Off-Road Mountain Biking: A profile of participants, setting and preferences, by Gordan Cessford, 1995
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APPENDIX 4

Differences between Male and Female riders

This appendix presents results where responses from male and female riders differed. The main difference was in overall involvement, with only 15% of the sample collected being women. Identification of how women riders differed from the men may provide some insight into their relative lack of involvement in the activity. This is important as a large increase in overall rider numbers would occur if women became more actively involved.

A4.1 Descriptive Characteristics

Overall, there were no differences in the demographic characteristics of men and women. Both also had the same proportion involved in clubs (approximately 30%). However, some differences were apparent in rider experience characteristics. This was reflected in their sample group (Table A.4.1), and their experience characteristics (Table A.4.2).

Table A.4.1: Race Classes of Women in the Survey

SAMPLE CLASS

(based on race entry)

Female
Male
Notes
Bike Shop Customers
24
11
- a higher proportion of women come from the `shop' sample
Novice Class Riders

Sport Class Riders

Expert Class Riders

38

20

18
27

29

23
- the women riders coming from the `race-entry' lists were relatively over-represented amongst the less competitive race classes.

Women were represented more amongst the shop sample, but were also included across all the race entry classes. The proportion of women in the expert class was almost equal to that of men. This suggests an equivalent group of `elite' riders exists for both men and women. Table A.4.2 provides more background on the actual experience levels of these riders.

Table A.4.2 : Experience characteristics by gender

CHARACTERISTICS
Female
Male
Female
Male
EXPERIENCE Beginner

(self-rated) Moderate (=3)

Have much

Expert/very

33

29

29

9
8

23

47

22
EXPERIENCE 1 year or less

(yrs on MTB) 1 - 2 years

2 - 3 years

3 - 4 years

4 - 5 years

Over 5 years

29

21

22

11

10

6
19

23

18

16

12

11
EXPERIENCE Only ride road

(days ride/yr) Under 6 days

(off-road) 7 - 12

13 - 24

25 - 50

50 - 100

Over 100 days

8

17

11

11

25

15

13
1

3

8

10

29

24

24
EXPERIENCE Never raced

(no. of races) Only 1 race

2 - 5

6 - 10

11 - 20

20 - 50

50 - 100

Over 100

27

20

17

8

12

15

1

0
9

11

24

14

19

17

5

2

Women rated their riding experience at lower levels than did the men, with a lower proportion rating themselves in the expert group than entered that race class. For men , these proportions were the same. This could suggest a possible reluctance amongst women to acknowledge their real ability in riding. In fact, their actual experience did not generally appear much lower than that of the men.

In terms of the number of years they had been riding, women had almost the same experience level as men. And although women had generally done fewer races, the difference here was not great. The main difference was in the numbers of days rides took place per year, where women indicated a less intense activity pattern. Even then, the difference was not great. What these results do indicate is that there is a broad range of experience levels amongst women riders in the sample.

A4.2 Features of Mountain Biking

There were differences in the features of mountain biking most favoured by men and women. This was apparent from the five most important features, and the top three of these. In the tables that show these responses, differences between the preferences of men and women are indicated by bold on the greater of the two responses.

Table A.4.3: Most Important Mountain Biking Features by Gender

MOUNTAIN BIKING FEATURES

(5 most important)

Women
Men
Notes
Exploring new areas

Appreciating views/scenery/nature

Exercise/fitness workout

Speed/excitement/risk

Skill challenge (technical riding)

Physical challenge (hard riding)

Riding/socialising with friends

Developing and improving skills

Racing and race training

Peace/quiet/solitude

Commuting in town/transport means

Relaxation/easy riding/cruising

Overnight trips/touring options

Other

54

76

71

23

23

24

61

45

19

29

20

37

11

3
60

55

52

59

53

53

44

35

32

18

15

8

8

2
Men and women differed on most features of these riding experiences, apart from exploring new areas.

Men tended to emphasise features of the riding activity itself, such as physical and technical challenge, speed, and racing. Speed and challenge features were higher by about 30%.

