen dramatically, with media, schools, employers, universities and the government all becoming increasingly aware of the concept. Gap years were ‘once about abandoning institutions and rejecting the traditional trajectory of education and employment, now they are a part of this trajectory’ (Simpson K, 2004). Now formalised and organised, expectations can be defined and hence demanded by travellers. This would contrast with bicycle touring which can still retain that ‘hippie trail’ idea of an alternative activity based of self-reliance & the unknown; although this is being contested as some travel companies now sell organised bicycle tours (see Tour d’Afrique & Saddle Skeddle). Is it therefore about finding a balance between maintaining self-reliance and autonomy in bicycle touring and the cultural capital this expresses, with the organised conditions that some individuals need to undertake such a challenge (see pg. insight from Silvia). I feel it’s important to maintain the same relationship with the majority of concurrent activities, who are selling an idea not a product.

“This cultural capital {of travel} is then used as a form of self advertisement, and converted into economic capital, or at least leverage in specific job markets” (Tickell 2001)

2. The pedagogy At the centre of the rhetoric supporting the gap year are concepts of learning and education. Claims abound within the industry regarding opportunities for self-development, and learning about other cultures as well as, ultimately, for promoting increased ‘global awareness’ (Heath, 2005). Yet there is little theory or practice that the claims made about the educational value of a gap year can be based on. Dominant discourse appears to be one in which education is merely an inevitable outcome of experience (Simpson, 2004) .

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3. Just visit, don’t volunteer? With regards to the political, social and cultural context of countries visited by travellers and activities they undertake, the traveller can be described as seeking to maintain a ‘fundamentally romantic and innocent relationship with knowledge’ (Heald 2003). ‘Observing the sights along the way with no requirement for the critical gaze of a learner’ (Simpson K, 2004). Like the protagonist in ‘are you experienced?’, a novel on gap year travel, when trying to justify for his ignorance of India: “I’m just travelling here. It’s only a holiday. I don’t have to revise for my holidays. I get enough of that the rest of the year” (Sutcliffe 1998). Rhetoric which Ivan Illich an Austrian philosopher might agree with. Who in his address at the Conference on InterAmerican Student Projects (CIASP) in 1968 said ‘use your money, your status and your education to travel.. ..come to look, come to climb our mountains, to enjoy our flowers, but do not come to help’. Lambasting the idea of volunteering abroad if you are unskilled, ‘linguistically deaf and dumb that you don’t even understand what you are doing, or what people think of you’. A difficult message to communicate to those who feel the need to do ‘good’ and make a ‘sacrifice’, that ‘if you have any sense of responsibility stay with your riots’ (Illich, 1968) at home and help there. This project could take a very different direction at this point to explore and understand this issue further. However like the intrinsic motivators of the tourer I will leave this issue for a later project; but it proposes the question about the language I use in any intervention I propose and whether I should refer to the activity of volunteering that many decide to engage in.

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PROJECT STAKEHOLDER MAPPING This visual map is the final version that identifies all the stakeholders who are related to the project and could be affected by it. Building this map has allowed me to see potential resources, collaborators and who to consider when conducting future research activities.

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CONCURRENT ACTIVITIES Building upon those existing initiatives identified in the project stakeholder map, a non-exhaustive list below highlights the cheer amount of concurrent activities that I see as assisting individuals to take a bicycle tour & gap year A concurrent activity in terms of this project can be described as work under way to support, inspire and allow the sharing of knowledge to facilitate the influencing of more individuals to take a bicycle tour. >

These activities were found by: • a simple google search • links in forum posts • recommend through friends • in email exchanges whilst organising a co-design workshop

Bicycle Touring Community Platforms > Crazyguyonbike.com > reddit: r/bicycletouring

Bicycle Touring Blogs/Advice > www.sheldonbrown.com/touring/index.html > www.cycletourer.co.uk/ > www.bicycletouringpro.com/blog/ > www.cycle-n-sleep.co.uk/ > www.nwtravelmag.com/front-page/ bicycle-touring-demystified > www.travellingtwo.com/ > www.goingslowly.com/ > www.biketouringroutes.com/ > www.gobicycletouring.info/ > www.tour.tk/ > www.2tyred.org/ > www.reddit.com/r/bicycletouring/ > www.foodcyclist.com/ > www.woollypigs.com/ etc.

Gamification > Armchair Bicycle Touring www.biketouringtips.com/ArmchairBikeTouring/

Video > Catalogue of 1,571 World Cycle Videos www.vimeo.com/groups/wereldfietser/videos > I Love Bicycle Travel Series (www.youtube.com/watch?v=iWOjIPUTJtQ) > Bicycle Touring: The Movie (www.bicycletouringpro.com/blog/bicycle-tour ing-the-movie) etc. Books/ebooks/magazines > The Essential Touring Cyclist: A Complete Guide for the Bicycle Traveler by Lovett, R > Adventure Cycle-Touring Handbook: Worldwide Cycling Route & Planning Guide by Lord, S > Bike Touring Survival Guide by Friedel Grant & Andrew Grant > ebook: www.bicycletraveler.bicyclinga roundtheworld.nl/ > ebook: www.travellingtwo.com/shop/ebooks/ biketouringbasics > E-mail course: www.bicycletouringpro.com etc.

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UNDERSTANDING & MAKING USE OF CONCURRENT ACTIVITIES 1. Interacting A personal exploration of the websites who are sharing knowledge, stories, and advice about bicycle touring. I focused my attention on trying to understand them, through experiencing them, observing them and having conversations about them. To build up a picture of their strength, weakness, opportunities and threats. A google search of ‘bicycle touring’ (making sure to log out of my personal account!) produced the top ten search results. >

Bicycle Touring Pro - How To Plan Your Next Bicycle Touring www.bicycletouringpro.com/ [Screenshot from August 5th, 2012] Introductory text that always remains, I honestly didn’t read it first time round scrolling down to see the images nor clink on any of the drop down links. I wasn’t inspired to explore the site.

Drop-down menus are useful at reducing the amount of page loads.

At the bottom of the home page is a 12-part email course with an advertised 7,500+ current subscribers. Its questionable if all visitors to this site scroll to the bottom and only those who have decided to bicycle tour would be inclined to sign up.

A blog format website with lower sections cut from images and text which suggest you need to scroll down. Would be more inclined to navigate the site if it was restricted so scrolling wasn’t necessary. Newer sites are using this approach, eg.bbc.co.uk.

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crazyguyonabike.com: Bicycle Touring: A place for bicycle tourists ... www.crazyguyonabike.com/ [Screenshot from August 19th, 2012]

Google ads merge with the rest of the site, using the same background, font and text colour.

Bicycle Touring 101: Welcome to your next bicycle touring adventure! Lacks any creativity, very www.bicycletouring101.com/ off-putting making you want to [Screenshot from August 19th, 2012] instantly return back to google and find a different site.

A very outdated looking website, however it is very fast! (quick page loading)

Only four images and 254 links on the home page! Very overwhelming and lacks any creative way for visitors to engage and be motivated to explore the site.

Writing is very small and 95% of text is a link making your eyes strain as you try to read.

No Images! No videos!.

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The On-line Bike Touring Archive www.biketouringtips.com/ [Screenshot from August 19th, 2012]

This icon is the only visual reference to describe the site, with no images of tourers along their route to visually communicate what bicycle touring is all about.

Provides examples of tours to help you plan your own. Information is only provided in a list format, could be more interactive allowing you to edit, save and print your own plan.

Welcome | TravellingTwo: Bicycle Touring Around The World travellingtwo.com/ [Screenshot from August 19th, 2012]

Sectioned out blocks of text as extracts from journals and articles. Not at all easy on the eyes and doesn’t stimulate you to read the entries.

Ability to translate the whole site, addressing one accessibility issue - I really like the inclusion of this feature clearly visible on the homepage. Standard web layout, but clear and inviting links supported with easy to read, explicit text.

Advertises two ebooks and a magazine clearly which are rich and detailed introductions if you are planning a bicycle tour. Valuable resources if you have already decided you want to take a bicycle tour.

