If you’ve read the title, looked at the picture, and are either excited or worried that Haifa University has discovered that most Israeli cyclists are physically fit exhibitionists… then no, that is not what their research has to report. The study’s findings are nevertheless very interesting.
The study was a response to the growth of bicycle riding as a leisure activity in Israel. Professor Nurit Kliot and Dr. Noga Collins-Kreiner conducted the survey together with Paz Rave, a student in the Geography and Environmental Studies Department. 539 mountain bicyclists were interviewed at six different sites throughout the country.
The most popular cycling is cross country – on flat terrain and only mild inclines. The preferred routes are existing forest paths and single-track trails. So basically, Israelis are slightly lazy cross country cyclists. But at the same time, 50% of riders also said that they would be willing to help install signs and prepare additional bike trails.
Mountain biking is growing in popularity as a leisure activity at a rate of around 15% a year, and there are currently around 200,000 active Israeli cyclists.
The Haifa study shows that 90% of riders are men between the ages of 31-50, and are mostly educated. Two thirds are college graduates and 17% have some education beyond high school.
84% of the riders ride their bikes 1-3 times a week. Riding to work, unfortunately for the environment (since it would reduce carbon emissions associated with car or bus transportation), is still rare. Seventy-seven percent of the leisure riders don’t bike to work but 52% said they’d be happy to if proper infrastructure allowed for it. This would include installing showers at the workplace and have designated bike paths on their way to work.
Read more about cycling in Israel:
Tel Aviv Cyclists Use Their Hot Bodies to Protest the Naked Truth About Urban Cycling in Israel
The Cycling Nightlife in Jerusalem
Taga’s Chic, Slick, Inner City Ride, Kids Included
I Have a New Bike, Should I Make it Ugly?