Women tended to emphasise features associated with riding, such as appreciating scenery and nature, exercising, socialising, relaxation/easy riding, and experiencing peace/quiet/solitude. They also gave greater emphasis to developing skills.

The features included by these riders amongst their five most important suggested that men and women differed in their riding motivations. Men appeared to focus more upon features inherent in the activity of riding itself, while women gave greater emphasis to experiences associated with being on active outdoor trips. However, these results may not necessarily represent a gender-based difference. This pattern is similar to that noted across experience groups in Section 4.1. The features emphasised by women were more characteristic of the beginner and moderately experienced riders, while those emphasised by men were like the more experienced riders. It was apparent from Table A.4.2 that over 60% of women included themselves in these lower experience groups.

To assess the influence of experience on these results, riders of both gender were compared across two broad experience groups. Those of the `lower' group rated themselves as either beginners or as being moderately experienced. Those in the `higher' group rated themselves as very experienced or as expert riders. When the five most important riding features were compared for these two groups according to gender, differences were apparent (Table A.4.4).

A variety of changes in rider preferences for features were apparent. It is clear that increased experience has some effect. For example, the preference amongst all riders for racing increased in a uniform way here. Other changes occurred in a less uniform way. For example, womens preference for `skill/challenge' increased from 4% to 42%, while that of men increased from 39% to 59%. In this case, the change by women appeared more pronounced, indicating that with increased experience, the gender differences that did still occur were generally less substantial.

In general terms, with increased experience, women riders appeared to move more towards the preference characteristics of the men. However, differences between them were still apparent, indicating that basic gender differences were in effect, rather than being a reflection of the overall lower experience levels of the women riders sampled. Overall, men still demonstrated greater preferences for speed and the technical and physical challenges, although women increased their preference for all of these with experience. Women still demonstrated greater preferences for scenery/views/nature, exercise/fitness, and having relaxation/easy riding.

Table A.4.4: Most Important Mountain Biking Features at Higher Experience Levels (by gender)

MOUNTAIN BIKING FEATURES
Experience (women)
Experience (men)
Note:- In some cases men differ from women, in others, change is between lower and higher experience
(5 most important)
Lower
Higher
Lower
Higher
Exploring new areas

Appreciating views/scenery/nature

Exercise/fitness workout

Speed/excitement/risk

Skill challenge (technical riding)

Physical challenge (hard riding)

Riding/socialising with friends

Developing and improving skills

Racing and race training

Peace/quiet/solitude

Commuting/transport means

Relaxation/easy riding/cruising

Overnight trips/touring options

Other

54

82

69

17

4

15

63

59

4

41

24

49

9

4
55

68

72

31

42

24

58

24

41

10

14

21

14

0
67

56

69

55

39

42

11

40

10

18

21

19

8

3
58

54

41

60

59

56

43

33

42

18

12

3

9

2

- decreased for women

- decreased for men

- increased for women

- increased for BOTH

- increased for BOTH

- increased for men

- decreased for women

- increased for BOTH

- decreased for women

- decreased for BOTH

- decreased for women

Many of the differences identified between genders according to their five most important features (Table A.4.3) were also apparent amongst the features they included in their top three (Table A.4.5). Specifying their top three features required riders to prioritise from the five they considered most important. In this situation, it would be expected that if any predominant features of all riding did occur, these would receive proportionately greater percentage response given the reduced choices possible. However, comparison of the two tables showed that apart from the generally lower percentage figures overall, the pattern of top three responses was very similar to that for the five most important. This suggests that riders prefer a number of riding features, rather than being only interested in one or two central ones. Table A.4.5 and A.4.6 show the top three responses for all gender, and by the different experience levels.