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2. Engaging Crazyguyonbike.co.uk Founded by Neil Gunton crazyguyonbike.com is a free, independent site for hosting bicycle touring journals, forums and resources. Within this site there is a wealth of knowledge, opinions, stories and advice that is being shared by inspiring people! Open to anyone who wishes to connect, share and read the forums, journals, articles and reviews that the community have provided. Neil Gunton describes crazyguyonabike’s main strength “is its simple focus on bicycle touring, combined with a scalable design which allows for a huge amount of content to be easily edited, browsed and searched”. It also “hosts real content, rather than simply acting as a link aggregator to point to other websites” and the “design is deceptively simple and non-flashy, which makes it fast and easy to use on slow connections and portable computers”. (crazyguyonbike, 2012). Neil Gunton last point is important because many tourers will be updating their journals at times from remote locations. So although the design may not be an inspiring and engaging resource for new visitors, appropriately for the platform, form follows function to allow bicycle tourers to document entour.

The platform is very active (02/08/12: 7,434 journals and articles, with 1,142,041 pictures) allowing enquiry by:

>

To answer research probes that I had at this stage:

Searching Journal entries

>

Why? What were their motivations for travelling by bicycle? How? The value bicycle touring creates? Are young adults (18-24) using this resource?

Asking question on the forums

>

Do you feel that traveling by bicycle between secondary school and collage/university or collage/university and work should be encouraged? How would you empower and influence more young people to take to the bicycle as a method to explore the planet?

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3. Reflecting Findings have be concluded together, see PICTURING THE SCENE pg. 30. Here I will summarise my experiences with using the site to fulfil research enquiries. See Appendix b for full forum responses. Jounals The first issue and consequently insight when using the site was trying to find journal entries from those in my target audience (1824). Search terms ‘why’ and ‘introduction’ resulted in thousands of results from sections of user journals that provided insight to research questions. However further enquiry was needed to find the thoughts and opinions of young adults, a long and laborious task which identified only handful of matches as the majority of users did not note their age. Still by reading many, many journals (to many place in appendices!) I was able to immerse myself into the bicycle touring community and empathise with individual tourers. Forums Questions proposed in forums were left open, allowing my target audience and older members to respond, revealing insights from their first bicycle tour. This was appropriate to allow the wider community to comment and add their thoughts and opinions.

“Travel by bicycle is particularly good because it also teaches perseverance, adapting to hardships, being flexible, learning to deal with meeting new people, going outside of your comfort zone, and learning what you are really capable of” (Niel Gunton founder of crazyguyonbike)

One response was from the man behind the platform Neil Gunton; I replied asking whether he would be willing to answer a few question in a structured interview format. Sadly he declined the offer replying that ‘As it stands, I don’t really have a lot of time to spare for answering structured interviews, sorry, but that is a bit more of a commitment (and responsibility) than I am willing to get into at the moment. To be sure I am really not an authority on touring, as I have spent most of the last 12 years running this website rather than being out there on the road’. This was what I was actually interested in: his opinions on the value that he felt the website provided, its weaknesses and opportunities.

“Don’t let school interfere with your education” Samuel Clemens “ I don’t see how CG could be more accessible than it already is. Fastest loading site on the net. 5th site on the Google search for cycle touring. Guess you gotta pay to be first” Jerry Harp (member)

“Toured ten countries on a bicycle’ has to look good on any resume” Robert Ewing (member)

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GETTING SOCIAL I immersed myself in other online communities, ‘gapper’ forums and the ‘reddit’ community to add further insight to my research questions. See Appendix 4.0 for full responses Reddit is an online community with what are known as subreddits. A community that is dedicated to a particular subject which users can subscribe to. The three that I engaged with were r/travel, r/cycling and r/bicycletouring allowing me to see previous post and also ask for responses to my own research questions. What do you think? An additional exercise that I have conducted since the start of this project involved showing these two images to anyone I came into contact with. Then asking for their opinions after a short introduction by myself to what bicycle touring entails. A very simple activity that produced many insights into the barriers and misconceptions with bicycle touring. >

From Travelling Two Articles Photo: Stephen Lord

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ON TOUR INTERVIEWEE

Interviewee: Ben Foster, 23 Cycling 5500 miles around the coast of England, Scotland and Wales. Ben’s Long Ride Home Blog: www.bengine.tumblr.com

A qualitative structured interview approved of and completed by a friend who is currently on a bicycle tour; provided me with a chance to directly asked designed question to research probes I was exploring. Specifically his experiences during the ‘pre tour’ planning stage and his reasons for deciding to travel by bicycle. Rationale for this enquiry was based on my own experience of spending two months planning for my own trip and wanting to identify the barriers to bicycle touring. See Appendix c for full responses. Structured Interview Sent July 10th, 2012 Responses Recieved July 25th, 2012

Ben Foster at the start of his tour. 2012 Photo: Ben Foster

Why? Motivations?

1. Why did you decided to travel by bicycle? (What inspired you, what were your motivations)

Experinces with planning for a tour

2. How long did it take you to plan? 3. What resources did you use to organise your trip? (eg Books. Blogs, Websites) 4. How would you describe your experience with using these resources? 5. Did you have any difficulties whilst organising your trip? (Concerns you couldn’t find answers to for example)

Personal history?

6. How often would you cycle before your bicycle tour? (Choose most appropriate) a. “I didn’t’! I had no bicycle to pedal’ b. ‘Once on a blue moon’ c. ‘Once or twice a week for short trips to the local shop’ d. ‘Most days commuting to work’ e. ‘For any journey I needed to make’ f. Other ………………………………………….. 7. Did you do a tester/ practice trip before setting off? If Yes, How did this help? If No, Why not?

Personal value created?

8. How do you think a bicycle tour will help with your own personal development? (eg skills, improving self-awareness, identifying/ developing strengths)

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Responses Insights Why? Motivations?

Experinces with planning for a tour

“I’d always wanted to travel and explore.. ..I didn’t want to do it by car or train but under my own steam so to speak.. ..and only had a couple of months to spare between semesters.. ..What better way to discover a place than at cycling pace.. ..fast enough that you can cover a good distance in a day but slow enough that you can take a good look around you.. ..You move the bike with your own muscles so get a better feel of how the landscape is built.. ..a bicycle is relatively easy and cheap to maintain. In short, cycling was the only way to achieve my goal the way I wanted to achieve it”. “There was no planning really apart from deciding whether I’d follow the coast in a clockwise or anticlockwise direction”. “I plan day by day.. .. I did read a couple of web pages belonging to touring cyclists to compare gear, inventory etc”. “There were no difficulties”.

Personal history?

“Once in a blue moon” “I brought the bike for the tour, I probably wouldn’t have made it down the end of my street on my old mountain bike”

> Touring suited his time availability and aspirations

> Based his own inventory on others > Wanting to stick to the coast - a well defined route helped with his planning > Non-cyclist beforehand > Natural adventurer? > Risk taker > TIme Poor

“The first time I rode it fully laden was the day I left. With a full-time job.. .. I didn’t really have the time to do a proper practise run.. ..I told myself I’d be OK if I just took it easy for the first couple of weeks”. Personal value created?

“The tour has made me more confident” “I’ve learnt more about what makes me happier, more about what’s most important in life and more about what I might want to do with mine. All from riding a bicycle and I’m not even halfway, I wonder what else I may discover?!”

> Confidence builder > Wanted to achieve something he is proud of > Self-development

“When the rain and the wind is blowing in your face, that’s when you learn what your strengths and weaknesses are. My main strength is probably perseverance or stubbornness more like. “Seeing new places and meeting new people, using only my

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Steering

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PICTURING THE SCENE A blank wall, print-outs of my findings and armed with plenty of post-it notes I sifted through all the data, recording what I found interesting, surprising, meaningful, problematic, insightful, unusual and useful. Exhibiting in this way consolidated my research, so I could interpret and draw conclusions with the aid of define methods.

1. Concurrent Activities > Loads! Many knowledge based websites but they don’t communicate well with new visitors tourers/and non-tourers. > These sites depend on word of mouth or google search after interest has been natured in an individual. > Aside from books there is no offline initiatives. > Personal Blogs are using social media to share and create traffic, yet do they actually get read!? Findings from my co-design suport the idea that blogs (text) would be a poor method of influencing young prospect tourers. 2. How have previous tourers been motivated? > > > > > > > >

Pictures Family Friends Watching the video ‘Journey as Destination’ which was shared on Facebook Seeing a tourer cycle through their village Talking to a cyclist entour Google searching ‘what should I do for a gap year?’ ‘I frequently cycled, it was just a natural progression’ (Andy W, 2012)

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3. How to influence others? When it comes to address the aim of this project I need to be mindful of the language I use. As Henry Gold founder of Tour d’Africa notes in an interview with Essential Travel: ‘I actually tend not to try to convince anyone simply because I think that people have to want to do this, have to prepared in their won minds that they are ready to do this’. Influence’ therefore should be change to ‘inspire’! Which would be Neil Gunton’s approach to motiving young adults, “I think all we can do is lead by example, show young people that bicycle touring is a great way to see the world, and try to be role models for youth to aspire to”.

