With the previous realisation, that I need more insights for a more human focused object, I organised to interview a few cyclists regarding their habits, their way of using their bike, and their general lifestyle. I wanted to keep the interview as open as possible, which is why I switched prepared questions often for investigative questions more fitting to what was talked about. I also decided, not to take pictures or to take too many notes in order to maintain a relaxed and comfortable environment. Also for that reason, I used my phone to record the interview instead of a professional recording devices. Since the screen can be shut off during the recording, the interviewees immediately forgot it was there and relaxed visibly. It was my aim, to understand cyclists better, not to prey out problems, with the goal to conduct a holistic and user centred research. For this purpose, I interviewed

  • a student, who cycled a lot for fun as young person but is currently not cycling anymore,
  • another student, who uses the bike to cycle to the countryside in her hometown,
  • an artist, a passionate explorer who uses his bike to cycle on holidays, and
  • a racing cyclist who cycles for competitions.

The four cyclists are different in every aspect of their surroundings, their ambition and goals and their way of using the bike. Nonetheless, this is exactly what they all have in common, they are cyclists. These are some quotes I have drawn out of the interviews (some have been edited corresponding to the original meaning):

“Through cycling, I improve my physique”

“Be better, get faster”

“Cycling on holiday is not a problem because you are on the road at your own speed”

“People greet you differently on holiday”

“The weather does not matter with the right jacket”

“When you explore surrounding areas and find places you didn’t know before”

“You can make your bike more efficient, more enjoyable and faster”

“Storage is a problem”

“Stigma is attached to cycling”

“Cycling feels dangerous because there is not much between you and the car”

“You often feel like an obstacle in traffic”

“Only enjoy cycling in the countryside “

“There is not much comfort in cycling”

“Every individual has a demand to move to diverse areas”

“When you commute, you also have to cycle home even though you are tired”

“We can ride to places where we can’t drive cars”

“Can’t avoid potholes on a busy road”

“People yearn to use bicycles rather than cars for regular commutes”

“There is much hostility between cars and bikes”

“Bike is an icon of vintage culture”

“It is tactile, tangible and not relying on anything else than yourself”

“The car never knows how the bike will behave”

“Bikes break very easily”

“It is not enjoyable to cycle inside of a city”

“A separate road for bikes would be good”

These interviews gave me a more empathic insight into the world of cycling persons. The behaviour of cars is a problem, while weather is less of an issue than anticipated. To draw one main insight out of those interviews is wrong in that sense, that all three use the bike for fundamentally different reasons. This in fact is one insight, which can be adapted to all cyclist. They all use their bike for their own purposes, and therefore have their own individual needs and goals for cycling. These interviews rather lead to a deeper understanding of their urge to be outside, to experience a journey, to use their own muscles only to reach the set destination.