Table A.4.5: Top Three Features of Mountain Biking by Gender

MOUNTAIN BIKING FEATURES

(the top three features)

Women
Men
Notes
Speed/excitement/risk

Exercise/fitness workout

Appreciating views/scenery/nature

Riding/socialising with friends

Exploring new areas

Racing and race training

Physical challenge (hard riding)

Skill challenge (technical riding)

Developing and improving skills

Commuting in town/transport means

Relaxation/easy riding/cruising

Peace/quiet/solitude

Overnight trips/touring options

Other

19

55

57

45

28

15

13

8

13

7

21

12

1

1
47

38

34

31

34

20

15

25

31

6

4

9

3

2
When required to focus on the top three features of riding, men and women still demonstrated differences.

Men emphasised speed, skill challenge, and developing new skills.

Preferences for exploring, racing and physical challenge were similar for both genders.

Women emphasised exercise, appreciating scenery/nature, socialising, and having relaxation/easy riding.

The overall differences for the top three features were similar to those for the five most important. The main change that did occur was the preference for racing and physical challenge being similar for both genders, although the preference for both was not high overall. To further assess any influence from experience on these results, riders were compared in Table A.4.6.

Table A.4.6: Top Three Features of Mountain Biking at Higher Experience Levels (by gender)

MOUNTAIN BIKING FEATURES
Experience (women)
Experience (men)
Note:- In some cases men differ from women, in others, change is between lower and higher experience
(the top three features)
Lower
Higher
Lower
Higher
Speed/excitement/risk

Exercise/fitness workout

Appreciating views/scenery/nature

Riding/socialising with friends

Exploring new areas

Racing and race training

Physical challenge (hard riding)

Skill challenge (technical riding)

Developing and improving skills

Commuting/transport means

Relaxation/easy riding/cruising

Peace/quiet/solitude

Overnight trips/touring options

Other

24

52

67

65

24

4

13

2

15

9

28

19

2

2
24

58

41

48

34

31

14

17

10

3

17

0

0

0
45

51

32

33

45

2

23

16

18

12

11

8

1

2
49

35

35

30

30

28

26

29

14

4

1

9

3

2

- decreased for men

- decreased for women

- decreased for women

- increased for women

- increased for BOTH

- increased for BOTH

- decreased for BOTH

- decreased for women

Despite some shift in women's preferences toward those of the men with an increase in experience, differences by gender were still apparent. For example, 67% of inexperienced women indicated appreciating scenery/views/nature as one of their top three features. Only 32% of inexperienced men did so. Amongst riders of higher experience, the proportion of men giving this remained constant (34%). The main change was that the response of women declined to 41%. While women began from a different point in their preference for this feature, with experience this preference became more similar to that of the men. This suggests that an underlying gender distinction in preferences does occur, although the mediating effect of increased experience is to reduce its degree.

A4.3 Setting and Experience Preferences

When the responses of male and female riders were compared for the importance they indicated for various setting and recreation experience attributes, some differences were apparent. The attributes in Table A.4.7 were all preferred at higher levels (or less negatively) by the women, while those in Table A.4.8 were preferred more by them. For all of the other attributes available for rider responses (Appendix 6), riders could not be distinguished on gender. In general, the gender preference patterns for these attributes reflected those of previous results presented in this appendix. For men these emphasised riding that included speed, and more physical and technical challenge. For women this emphasised attributes characteristic of easier riding.