4. Why do people travel by bicycle? >

5. What are the misconceptions and barriers? >

What do individuals gain from travelling by bicycle? >

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MINDSET OF THE BICYCLE TOURER I can also conclude the attitudes of the bicycle tourer from my research: 1. They ascribe a name to their bicycle tour. 2. Have a few destinations that they want to visit. 3. A rough idea of how far they will cycle per day and in total. 4. Main mode of transport is of course the bicycle, but ferries, buses and trains are used to negotiate water. A few fly to start locations and back after a tour or fly out to cycle back home. 5. They have a pre tour planned route, an idea. Which can change for numerous reasons entour. An important aspect of planning which considers weather, terrain, people, politics and facilities.

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USER JOURNEY MAPPING Journey towards being inspired, to planning and then undertaking a tour

Informed by my research findings this user journey map identifies books/ebooks, online resources, videos and word of mouth as approaches to creating awareness about bicycle touring. However I have previously identified that there lacks accessibility to these sources of inspiration, which will now be the scope of this project.

Existing Initiatives

Peer Contribution

What is bicycle touring? Where could I go? What are the benefits? Where do I find out more?

Books/ebooks Online Resources Videos

Word of mouth Friends & Family experiences

Where do I stay? How do I maintain the bicycle? What equipment will I need? What should I expect? Where could I go?

Books/ebooks Online Resources Videos Gamification

Word of mouth Friends & Family experiences

Forums Online communities

Peer support

Bicycle Shops (Online/offline)

Peer support

Knowledge Barriers

Awareness of Bicycle Touring

Behavioral Barriers

Overcome Behavioral Barriers Concerns about fitness Dislike of camping Afraid to do it alone Concerns about safety Parents support? Bicycle ability

Practical Barriers

Undertake a tour Obtain bicycle Obtain equipment Plan tour Flexibility with time Money Test tour? Get to starting point

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WHO IS MY TARGET AUDIENCE?

Name > David Whickham Age

The age group 18 to 24 was chosen originally because the majority of face to face interviews at Critical Mass London described taking a tour at a young age, further enquiry using primary and secondary research showed that this group had a lot to gain from undertaking a tour. Creating personal value through stories, friends, memories, fulfilling dreams and character building that can create extended value towards future job prospects along with health, social, economic and environmental benefits with continuing to cycle.

Persona & (Driver & Hurdles) This fictitious character is based on journal posts, forum responses, interviews and personal insight to allow me empathise with my target audience. Undertaking these two define research methods allowed myself and co-explores (see pg.37) to concentrate firstly on defining a brief; and then act as a constant referral aid whilst exploring the various mechanical configurations (develop) that could address the brief and deliver something that would appeal and engage with my target audience. >

> 22 Residence: > With parent in London Occupation > Graphic Design University Graduate > Working part-time in a pub Typical day > > > >

Looking at travel possibilities Working on design portfolio Socialising with friends Checking for internships opportunities

Interests > Tennis, sketching, meeting new people How does he find out about new things? > Facebook, twitter, reddit, bbc.co.uk, close friends, work colleagues, parents How does he communicate with people he knows? > Facebook, twitter, smart phone Barriers > Doesn’t have a bicycle > Lack of knowledge of cycling/bicycle touring > Separation from friends and family Drivers > Explorer attitude, likes trying new things > Is looking to spend some time travelling > Might have the willingness but would need guidance 34


CHOSEN ROUTE Born out of my analysis of concurrent online initiatives and user journey mapping an awareness initiating intervention was concluded as a needed and missing opportunity. To address misconception and to create excitement and inspiration, so too ignite an idea into young adults wanting to travel, that bicycle touring is a valuable way to do it. This proposed the following focused question:

How can we facilitate young adults (18-24) to get past their misconception about bicycle touring, empower and inspire them that is a worthy activity as part of a gap year?

Ben Youngriev, 18 “It’s this emptiness I want to fill, by constantly seeing, doing and being around new things or people. It’s not that I haven’t lived, it’s that I haven’t lived very well so far. There’s a desperation for change which seems impossible to accomplish in the restrictive nature of education and home life”. (cgog, 2009)

Ben Youngriev crazyguyinbike jounal image 2009 Photo: Ben Youngriev

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Mechanics

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CO-EXPLORERS WORKSHOP Participation in a workshop...

> > > >

empowers users to become part of the design process. gives users a platform to express themselves and engage with each other. provides further insights to my findings. allows creativity to flourish and an opportunity to envision possible interventions.

Using my support network that I had built up over my time in London and existing contacts. Individuals from my target audience in addition to cyclist and bicycle tourist with varying degree of experience were contacted and encourages to attend. Participants: > Domonic Roup | Bicycle Tourer, Cyclist > Andy Welsh | Bicycle Tourer, Cyclist Book: The Weave of the Ride Blog: www.slowquest.co.uk > Samir Bloomfield | Cyclist > Silvia Maiorino | Completed one bicycle tour, describes herself as a non-cyclist

Workshop 20/08/12 Photo: Personal Files

Location & Time: Uscreates describe themselves as a ‘social change agency’ who work in a ‘collaborative way bringing together people, organisations and issues involved’. This open and welcoming quality which ‘ensures ownership and power over outcomes’ (Uscreates, 2012), also gave me the opportunity to use their space to run my own workshop. Studio 4.2.2 The Leathermarket 11/13 Weston Street London Bridge SE1 3ER Monday 20th August, 2012 6.30-9pm

‘Participation emancipates people by making them active contributors rather than passive recipients’. (Fuad-Luke, 2009)

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1. To plan or plan not to plan? There was careful consideration as to how the workshop would be facilitated, how much planning should take place? I wanted to allow room for discussion and allow insights gained to influence the direction to which the workshop would take. So I gave the workshop some structure that would allow opinions, ideas and thoughts to be shared and then give these insights a platform to be built upon and further explored. The workshop was designed around learnings from Joanna Choukeir (www.joannachoukeir.com) from Uscreates who introduced us to methods for facilitating a co-design event as part of a live brief set by sLAM around the Wheel of Wellbeing (see Appendix a), along with elements of the openIDEO platform. > See Appendix d for my workshop plan - outlining its bare bones, how I would facilitate and my intentions.

OpenIDEO (www.openideo.com) is an online platform ‘where people design better, together for social good’ (openIDEO, 2012). It depends on participation throughout the design process which involves five rounds: inspiration, concepting, applause, refinement and evaluation. It’s this structure which I have based my own workshop on; by providing participants with inspirations of current projects that are sharing knowledge in creative ways, and from these examples we concepted ideas.

Break the Ice activity worked really well producing some very original ‘pimped out’ bicycles along with more grounded realistic ideas. < It ignited: personal creativity & lateral thinking laughter & exchanges between participants.

Workshop Outcomes

Workshop Break the Ice 20/08/12 Photo: Andy Welch

A full audio recording of the workshop is available at www.pye-finch.co.uk/letsgetpeoplebicycletouring

2. Reflecting - Round 2 I found that I was the only one documenting insights during discussions, however I felt this allowed the conversation to evolve naturally. Next time I would stand up and sketch as we went through my findings, to give this exercise more structure and document in a way to allow participants to see our progress and make better use of our time.

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3. Outcomes Through exchanges between attendees about their experiences with planning, undertaking a tour and their reasons for doing so, many interesting insights came to fruition. This asks how they could be addressed as part of an intervention.

Difficulties with finding answers to simple questions. So how can we connect, share and provide answers to such questions, by showing what other people have achieved? How the preparations stage can motivate you further and stop you from backing out. By showing what they could achieve during the time they have available, to start thinking about this possible method of travel; is this enough for them to start planning?

