Using the event-travel-career concept, this study examined the trajectory of active-sport-event travel careers through stages of development and the corresponding factors and dimensions perceived to influence career progression in the sport of cycling. In-depth semistructured interviews were conducted with 12 amateur cyclists engaged in lifestyles geared toward active event travel. A grounded theory approach revealed that active event travel careers evolve through a complex progression of 9 core themes and related subthemes. The core themes included the first event, starting out, motivation, temporal, travel style, destination criteria, event types, spatial, and later in life. On the basis of these findings, a 6-stage active-sport-event travel career model is proposed consisting of initiation, introduction, expansion, peak threshold, maintenance, and maturity. From this model, theoretical contributions, suggestions for future research, and practical implications for sport tourism and event management are discussed.
Richard J. Buning is with the Department of Tourism, Conventions, and Event Management, Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis, IN. Heather Gibson is with the Department of Tourism, Recreation, and Sport Management, University of Florida, Gainesville, FL.