The Future of Cycling

/ By Jacqui Ma

We are on the edge of a cycling revolution, and there is no doubt that over the next 5-10 years cycling will continue to evolve rapidly. This article explores some social trends that will the biggest impact on cycling. My name is Jacqui Ma, i am the founder of Goodordering, a cycling accessories brand, with a background in trend forecasting which means that i am always looking at how changes in society impact on me, my friends and the industry i work in. I hope to share some of my predictions about the Future of Cycling in this article.

The over-arching macro or societal trends impacting cycling are:

1) the ageing population

2) the rise of the self employed

3) increasingly congested cities

4) the increase in sustainability concerns

5) Millennial burn-out

Ageing population

We will see an increase in electric bicycles and scooters on the road as the ageing population increases. Cyclists who have seen the convenience and benefits of riding a bike will continue into their older age and electric bikes will help this happen. Also, there will be a lot more cycling gear and accessories that are designed in a more lifestyle oriented way.

aged cycling canada

Impact it will have on cycling:

* we will see more senior cyclists  
* we will continue to see more e-bikes on the road
* the cycling touring / holiday industry will increase

The rise of the self employed

Self employment has been on the rise since 2001 and in the UK self employed people account for about 15% of the population. Furthermore, the largest portion of self employed people are between the age of 45 and 54. As more people will be self employed, there will be more casual dressing for cyclists and less formal dressing across the board as we move away from traditional workplaces. We have already seen this in mainstream fashion with the rise of loungewear and slippers. There is a great podcast about cycling fashion put out by Beryl called 'Dressed to Cycle'. Link here

Co working space

Impact it will have on cycling:

* cycling clothing and accessories will incorporate invisible performance elements
* bicycle security will be more important with more shorter trips and urban
* bicycle security will be more important as more freelancers and self employed people zip around cities between co-working spaces and meetings. 

Increasingly congested cities

More people will be cycling as a reaction to increasingly congested cities and public transport systems, so i think we will see cycling infrastructure improve along with the acceptance and integration of cyclists on the road, we have already seen cities like London and New York find inspiration from traditional cyclist cities such as Amsterdam and Copenhagen.

China cycling commuters

Impact it will have on cycling:

* we will see completely separate cycling lanes appear in cities
* there will be improved safety and safety awareness for cyclists in cities

The increase in Sustainability concerns

From major supermarket chains reducing single use plastic packaging to designers, exploring new alternative materials that are kinder to the earth, there is no doubt that we are living in an age of heightened awareness of sustainability. Cyclists are already part of the solution rather than the problem on this issue but in the future cyclists will become even stronger campaigners for better ways to move around cities, and will support brands that they feel fit their philosophies.

Single use plastic

Impact it will have on cycling:

* we will see an increase in the second hand bike market
* we will see new products made sustainably, and bicycles will be increasingly built to last
* consumers will buy from smaller indepedent brands
* large brands and retailers will be forced to be transparent in their sustainability practices.

Millennial burn out

Millennial burn out was popularised by a BuzzFeed article, it can be defined as a chronic stress that leads to physical and emotional exhaustion and, while millennial burnout isn’t a medically-recognised condition in itself, it’s a concept that has resonated with many people both millennials (born roughly around the 1980s and 90s) and non-millennials. Millennials are characterised as being heavy users of digital technologies - with increase in pressure both on and offline will mean that people will be turning to exercise to balance out the stress they are feeling. In the Guardian article below, Millennial Charles Graham-Dixon found that he was having panic attacks catching the tube and turned to cycling as a way of avoiding congested commuting, he then discovered his mental strength and happiness through taking up cycling. This is just one of many stories of people finding cycling as an effective cure to anxiety and depression.

cyclist

Impact it will have on cycling:

* we will continue to see cycling groups and social cycling increase as people seek both exercise and social contact to counter the symptoms of this burn-out.
* we will see an increase in millennials on bicycles as they are a money conscious generation and cycling is a very thrifty way to commute.
* we will see an increase in celebrity role models cycling as a way of combatting anxiety and depression, leading to an increased popularity amongst the general population of cycling.

sqiggly line

I hope this article has been useful and insightful to you, for any questions or if you would like content written for your business, don't hesitate to get in touch jacqui@goodordering.com

References and good articles to read as follow on.

Forbes: Millennials - the money conscious generation

The Guardian: When i was anxious and depressed, cycling put me on the road to happiness.

BBC: We all have millennial burnout



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