“How far could a relatively fit person travel a day? I just couldn’t find an answer to this” (Silvia) “The preparation process is really interesting, its almost like the preparation provides this scaffolding that makes it more and more difficult to back out, the more preparation you the do the more you convince your self you know what you are doing, then you leave because your convinced you know how to do it, but then you realise you don’t but that makes it a million times better!” (Andy)

“Once you start planning it it would feel like underachieving, you would feel like failure already, not actually following through with it. So that was one of my motivation” (Silvia)

“Because I was doing it with How planning a tour with friends can keep you motivated to continue to plan and think friends, I would feel like i would let them down if I wouldn’t follow about taking on the challenge. through with it” (Silvia) Could we connect individuals together, “I had a close friend who was friends, people from the same school, blogging everyday about his university or location to plan a tour together? bicycle travels, but I never read Make it clear what you could be capable of, show them something they can relate to. What methods would be appropriate to do this? Visually-led maps, images and video. By connecting them with individuals of similar age, fitness, time available and places they you to what to see. Accessibility and awareness of resources available to help with planning and use of initiatives like Hotshowers and Couchsurfer whilst on tour. How to provide easy accessibility to resources available along the route they plan to take.

any of it, I couldn’t relate to it” (Silvia)

“Collective Starts! Plan toegther and meet at the same location” (Andy)

“When I posted picture, you have no idea how many of my friend said, when are you doing it again? I’m coming, I want to do it next, why didn’t you ask me? ..because well look at me if i can do it, then everybody can do it!” (Silvia)

“Hot showers, that crazuyguyonbike and a bunch of other sites I had only found out about whilst on the tour or afterwards; and I had done a fair amount of planning! Even a book all about the route I was taking”. (Dominic)

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4. Round 3

5. Building!

Running out of time I decided to skip the warm up activity to allow us to co-explore interventions.

Due to the number of attendees (4) and considering we were time poor, we explored each inspiration together, building upon our previous discussions in Round 2.

My personal contribution would have been: > Wheels stolen > Found out about Morden Park after walking through it on a photography trip > Talking to a friend suggested a model of running shoe > Joined a neighbour who was also going for a run around Morden Park I was personally motivated by my peers, the chance to make social connection with neighbours and was aided by online websites such as amazon.co.uk that provide product reviews and articles as to how to train. If this activity was to have occurred I feel it would have been valuable to generate ideas about how individuals can be inspired and motivated to try something new. I feel the structure I proposed would have facilitated these outcomes to emerge, with participants prepared for the activity before hand and tasks clearly described. > “You need a higher than average sense of adventure, to take a bicycle tour especially alone.. ..most people would want a bit more security, so it’s not this massive unknown” Silvia

Inspirations: 1. diy.org - online community for children to share their creativeity project with peers, family and friends. 2. ted.com - Inspirational talks by individuals with something to share. 3. lookmumknowhands/service design drinks - how would a meet up look for bicycle touring? 4. crazyguyonbike - Could we suggest changes to the platform?

There was a merge between future rounds as the conversation flowed into producing a concept with applause evident within the discussion. A break at this stage gave time for reflection before refining one of our dominate ideas.

The idea of a community website garnered a lot of interest amongst participants that has to be VISUAL! The map was seen as a vital tool for communicating achievments, which others can relate to easily. This builds upon findings from examining existing websites and forum responses from those who were influenced to travel by bicycle (pg.15). ‘Imagine if we could have the map data from thousands of bicycle tours! it could be utilised in so many ways’ (Andy). It has already been identified that the majority of bicycle tourers naturally log where they go, so this data would be available.

Workshop Notes 20/08/12 Photo: Personal Files

There was also a lot excitement around the idea of comparing oneself with other bicycle tourers. By connecting tourers with prospect tourers, concerns to the multitude of questions that first-time toured have could be visually communicated: “How far could a relatively fit person travel a day?” (Silvia) “Where could I go in 2 months?” (Jonathan Pye-Finch, 2011). Peer support was therefore recognised as a key motivator - seeing others similar to you complete a bicycle tour proposes the question ‘If she can I can!’

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5. Two Dominate Ideas? Many ideas materialised with the visually-led community platform chosen to be prototyped.

Take a fully loaded touring bicycle for a ride

A visually-led community platform

to: create awareness and instil an idea address misconception about the level of fitness and perceived difficulty with cycling fully loaded.

that: creates engagement nurtures new ideas visually answers misconception & barriers

at: bicycle shops social venues (eg. lookmumknowhands) career festivals (universities and schools)

by: connecting tourers with prospect tourers filtering similar: levels of fitness, age, location, availability to travel etc. utilising & enhancing existing projects (crazyguyonbike journals & personal blogs/books)

â&#x20AC;&#x153;Powerful visual communication not only tell stories but elicit strong cognitive and emotive responses, engaging the viewerâ&#x20AC;?. (Fuad-Luke, 2009)

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Ride-on!

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Construction Complete?

The blueprint I present here shapes the bare bones to the platform, the minimum viable product. Communicating how prospected tourers are: > introduced to the site. > connected with bicycle tourers. > directed to external resources

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Customising Other ideas can also be feasibly added as part of a wider intervention to include an offline element aswell.

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STRENGHTS WEAKNESSES OPPORTUNITIES THREATS The entirety of this research project documented in this report form the basis of this SWOT; now possible after immersing myself into the bicycle touring community, personal reflection and understanding the context of my proposal. S > > > > > > > >

Active tourers are documenting their tours already Innovative new approach Free/open platform Potential commercial element Utilises & enhance personal blogs/books Inclusive approach Map software is available Social media sharing options available

W > Self-reliance > Lack skill-set to design & build a web platform > Financial resources O > Supported by a larger cycling organisation (ctc - The National Cycling Charity) > Network of contacts who can address personal shortcomings > Offline intervention could be sponsored T > Bicycle tourers donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t contribute > Relies on collaboration with concurrent web resources (crazyguyonbike) > Financially unfeasible

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NEXT STOP? What I was capable of achieving during time allocated for this project report, was a selfexploration of the platform (homepage, filter search, profile page) iterating on the visuals sketched during the workshop. >

Self-exploration of platfrom 03/09/12 Photo: Personal Files

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AMALGAMATED PIXELS As I started to get a better idea of how the platform would look and function, I built digital prototypes to allow the testing, sharing and the visual communication of my proposal with potential contributors. This understanding will also allow me to design another workshop to â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;lather, rinse and repeatâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; this concept with participation, and acquire feedback from tourers and prospect tourers.

1. Home Page

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2. Search Results Page

3. Profile Page

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LEARNINGS & CONCLUSIONS These three final visuals are only a suggestion of how the platform could function, I am not a web designer and do not hold my graphic design skills with high regard. Left as an open-ended investigation this proposal currently well informed by my research, will require another co-design workshop as we were time poor during the concepting and prototyping rounds. By inviting stakeholders from other groups identified such as organisations & parents in addition to young adults and bicycle tourers may result in a very different outcome. This project wasnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t just about coming up with a proposal, but trying to understand what I had to offer and how my design and creative thinking skills can be used responsibly. My introduction to the double-diamond and research methods have opened me up to a new way of thinking, to set aside my assumptions and immerse myself into the project context to allow thoughtful consideration throughout its entirety.

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Appendices

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Appendices a H20 Hint 2012 Bright Ideas Runner Up A concept to help individuals track their daily water intake. 2012 > Currently in development

Wheel of Wellbeing A live Uscreates project brief received from a real client, South London and Maudsley NHS Foundation Trust. Brief: To initially raise awareness around the Wheel of Wellbeing for maintaining good mental health (awareness) and ultimately change behaviour by driving Londoners to adopt the Wheel of Wellbeing in their day-to-day-life (action) This intial introduction to the Double Diamond research process targeted students to become better aware and engage them to the concurrent activities that Kingston University and the wider community were providing. Photo: Joanna Choukeir 21/12/2011

