The recent growth in the aging population taking up road cycling and participating in Gran Fondo events has gained attention in popular media. However as of yet, little research exists regarding why, at this time, road cycling is drawing this demographic. This paper explores experiences and perspectives of aging cycling enthusiasts, coaches, and bike store employees as well as content analysis and participant observation to better understand the choice of road cycling and its meaning in their lives. Emergent themes of healthy aging, socializing and networking, and bikes, accessories and gear are presented and discussed using Pierre Bourdieu’s (1984, 2000) habitus, field, and capital to understand them as cultural expressions.
The author is with the Faculty of Education, University of Ottawa, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada.