In November, the Cycling Association of Yukon released a survey to better understand why people ride a bicycle. The goal of the survey, which was developed by Yukon cycling clubs, businesses, and organizations, was created to better cycling in the territory.
Geof Harries, the president of the Cycling Association said he had hoped the survey would receive about 1,000 respondents. In all, about 500 people completed the survey.
“In the future, we’d like to run it longer to hear from more communities,” said Harries.
The survey was open from November to December.
Ninety-two per cent of respondents were from Whitehorse. Other respondents were from Dawson City, Mount Lorne, Marsh Lake, Carcross, Ibex Valley, Teslin, Haines Junction, Burwash Landing, and Watson Lake.
Harries said there were some surprises to the survey.
“There was a real message of ‘I’m not just an event cyclist,’” said Harries. “People ride their bike to get groceries and to work.
“Urban infrastructure got highlighted a lot. There were a lot of all-around cyclists who responded which was interesting to see.”
The territory has many cycling clubs, but Harries said respondents feel they cater to people who enter events – the clubs do much more than events and focus on areas such as trail maintenance.
“Lots of people don’t enter the events,” said Harries. “They don’t buy a membership but they want to support the clubs.”
In response, Harries said the Cycling Association of Yukon has created the Yukon Cycling Supporter fee.
“People said they don’t want, or can’t do the work but they want to help the others that do,” said Harries. “We created the Yukon Cycling Supporter fee because of that. It is $10 for a membership and it allows people to be passive supporters.”
It also became clear in the survey responses, Harries said, that people want a centralized cycling calendar to keep up on events.
“Clubs get good participation in events but we can get events out there more,” said Harries. “People asked for one event calendar.
“We are going to adjust the website to do that and increase communication.”
Survey takers also indicated they want more inclusive events that feel welcoming, non-competitive, and represent the diversity of skills, abilities, ages, and genders that exist in the Yukon cycling community.
Only 34 per cent of respondents said they rode bikes to enter events when asked why they ride their bikes. Almost all respondents, 95 per cent, said it was for recreation and fun.
Information provided in the survey will be used to create a 10-year plan for cycling in the Yukon.
“The information was very valuable and will impact the strategic plan going forward,” said Harries. “We can’t change overnight but we will start now.”
Other key takeaways:
Respondents see advocacy, both for on and off-road cycling of various disciplines, as an important and under-served function of cycling organizations in Yukon; and
Advocacy and education around commuting and urban cycling, in particular, are viewed as a gap in Yukon.
To see the full list of survey results, visit http://yukoncycling.com.