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Appendices b Forum Responses Crazyguyonbike #1: Gap Year - Bicycle Touring - I’m looking for your opinions (thread) By Jonathan Pye-Finch* on Mon 9 Jul 2012 06:33 (US/Pacific) Edit   Reply (3)   Relation | Link | Bookmark | Report Rating: (0) Hello all, I am exploring the value to traveling for young adults which is often described as the ‘gap year’. I am interested to hear your views on the value of bicycle touring with regards to the individual, future job prospects and on the destinations. Would you therefore feel that traveling by bicycle between secondary school and collage/university or collage/university and work should be encouraged? How would you empower and influence more young people to take to the bicycle as a method to explore the planet and themselves? Thankyou very much for your comments in advance.        #2: Re: Gap Year - Bicycle Touring - I’m looking for your opinions (thread) By Neil Gunton (admin) on Mon 9 Jul 2012 10:49 “Would you therefore feel that traveling by bicycle between secondary school and collage/university or collage/university and work should be encouraged?” Yes, certainly. It is an ideal time to travel, since you don’t generally have a lot of big responsibilities or commitments at that age. Also, you are young and in your physical and mental prime, probably about as open to new experiences as you’ll ever be, and at that age it is a very good thing to have your horizons expanded through travel. Travel by bicycle is particularly good because it also teaches perseverence, adapting to hardships, being flexible, learning to deal with meeting new people, going outside of your comfort zone, and learning what you are really capable of. In other words, defining yourself as a person, and your relationship to the world around you. Obviously bicycling will also do wonders for your fitness and your general world outlook. Another benefit is that you can cover surprisingly long distances by bike - easily a few thousand miles in a couple of months, and you don’t have to be a super human athlete to do it either. You’ll most likely come back a changed person, and changed for the better. Once you get into the “workforce”, you will probably find it much more difficult to take the necessary time off for a significant tour. “How would you empower and influence more young people to take to the bicycle as a method to explore the planet and themselves?” I think all we can do is lead by example, show young people that bicycle touring is a great way to see the world, and try to be role models for youth to aspire to. If a teenager in some little town encounters a bicycle tourist, what will their impression be? Will it be of an unkempt moocher, only interested in exploiting the kindness of strangers? Or will it be of an aloof yuppie, arrogantly breezing through town in expensive lycra and impenetrable shades? Or will it be of a fascinating traveler who has a gleam in their eye of distant lands, and tells stories of adventure that makes the young mind dream about doing this for themselves? It’s up to us all as individuals. As the saying goes, “be the change you want to see in the world”. Neil p.s. I myself did my very first bicycle tour in my “gap year” between school and University. At the time I was 19, living in the UK, and I rode from Land’s End up to near Perth (ran out of money at that point, I had been planning to go all the way up to John O’Groats but my parents had recently moved to Dunkeld so that’s where it finished). That tour was via youth hostel, and it left a lasting impression me, as the greatest accomplishment of my life up to that point (and for a while after too).       

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#3: Re: Gap Year - Bicycle Touring - I’m looking for your opinions (thread) By Robert Ewing on Mon 9 Jul 2012 11:33 You don’t tell us much about yourself on your bio-profile page. Are you a worried parent, an encouraging grandparent, a school counselor, a high school senior looking for a big adventure to expand your world horizons beyond the confines of your provincial home town before marching into the high unemployment job market or the crushing debt of a college education, or what? The answer to almost all your questions is YES! There are a number of journals written by adults reflecting on their bicycle touring adventures in their youth, including my own. (Of course, I like many CGers didn’t wait for a gap year for the “first big ride.”) Many more references can be found in the Forum section. I can’t remember any comments here that stated there were more worthwhile things to do in the same time period. I have met uncounted numbers of riders crossing the country for a job or to go to school. “Toured ten countries on a bicycle” has to look good on any resume. “Don’t let school interfere with your education” Samuel Clemens #4: Re: Gap Year - Bicycle Touring - I’m looking for your opinions (thread) By Jonathan Pye-Finch* on Mon 9 Jul 2012 12:05 Edit in reply to #3 I’m a 23 year old student currently completing my masters at Kingston University in London. The course is called Design for Development and is exploring the value of design as a vehicle for addressing social and ecological concerns. Last year after I graduated from my undergraduate studies (Product Design), lost and unsure what to do next, aswell as failing to land a job, the idea to cycle across Europe popped into my head and reading journals on crazyguyonbike inspired me further. Will edit and post a link to my route on my personal website in 3 days time - ive only just registered to the site. So I’m researching into the value of traveling and bicycle touring? Why do so many young people decide to travel? and critically look at the type of travel they undertake. What are the barriers to bicycle touring for young adults? How could we engage, empower and influence individuals who have wanted to travel by bicycle or who have never thought about this form of travel before. Thanks for your insights and I really enjoyed reading your journal aswell. #5: Re: Gap Year - Bicycle Touring - I’m looking for your opinions (thread) By Jonathan Pye-Finch* on Mon 9 Jul 2012 13:13 Edit in reply to #2 Hi Neil, Thankyou very much for thoughtful reply. Would it be possible to draw up a set of questions for a structured interview online. I feel your knowledge and insight into bicycle touring and experience with providing this excellent resource would give me some valuable primary research for my project. Kind regards, Jon #6: Re: Gap Year - Bicycle Touring - I’m looking for your opinions (thread) By Neil Gunton (admin) on Mon 9 Jul 2012 13:41 Hi Jonathan, When I first replied, I wasn’t aware that you were asking the question for anything other than personal reasons. As it stands, I don’t really have a lot of time to spare for answering structured interviews, sorry, but that is a bit more of a commitment (and responsibility) than I am willing to get into at the moment. To be sure I am really not an authority on touring, as I have spent most of the last 12 years running this website rather than being out there on the road. There are many people here on crazyguyonabike who have much more (and more recent) experience than me. I think you should get some good responses here on the forums, as long as your questions are not too open ended - the more specific, the easier they are to answer. Good luck, Neil

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#7: Re: Gap Year - Bicycle Touring - I’m looking for your opinions (thread) By Al Cyone on Mon 9 Jul 2012 13:44 “What are the barriers to bicycle touring for young adults?” A few thoughts off the top of my head: You might want to distinguish between a gap between high school and college and a gap between college and career. I think the former may be a great idea especially if, as I was, the student is younger than his peers. Or if he’s not sure what he wants to be “when he grows up”. Of course there’s the danger of lost momentum and the possibility that one never gets back “on track” but maybe that just means it was the wrong track to begin with. Taking time off immediately after college may be more problematic. For one thing, the student is likely to be saddled with a heavy debt with payments beginning immediately upon graduation. For another, given the weak economy, it may be relatively easier to be hired by a college recruiter than to have to catch up a year (or more) later on one’s own. Of course the answer will vary with the unique circumstances of each individual. In my own case, I think I would have benefited from a year off after high school (though that might have meant losing a scholarship that could not have been deferred). As it was, I ended up with a twenty-year “gap” between leaving college after four years (sans degree) and finally picking up a B.A. #8: Re: Gap Year - Bicycle Touring - I’m looking for your opinions (thread) By Dave Butansky on Mon 9 Jul 2012 22:49 I believe taking this chance to do extensive touring is grabbing on to perhaps the best cycling opportunity of your life. If you read ads in magazines or even peruse the gear lists of older full time employed or retired cycle tourists you might get discouraged, but most any of them would give up their expensive outfitting for a cheap bike and the body of a cyclist in their 20’s. Don’t worry about having the best gear or bicycle but I recommend having your bike tuned and tightened but before setting out it is especially important to get your spokes trued at a good local bike shop. Beyond choosing a lightweight method of staying warm and dry at night, which can be tested in your backyard, most things you might pack are just extra weight. Be especially careful of things like phones and MP3 players which might filter or block your interaction with strangers. #9: Re: Gap Year - Bicycle Touring - I’m looking for your opinions (thread) By Jerry Harp on Tue 10 Jul 2012 07:23 strike at nearly anytime, without warning, leaving the victim, friends, and family wondering what happened. I know. For others, especially long time cyclists, touring is more evolved. The idea germinates slowly until finally they ride off with loaded panniers. For all, it’s a totally memorable experience, for some life altering. I know. By being an example for other people, you may be the spark that lights their touring fire. And never know it. Don’t overthink this. Do your tour. For as long as motivation fuels the fire, or until the money runs out. You’ll earn a PhD in human relations and self discovery. And a life time of memories. “Don’t let school interfere with your education” Spot on.

Reddit r/bicycle touring Gap Year - Bicycle Touring - I’m looking for your opinions (self.bicycletouring) submitted 2 days ago by tea_please Hello all, I am exploring the value to traveling for young adults which is often described as the ‘gap year’. I am interested to hear your views on the value of bicycle touring with regards to the individual, future job prospects and on the destinations. Would you therefore feel that traveling by bicycle between secondary school and collage/university or collage/university and work should be encouraged? How would you empower and influence more young people to take to the bicycle as a method to explore the planet and themselves?

