Cyclists decide day by day
Cycling commuters gaze at the sky and decide whether to cycle or not. What the weather was like the previous days is not important.
That is one of the conclusions of a study by TU Delft into the factors affecting the daily decision whether or not to cycle. Scientists asked 663 part-time commuter cyclists what made them decide to cycle on some days and not on others. The results indicate there are numerous factors affecting their decision.
The daily decision to cycle is for instance affected by features of the job, features of the commute and the weather conditions. People dressed in a suit, having to carry along tools or who need a car for their job as well as people travelling on a day with high winds or more rain are apt to travel less often by bicycle on those days. But it is not true that people dressed in a suit, for instance, are more sensitive to bad weather.
A positive effect on the decision to cycle was found for higher temperatures and extended periods of sunshine.
The results indicate that to a large extent the daily decision to cycle is affected by factors that may change from one day to the next.
Another conclusion from the study is that there are two groups of part-time cyclists: occasional and regular cyclists. Where the occasional cyclists (cycling less than 33 per cent of the time) are more affected by positive weather conditions like higher temperatures and extended periods of sunshine, regular cyclists (those cycling more that 66 per cent of the time) often decide to forego cycling for a day for more practical reasons like high winds and an increased journey complexity caused by several job locations or stops on the journey there and back.