Cycling World Magazine July 2017 - Page 31

July 2017| 31 ordinary bike were less interested in buying an e-bike. Contrary to this, we found that those who were willing to pay more for an ordinary bike were also willing to pay more if they were to buy an e-bike, despite being reluctant to purchase one in the first place. These slightly con icting relationships have to be understood in light of a particular Norwegian cycling culture, which is typical for many other countries with low cycling levels as well. Compared to countries with higher cycling shares, Norway has a much larger proportion of training-oriented and highly equipped cyclists (i.e. they tend to have a high willingness to pay for sports equipment), who also tend to be men, often denoted as lycra-cyclists due to their outfits. or this large subgroup of the cycling population, an e-bike is counter to their motivation for cycling, since it does not provide such high intensity exercise. This interpretation is supported by the fact that improved fitness was the benefit from cycling that to the largest extent divided the participants in these surveys. People tended to either think of this as important or unimportant for their decision about travel mode, and quite rarely as of middle importance. Related to this, there were no differences according to existing travel mode to work in people s willingness to pay for an e-bike. To learn about the e-bikes effect on mode share and physical activity levels, a series of more controlled interventions were carried out. The first was a trial where 61 participants were randomly selected from our larger survey sample pool to try an e-bike for two or four weeks. In the second intervention study, a sample of 45 people responded to a questionnaire prior to buying an e-bike and follow-up four weeks later. A further people (mainly physically inactive) were recruited through a Norwegian N O. n both studies, we relied on self-report measures to capture travel and physical activity levels. The final intervention study was carried out as a multi- method study with two main data collection procedures: a survey and a measurement program with a mobile app. The participants were , people in Oslo who had received a subsidy to buy an e-bike. n all of these studies, results from the intervention having access to an e-bike were compared with a comparison group who did not gain access to e-bikes. In the surveys, a series of questions that captured bike use and daily travel were asked. Based on these, we could see if bicycle use had increased as a result of the experiment and what transport modes it had replaced. Since we had a control group without an e-bike, we could also say with great certainty that the changes we found were due to the e-bike. Percentage who used the bike, % Distance/ week, kilometers Cycling as a share of all travelled kilometres, % 80 70 60 50 40 68 30 52 20 10 0 24 48 40.1 33.9 30 29.8 20 20 Before 20 After Control group 28 Before After Test group Figure 2 Bicycle use – as percentage who used the bike, distance per week and cycling as a share of all travelled kilometres in the control group and the test group, before and after the trial. igure shows the results from our first trial. n the test group, 30 percent of the participants had cycled on the day before the experiment at the first data collection. This percentage increased to percent during the trial when they had access to an e-bike . We also saw that the number of kilometres covered on bicycle, as a proportion of all kilometres travelled per day, increased in the test group. In the comparison group, there were no such changes in the same period.