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Thankyou very much for your comments in advance. [–]piannewcombe 1 point 19 hours ago I’m taking a gap year this year after my undergrad. Planning on doing the Pacific Coast and Mexico, maybe South America too. Just mention to others the joys of cycling. Tell them stories, experiences, and provide suggestions on how to start (most people seem to have no idea). [–]CSMithering 2 points 2 days ago I spent a year or so touring the US, Mexico, NZ & the UK after I graduated from Uni. I see it as a great learning experience that changed my life. However the couple of times I’ve mentioned it to colleagues at work they have made comments that i was a dirty hippy. I work as a Firefighter/ EMT [–]ilikeraresteakPlanning a Tour 2 points 1 day ago I think one can achieve a high level of satisfaction from reaching touring goals. I most certainly would encourage cycling as a method of commuting, and have converted a friend to cycling as his method of commuting. I spread the ways of cycling through providing experiences for people. I have multiple tandem bicycles and I take people riding. They enjoy the experience and see the enjoyment I get from cycling and become interested. So far I have gotten 3 people interested since I started riding in January. And by interested I mean they have gone out and purchased bicycles of their own. [–]tea_please[S] 2 points 1 day ago Thanks for for your input, I agree, not having a bicycle would be the first barrier to traveling by bicycle so being able to lend a bicycle to someone to get them to start pedaling with you is a great way to encourage them. I noticed your planning a tour, what motivated you to travel by bicycle was it because of your experience of commuting by bicycle or were you inspired by someone else, a book, website? [–]ilikeraresteakPlanning a Tour 1 point 1 day ago My inspiration was multifold: first of all the biggest inspiration was my Dad’s tours he took when I was a kid, I always have wanted to be like him. Second, the stories here on reddit, made me realize what was possible. And finally, I want to do it for the challenge. It’s kind of a man verse the elements thing.

Reddit r/travel The value in taking a gap year? Why do you travel? (self.travel) submitted 2 days ago by tea_please Hello all, I am currently working on my masters final year project - exploring the value of traveling for your people (school levers, graduates). I am looking for your opinions on the value of traveling on the individual, future job prospects and on the destination. Why do you believe so many young adults decide to travel? Why did you decide to travel? I am exploring these insights to see how we can empower and influence more young people to travel by bicycle identifying the barriers and create a more engaging experience to be inspired, plan and undertake a bicycle tour. Thankyou very much for you opinions in advance. [–]amazingnickname 1 point 1 day ago travelling broadens the mind. That might be a bit cliche, but its absolutely true. It also helps young travellers to grow up. being responsible for myself in a foreign country where i had to organize everything all the time, even the most basic things like shelter, made me more responsible and independent from other people. being abroad for a long time also gave me a more realistic view of my own country. of its importance to other countries, of its image and of the problems people complain here at home. All the luxuries we take for granted become obvious to us if we stay in poor countries. even if we knew that before, i think everyone should experience life without those luxuries to really appreciate them.

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apart from meeting locals, travelling also enables us to meet other travellers from all around the world, understanding their culture, practicing new language skills, experiencing adventures together. tourism is a two edged sword for the country we visit imo. especially poor countries benefit a lot from the money that comes from tourism, but it is almost always accompanied by a loss of local culture and increase of “americanisation”. [–]tea_please[S] 2 points 1 day ago amazingnickname thanks for you reply and insight. Would you say you had these opinions before you traveled was this why you travelled or learnt that you had to be more responsible and organized once there. I’m trying to understand, what was your original motivation to travel? [–]amazingnickname 2 points 1 day ago i come from a family where everyone likes to travel. I grew up with travelling to different countries and hearing about it a lot. So i did not really have an original motivation to travel, it was always clear to me that i would i had most of these opinions or expectations before travelling alone, but there is a difference in hearing things and accepting them as logical and true and really experiencing and feeling them. So that was part of why i wanted to take a gap year. [–]RunOfTheMillAccount 2 points 2 days ago Michael Palin - this guy was my idol growing up, he gave me such a thirst for travelling that once I finished college, I decided to take a year out to go see the world. [–]PirateRobotNinjaofDe 2 points 2 days ago My dad was my inspiration for travelling. He spent a year in South America and has some amazing stories. I haven’t been able to fit in a year, but I’ve done two 2-month sojourns in Europe and the Middle East (one mid undergrad, the other just after grad school). The impetus for my travel plans was exploration and adventure. I’d never been to a muslim country before, so I decided to go to a couple! It’s been amazing so far. Gap Year Forums Hello gappers! Wanna help me out on my final year masters research project? I’m exploring the value of traveling for young people (school levers, graduates). I am looking for your opinions on the value of traveling on the individual, future job prospects and on the destination. Why do you believe so many young adults decide to travel? What motivated you to travel and how did you decided on your method of travel and destination? Thanks for comments and insights in advance. Macca Administrator Total Posts: 328 Joined 2011-02-18 Report I just wanted to live life to the full, to experience a world outside the one I knew, to challenge myself in ways that I didn’t know how, and to learn about other people’s cultures and societies! And I still want all of those things! Quote 10 July 2012 12:51 PM #2 hdsimmons Moderator Total Posts: 686

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Joined 2004-05-30 Report To be honest, the first time I went travelling was just because I’d seen pictures of all these amazing places and decided I wanted to go see them for myself! Nothing more than that. Obviously, once I was out there I realised what an amazing thing travelling was and caught the bug. Now, I travel as a chance to explore the world, learn about other cultures, share details of mine and generally open myself up to a whole world of possibilities. Quote 10 July 2012 07:19 PM #3 glitter_gapper Gapper Total Posts: 5 Joined 2012-05-11 Report me and my boyfriend are going travelling because basically we want to get out and see the world. my parents have been supportive and keep saying “you need to do this now when your young (26&29;), you dont want to wake up at 50 in a dead end job wishing you had just done it” we dont have amazing jobs, and i want to find out what i want to do in life, experience different cultures and just live life to the max! x

Reddit r/cycling Why do you pedal? (self.bicycling) submitted 1 day ago by tea_please George Longstaff Hello all, I am currently working on my masters final year project - exploring the value of traveling for young people (school levers, graduates). I am exploring these insights to see how we can empower and influence more young people to travel by bicycle identifying the barriers and create a more engaging experience to be inspired, plan and undertake a bicycle tour. So I as wondering what motivated you to start cycling and why do you keep pedaling? Have you ever thought about traveling by bicycle? what have been the barriers stopping you from undertaking a tour. Thankyou very much for your comments and insights in advance. Additional questions in: r/travel r/bicycletouring [–]JhoppaCenturion 7 points 1 day ago If I don’t pedal, my bike won’t go anywhere. [–]tea_pleaseGeorge Longstaff[S] 1 point 1 day ago Yes very true, left untouched to the elements to rust - no one likes an unloved bicycle! But do you pedal for to improve your health, ethical reasons, convenience etc. [–]JhoppaCenturion 2 points 1 day ago :) I got rid of my car recently because I moved somewhere where it’s just not economical to keep one. Biking was just a natural move, all the other stuff was just bonus, [–]ilikeraresteakDiamondBack Insight 4 points 1 day ago I originally started to loses weight. I keep riding because of the satisfaction I get from a ride. I am planning a 1000 mile tour on my bicycle in August. [–]scouser9162001 Trek 2200 SL 4 points 1 day ago That’s like asking “why do you breathe” [–]TheAwkwardBanana2011 Trek 7.3 FX Disc 3 points 1 day ago

