Reclaiming the Road: Experiencing Space and Place through Cycling

  • Hurcombe, Martin J (Principal Investigator)
  • Hanna, Erika (Co-Investigator)
  • Adkins, Phil (Collaborator)
  • Walker, Ian (Co-Investigator)
  • Cardon, Nathan (Co-Investigator)

Project Details


At a moment when cycling as a sport as well as a mode of transportation is in the ascendency nationally, a new local and global interpretive history is needed to reflect on the present moment and consider attitudes towards cycling specifically and active leisure generally. This project, Reclaiming the Roads, will seek to use new technologies alongside methods from the humanities to interrogate and disrupt established narratives about cycling which have excluded many groups and instead seek to explore new ways in which cycling can both be understood and inform our experiences of diverse environments.

Layman's description

Reclaiming the Road takes the academic study of cycling out of the university and on to the roads in and around Bristol. It will challenge cyclists to re-experience familiar spaces through the use of archive material, literature, and photography and, though the use of video sunglasses, compile the story of cyclists' experiences as an incentive to encourage others to return to two wheels.

Key findings

The project tested on a very small number of participants whether exposure to cycling history and writings about cycling could encourage self-defined 'reluctant' cyclists to cycle more. We found that those who were exposed to such material tended to engage more with the project, but only one rider out of five actually cycled further as a result of this. However, three out of five riders who were given no cycling literature failed to cycle at all during the period of the project and did not engage with teh project through videos and project-related events.
Effective start/end date12/05/1630/09/16


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