Transportation bicycling is a behavior with demonstrated health benefits. Population-representative studies of transportation bicycling in United States are lacking. This study examined associations between sociodemographic factors, population density, and transportation bicycling and described transportation bicyclists by trip purposes, using a US-representative sample.
This cross-sectional study used 2009 National Household Travel Survey datasets. Associations among study variables were assessed using weighted multivariable logistic regression.
On a typical day in 2009, 1% of Americans older than 5 years of age reported a transportation bicycling trip. Transportation cycling was inversely associated with age and directly with being male, with being white, and with population density (≥ 10,000 vs < 500 people/square mile: odd ratio, 2.78, 95% confidence interval, 1.54–5.05). Those whose highest level of education was a high school diploma or some college were least likely to bicycle for transportation. Twenty-one percent of transportation bicyclists reported trips to work, whereas 67% reported trips to social or other activities.
Transportation bicycling in the United States is associated with sociodemographic characteristics and population density. Bicycles are used for a variety of trip purposes, which has implications for transportation bicycling research based on commuter data and for developing interventions to promote this behavior.