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Health, and enjoyment. [–]ilpaesaggista 3 points 1 day ago Enjoyment! Loving Life! Not buying Gas! [–]ErichUberSonic2011 GT Karakoram 2.0/2012 Stark Winterfell (custom) 4 points 1 day ago 1. I love it. 2. It gets me in shape/keeps me healthy. 3. It saves me money. Lots of money. 4. I get to see things I wouldn’t normally see. 5. I like the challenge of beating times and getting better. [–]Mr_Ected2011 Fuji Cross 3.0 3 points 1 day ago* Originally I got into cycling a few months ago because I got sick of driving my car to work. Between gas and parking I was paying $10-$12/day and when there’s a major event going on (baseball game for instance) then parking alone can be jacked up to $15, unless I want to park WAY away from where I work and spend 20 minutes walking, which just didn’t seem very fun. Traffic jams are an everyday thing where I live and I dreaded driving to work every morning. I finally pulled the trigger and bought a bike for commuting and I instantly fell in love. I ride everywhere I possibly can, and have already put well over 1,000 miles on my bike since mid-May - and I’m only riding more. I run all of my errands by bike, I travel everywhere within 30 miles (60 round-trip) by bike (which is about 99% of my travel distance anyway), I do long distance rides on the weekend, I just fell in love with it. I’m already putting together what I need to ride during the winter, as I’ll be a 4-season commuter. I just love being out on my bike. The fitness benefits are fantastic, being ‘in nature’ feels awesome - rather than just watching it all fly by via car, I have a much more intimate knowledge of my surrounding areas, it just feels great. I have certainly thought about doing long distance tours and the only thing really stopping me right now is time and money. It’s hard for me to take enough time off of work to do the type of touring I would like, but eventually it will happen. TL;DR I bike because I love everything about it. I haven’t done any tours yet, but I certainly plan on doing such. EDIT: I just wanted to add that the amount of money I save on gas alone is amazing. I was filling my tank up more than once a week (probably on average 3 times every 2 weeks) and I haven’t put gas in my car for 4 weeks now. [–]Diffusio 2 points 1 day ago A few reasons: Money: Every trip on bicycle is an investment rather than expense. Sold my car and cut back my expenses as far as insurance, inspections, repairs, etc. Sure I spend more on food, but I love to eat! Health: I’m 22. Countless people I’ve met are out of shape and just unhealthy looking. They make comments to me like “..I’m not your age anymore” when they are running up and down a few flights of stairs. I’ve done 13 flights of stairs and people getting off the elevator look at me like I’m crazy. Fun: Riding bike rules :) [–]vauxchenAmmeco road bike 2 points 1 day ago When I started I wasn’t old enough to drive, and it was cheaper, healthier and more fun to ride a bike than to take the bus to get around. Now I’m old enough to drive, I can’t afford to get lessons, let alone maintain a car, so I stick with what I enjoy. I can, realistically, do about 40 miles without much prior planning, so it’s a pretty easy solution to get about, almost, everywhere I want to go at this age. [–]coolman0stress2011 Giant TCR Composite 1 2 points 1 day ago I wanted to explore again like I used to when I was a kid and not be in front of the computer all the time. I also enjoy photography and a bike would let me shoot at locations further away without being dependent on a car or public transit (though I’m enjoying biking so much right now that I haven’t bothered taking a camera with me yet) [–]tungstenfilament 2 points 1 day ago I bike because it’s the fastest way to get anywhere where I live, I can afford it, and because I have fun doing it. I suspect that even if it wasn’t the fastest way to get places I would still do it, because I have so much fun, though that is with the hindsight of knowing that I have fun doing it.

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For long tours, if I understand what you mean by touring, I prefer walking. The hundreds of miles I’ve walked on trails in this world (mostly in the eastern US, and two of the Caminos de Santiago in Spain) have been far more memorable, in their slow and winding way, than the many fewer hundreds of miles that I’ve biked that haven’t just been around town. There is something about the slower pace of walking that allows me to maintain the knowledge and observation of what is around me (probably because I don’t have to pay as much attention at not hitting things!). I can also stop to talk to people, which doesn’t come as easy on a bike. My feet don’t get flats, too, and my legs don’t really have issues (I’m pretty young). That said, since I’m quite busy, I now prefer to bicycle distances that I can feasibly bike in one day. I can just go so much faster on a bicycle that my range without months to walk is expanded greatly. [–]daily24 2 points 1 day ago I started out to lose weight and so far lost and maintain 65 lbs. Then I realized I could get rid of the two car payments plus extra costs and saved an insane amount of money so far. I just had to get a beater car running recently for a month when old injuries crept up but I’m back on the bike. The mental health aspect is incredible. I have been diagnosed previously with clinical depression and I hate the med’s. With biking I don’t need the med’s to maintain my natural balance and am back to my old self. I have to be careful due to the previous physical injuries but I still commute 17 miles round trip every day five days a week as a four season commuter. I love it. [–]globex_coSurly Cross-Check 2 points 1 day ago I started to ride when my car broke down and a bike was a quick, cheap substitute. The more I rode, I learned to appreciate life more. I began to appreciate everything I had - I realized how easy it was to just drive wherever I wanted to, to not have to work to go up a hill, and ultimately it got me where I wanted to be, but the journey was never satisfying in itself. If I just need to get from Point A to Point B because I need to do more stuff in my day (basically, time), then I understood that’s what a car was for. But to be content with less, I take my bike around and hope that over time it continues to give me a level of satisfaction I can’t find anywhere else. It helps me appreciate what I have, and I get thrills I wouldn’t get otherwise. The reward of going up a hill only to get to go down it on the way back, being able to take in the beauty around me and not stress out because the Prius in front of me is driving too slow, to go to the beach 15 miles away because I enjoy the ride instead of despising being stuck in traffic all the way, dealing with parking, and once I get to the beach asking myself, “now what?” - really, it’s just bliss. It teaches me time management, it teaches me how to plan better, it teaches me to learn my surroundings (I’m not pulling out a GPS, I’m going oldschool looking at maps before I take a new route), it teaches me responsibility, and it teaches me to just be content with what I have and slow life down a bit. Biking is spiritually fulfilling. Oh yes, it’s also good for me physically, but sometimes that doesn’t even seem to matter. :) [–]Yellow_Curry2011 Trek 2.3 2 points 1 day ago* To move my bike forward. Edit: To lose weight and feel awesome both at the same time.

Appendices c ON TOUR INTERVIEWEE Responses received on 04/08/2012 1. Why did you decided to travel by bicycle? (What inspired you, what were your motivations) I first thought of doing this tour in spring 2009. I’d spent the previous summer living in an Indonesian rainforest and wanted some kind of adventure that summer (unfortunately I wasn’t to have another summer adventure until now). I’d always wanted to travel and explore but I wanted to discover my own country first. I didn’t want to do it by car or train but under my own steam so to speak. Walking around Britain would take too long - I only had a couple of months to spare between semesters - so I figured doing it on a bicycle would be ideal. What better way to discover a place than at cycling pace. It’s fast enough that you can cover a good distance in a day but slow enough that you can take a good look

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around you. On a bicycle you are taller and have a better perspective of the landscape. You move the bike with your own muscles so get a better feel of how the landscape is built. I you know how, a bicycle is relatively easy and cheap to maintain. In short, cycling was the only way to achieve my goal the way I wanted to achieve it. 2. How long did it take you to plan? There was no planning really apart from deciding whether I’d follow the coast in a clockwise or anticlockwise direction. I chose anticlockwise because it would give me a longer period of flatter terrain to get used to the cycling. 3. What resources did you use to organise your trip? (eg Books. Blogs, Websites) I plan day by day. I have an AA driver’s atlas and a smart phone. I use the road map to plan my route and the smart phone to find campsites and cycle routes (if they go the way I want to go) and also to navigate my way out of large towns and cities. I did read a couple of web pages belonging to touring cyclists to compare gear, inventory etc. 4. How would you describe your experience with using these resources? My resources are pretty easy to use. To be honest I think the road map is probably all I need, its fool proof and doesn’t need charging. But having access to the internet on my phone does mean I can get all the information I need nearly anywhere. 5. Did you have any difficulties whilst organising your trip? (Concerns you couldn’t find answers to for example) There were no difficulties. I bought my bike and all the other gear I would need then left! 6. How often would you cycle before your bicycle tour? (Choose most appropriate) a. “I didn’t’! I had no bicycle to pedal’ b. ‘Once on a blue moon’ c. ‘Once or twice a week for short trips to the local shop’ d. ‘Most days commuting to work’ e. ‘For any journey I needed to make’ f. Other ………………………………………….. b ‘Once in a blue moon’ 7. Did you do a tester/ practice trip before setting off? If Yes, How did this help? If No, Why not? I took my new bike up the local pub a couple of times, just to show it off really. The first time I rode it fully laden was the day I left. With a full-time job and a girlfriend to visit at the weekends I didn’t really have the time to do a proper practise run. I told myself I’d be OK if I just took it easy for the first couple of weeks. 8. How do you think a bicycle tour will help with your own personal development? (eg skills, improving self-awareness, identifying/developing strengths) Cycling on your own for a few months is a good way to learn about yourself, especially when your cycling

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in the wettest British summer for many years. When the weather is good it’s so easy to keep pedalling but when the rain and the wind is blowing in your face, that’s when you learn what your strengths and weaknesses are. My main strength is probably perseverance or stubbornness more like, when I start something involving physical activity I tend to see it through to the end. My main weakness is getting started in the first place. There been at least a couple of times I’ve laid in my tent for too long because I didn’t want to face the weather but you never regret a day of cycling even in the rain and wind. I’ve learnt to take better care of my gear, my bike and myself because it’s all I have got to see me through to end. Although I have to admit I could still take better care of myself, I could still eat better, drink less alcohol and smoke less but you deserve a treat after cycling all day don’t you? At least I can force myself to take a days rest when all I want to do is keep cycling. The tour has made me more confident. Every day I cycle is one little achievement I can actually say I’ve worked hard for. Travelling a few miles, seeing new places and meeting new people, using only my legs and a set of wheels, feels pretty satisfying. Simple but satisfying. So far I’ve learnt more about what makes me happier, more about what’s most important in life and more about what I might want to do with mine. All from riding a bicycle and I’m not even halfway, I wonder what else I may discover?!

