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Odense - AENEAS Measure #3
Guided Cycle Trips


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Tour participants at one of the resting places

Research shows that active older people are healthier than non active. In this way, travel more actively can improve your health. Therefore, the City of Odense wanted to encourage older people to continue cycling by arranging guided cycle trips different places in Odense.

Guided cycle trips in Odense

In 2009 the City of Odense and eight volunteer cycle captains planned and carried out 24 cycle trips with the aim to encourage and promote cycling among older people. The trips had different lengths, destinations and starting points in order to reach as many people as possible and to show the variety of cycling possibilities in Odense.

There has been up to 15 participants besides two cycle captains on each trip. On several trips, the participants have met with a person from the municipality who has told about the areas they were cycling in.

The cycle captains were found through adverts in the local newspaper and a magazine distributed to older citizens in Odense. Six men and two women volunteered as cycle captains. They are between 58 and 71 years old and all experienced cyclists. In the planning phase the cycle captains have among other things participated on a first aid course, learned about cycling in larger groups and participated in an information meeting about cycle planning in the City of Odense.
The trips were announced in the local newspaper, magazines and web pages targeted at older people. Further, posters and brochures were distributed to liberates, organisations representing older people, sport clubs etc.

Enrolment was necessary, because the trips had a maximum limit on 15 participants due to safety issues. It was possible to sign up for the trips in two different ways.

  1. by telephone

  2. by the internet

Lessons learnt

There have been approx. 240 participants on the cycle trips. Average age was 66 years where the oldest participant was 84 years old. 57% of the participants were women and 43% men. The majority cycle each day or several times per week, while only a few almost never cycle.

The evaluation showed that 40% of the participants intend to cycle more in the future, while 23% want to drive less as a driver. However, the majority have answered that they intend to have the same transport habits in the future.

The cycle trips have been very popular both among the participants and the cycle captains. For instance, the eight cycle captains want to continue in 2010. In addition, the participants have given the trips an average grade on 4.9 on a scale from 1 to 5. This has resulted in that the trips are continuing in 2010 under Cycle City Odense.

It is relative easy to carry out similar trips in cities with a similar cycle culture. In cities without a cycling tradition it might be more difficult. Here the trips could be combined with a course in safety training and cycling maintenance.

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