Shifting Gears: Lived Experience in Cycling Transportation and Urban Mobility

University essay from Lunds universitet/Avdelningen för etnologi

Abstract: This thesis takes an ethnographic approach in examining how individuals experience mobility, particularly bicycling, in their everyday lives in Lund, Sweden. Focusing on 8 individuals, this research delves into the personal experiences of individuals who have moved to Lund with varying degrees of familiarity with cycling as an everyday practice. This thesis explores three main research questions: first, how do previous mobility practices influence the way in which individuals relate to cycling as an everyday practice in Lund? Second, how are sensory, temporal, spatial, and corporeal embodiments experienced while biking? How do these experiences influence spatial and social interactions? Finally, what are the implications of the methodological and theoretical approaches taken in this research within areas of urban planning and cycling research? Grounded in a phenomenological approach, the research methods employed attends to the sensorial and experiential elements of cycling in Lund. I argue that for a fuller understanding of how and why individuals move around, cycling research, or mobility research in general, needs to pay closer attention to the journey between two places. This thesis demonstrates how qualitative research contributes to a better understanding of the ride in between point A and B – grasping the minute details, the fleeting, and unspeakable aspects of movement.

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