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Appendices d Co-explorers Workshop Plan

Bare bones

How I would facilitate

My intentions

Welcome participants!

> Splash first page of presentation > Get the kettle boiling > Air circulating (It was extremely humid that evening) > Snacks at hand reach > Inform attendees of co-design etiquette

> Show some manners! > Giving the space a warm and friendly atmosphere

Round 1 |Break the Ice Sketch your first bicycle then add additional features to ‘pimp’ your ride!

> Provide each individual with a piece of A3 > Plenty of pens and encouragement

> Get them drawing, thinking laterally and creatively > Get attendees talking > Allow those creatives juices to start flowing

Round 2 Brief Participants!

> Powerpoint presentation > Provide A0 pages to sketch/write

> To give them a picture of my journey thus far > To uncover their thoughts on the topic

Round 3 | Warm Up Can you list all the factors that i nfluenced you to try something new in the last month and then sketch the journey you took to completing the new activity.

> Proposed in a final email participants > Explore all the ways in which people are confirming their attendance motivated and can be supported in > To allow them to start thinking about their taking up a new activity. response

Round 4 Let’s get inspired and co-create!

> Splash image of each inspiration > Provide examples of existing initiates > A print-out detailing the persona and their that facilitate the sharing of information barriers and drivers & ideas. > Encouragement to make it as visual as > What would lthis look like if bicycle possible tourist were sharing their story and > Provide large A0 pieces of paper, pens addressing the misconceptions and & post-it notes barriers around bicycle touring.

Round 5 & 6 Applause & Refinement Comment on the ideas generated and vote.

> Create a democratic, supportive and informal atmosphere. > Encourage thoughts & opinions to be put down on post-it notes and applied to the concept visuals

Round 7 What would it look like? A quick & dirty prototype

> Provide materials so we can get creative

> > > > >

Evaluation of concepts What do we like, don’t like? What works, doesn’t work? What concept should be taken forward? What do we like, don’t like?

> Co-explore how the intervention would look & function > Have a prototype which can be developed further & allow resources to be approached who can help implement it

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BIBLIOGRAPHY Bikeability. (2012), Cycling Proficiency for the 21st century. [online] http://www.dft.gov.uk/bikeability/whatis-bikeability/ Christensen, K. (2004) The Armchair Environmentalist: 3 Minute-a-Day Action Plan to Save the World (London: MQ Publications). (cgog, 2009) How far can I go? Ben Youngriev - crazyguyonbike journal [online] http://www.crazyguyonabike.com/doc/?o=1&doc_id=5985&v=1UE crazyguyonbike (2012) About crazyguyonabike [online] http://www.crazyguyonabike.com/website/ about/?o=1 Critical Mass London. (2012), Who are we and what are our aims? [online] http://www.criticalmasslondon. org.uk/main.html ctc. (2009), ctc the national cycling charity, About Us. [online] http://beta.ctc.org.uk/about crazyguyonbike (2012) Fourm: General Touring, Gap Year- Bicycle Touring - I’m looking of your opinions [online] http://www.crazyguyonabike.com/forum/board/message/?o=1&thread_ id=309846&page=1&nested=0&v=i SWQ. (2007), Valuing the benefits of cycling. A report to Cycling England [online] www.ciltuk.org.uk DfT. (2009a) Factsheets UK transport greenhouse gas emissions [online] http://assets.dft.gov.uk/ statistics/series/energy-and-environment/climatechangefactsheets.pdf DfT. (2009b) Low Carbon Transport: A Greener Future. A Carbon Reduction Strategy for Transport July 2009 [online] http://www.official-documents.gov.uk/document/cm76/7682/7682.pdf DH. (2004), At least five a week: Evidence on the impact of physical activity and its relationship to health [online] http://www.dh.gov.uk/en/Publicationsandstatistics/Publications/PublicationsPolicyAndGuidance/ DH_4080994 directgov. (2012) Holidays: greener choices. [online] http://www.direct.gov.uk/en/ Environmentandgreenerliving/Greenertravel/Airtravelandgreenerholidays/DG_064430 Fuad-Luke, A. (2009) Design Activism, beautiful strangeness for a sustainable world. Earthscan Geoffrey, R. (1992), The strategy of preventive medicine. Oxford (Oxford University Press). Gold, H. (2011), Interview with Henry Gold, Tour d’Afrique Founder [online] http://www.essentialtravel. co.uk/magazine/q-and-a/henry-gold-interview.asp Heald, S. (2003). Finding Fun Without Innocence. Association of America Geographers, Annual Conference, New Orleans. Heath, S. (2005), The pre-university gap year: a research agenda. University of Southampton, UK Available at: <http://www.rgs.org/NR/rdonlyres/4AE09404-D3E7-4180-8DBD-8BB884DB2A08/0/ SueHeath2005.pdf> Honor, C. (2004), In Praise of Slow: How a Worldwide Movement is Challenging the Cult of Speed, London: Orion. Horton, D. (2006) Environmentalism and the Bicycle. Environmental Politics, Vol. 15, No. 1, 41– 58, February 2006 [onnline] http://www.dot.state.mn.us/i35wbridgedata/groupwise2/September1-15-2007/

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attachments/Bicycle%20and%20Environmentalism.pdf> Illich, I. (1968), To Hell with Good Intentions Available at: <http://www.swaraj.org/illich_hell.htm> Illich, I. (1974), Energy and Equity, London: Calder and Boyars. Jones, A. (2004), Review of Gap Year Provision. School of Geography, Birkbeck College, University of London. Available at: < http://www.rgs.org/NR/rdonlyres/3147D7BD-5359-4387-BAC9-CEC80EC7D85F/0/ AndrewJonesforDfES2003.pdf> LCC. (2012a), London Cycling Campaign, About Us.[online] www.lcc.org.uk LCC. (2012b), London Cycling Campaign, Parliament Square [online] http://lcc.org.uk/pages/parliamentsquare LSE. (2010), The British Cycling Economy. ‘Gross Cycling Product’ Report [online] http://corporate.sky. com/documents/pdf/press_releases/2011/the_british_cycling_economy Needham, M. (2011). A Psychological Approach to a Thriving Resilient Community. International Journal of Business, Humanities and Technology, vol. 1 no. 3. NY, USA.: CPI Mol, B. (2002), The Social and Emotional Aspects of Transportation Cycling http://www.gonecycling.com/ commuter/aspects.htm Parker, P. (2011), Stealth Camping Defined: What is Wild Camping and Why Do People Do It? [online] http://voices.yahoo.com/stealth-camping-defined-wild-camping-why-9451125.html?cat=7 Simpson, K. (2004), Broad Horizons?. Geographies and Pedagogies of the Gap Year http://www. ethicalvolunteering.org/downloads/final.PDF Spinney, J. (2009) Cycling the City: Movement, Meaning and Method, Geography Compass, Volume 3, Issue 2, pages 817–835, March 2009 sustrans. (2012) About Us [online] http://www.sustrans.org.uk/about-sustrans Sutcliffe, W. (1998), Are You Experienced?, Harmondsworth: Penguin. TfL. (2012), Barclays Cycle Hire. [online] http://www.tfl.gov.uk/roadusers/cycling/14808.aspx Tickell, A. (2001). “Footprints on The Beach: traces of colonial adventure in narratives of independent tourism”. Postcolonial Studies 4(1): (pp. 39-54) Tour d’Afrique. (2012) Tour Finder [online] http://www.tourdafrique.com/tours/tourfinder VIBRAT. (2006) Visioning and Backcasting for UK Transport Policy Department for Transport, DfT Horizons Research Programme. [online] http://www.vibat.org/vibat_uk/pdf/vibatuk_stage3.pdf Virilio, P. (1997), Open Sky, London: Verso. Wheels for Wellbeing. (2012) About Us. [online] http://wheelsforwellbeing.org.uk Wikipedia. (2012), Bicycle touring [online] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bicycle_touring

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Using 'design thinking' to encourage the use of the bicycle