Table A.4.7: Setting and experience attributes preferred more by women

SETTING/EXPERIENCE ATTRIBUTES

(preferred more by women)

I don't want this
I avoid if possible
OK some times
I usually prefer this
Always essential
TRACK TYPE * On sealed roads - Female

- Male

15

11
49

38
31

36
4

9
1

5
DOWNHILLS * Slower/gentle/easy - Female

- Male

11

7
24

26
48

38
14

24
3

5
UPHILLS * Gradual/easy/relaxed climbs- Female

- Male

4

1
10

7
47

38
32

45
8

8

Table A.4.8: Setting and experience attributes preferred more by men

SETTING/EXPERIENCE ATTRIBUTES

(preferred more by men)

I don't want this
I avoid if possible
OK some times
I usually prefer this
Always essential
TRACK TYPE * On single-track (eg walking)- Female

- Male

5

0
11

2
39

23
34

47
11

27
* On firebreaks/other (4WD) - Female

- Male

4

0
7

3
45

37
38

50
7

9
CONDITION * Rough/uneven/tight/narrow - Female

- Male

6

1
26

5
41

36
25

43
3

14
* Root/rock/log obstructions- Female

- Male

10

2
35

23
43

48
8

21
4

6
* Step/ditch/culvert obstructions- Female

- Male

16

4
42

31
32

45
9

14
0

5
* River/stream/creek crossings- Female

- Male

4

1
11

14
70

55
11

24
4

6
DOWNHILLS * Fast/smooth/open/clear - Female

- Male

1

0
1

1
27

21
53

45
18

33
* Fast/rough/tight - Female

- Male

8

1
28

6
39

26
19

40
5

27
* Slower/steep/technical - Female

- Male

8

2
28

8
39

32
19

37
5

21
UPHILLS * Short/hard/steep sections - Female

- Male

12

4
28

13
42

44
13

28
4

11
* Long/hard/steep climbs - Female

- Male

4

1
16

5
45

39
26

43
10

12
SOCIAL * Speed/action/excitement/risk- Female

- Male

4

0
3

2
42

17
26

31
26

50

As shown previously, some of these gender differences resulted from the higher experience levels of the men. However, when riders of different gender but same experience were compared, some differences were still apparent, suggesting that some gender effect remained. These different results are presented in Tables A.4.9 to A.4.13.

In most cases, attributes characteristic of more difficult and challenging riding were favoured less by the inexperienced women, who most favoured attributes characteristic of easier riding. However, with greater experience the changes in the preferences of women moved them more toward the preference patterns of the men. It is clear that for both genders, there are shifts in their preference patterns with greater experience. However, it is also apparent that the men and women are generally starting from different points in most of their attribute preferences, and that these differences are only partially mediated by increased experience levels.

Table A.4.9: Preferred Speed/Excitement attributes (by experience)

SETTING/EXPERIENCE

ATTRIBUTES - SPEED

I don't want this
I avoid if possible
OK some times
I usually prefer this
Always essential
NOTES
* Speed/action/excitement/risk

- Inexperienced Female

- Experienced Female

- Inexperienced Male

- Experienced Male


7

0

1

0

2

3

3

1

47

34

23

15

24

28

30

32

20

34

42

53
Both prefer this more with experience. The men preferred it more than did the women overall.

Table A.4.10: Preferred Track Type attributes (by experience)

SETTING/EXPERIENCE

ATTRIBUTES - TRACK TYPE

I don't want this
I avoid if possible
OK some times
I usually prefer this
Always essential
NOTES
* On single-track (eg walking)

- Inexperienced Female

- Experienced Female

- Inexperienced Male

- Experienced Male


9

0

1

0

16

3

7

1

49

24

35

18

22

52

42

49

2

21

15

33
Overall preference increased with experience, but slightly more so amongst the men. Experienced men gave the most positive response for this.
* On firebreaks/other (4WD)

- Inexperienced Female

- Experienced Female

- Inexperienced Male

- Experienced Male


7

0

1

0

9

3

8

1

38

55

36

38

40

34

47

50

7

7

7

10
With experience, men tended to prefer this a little more, while women became more neutral toward it.
* On sealed roads

- Inexperienced Female

- Experienced Female

- Inexperienced Male

- Experienced Male


9

14

8

17

27

55

39

53

44

24

41

28

13

3

8

2

7

3

3

0
Overall preference decreased with experience, with all experienced riders having similar preference. Inexperienced women were least negative toward this, but gender differences were small.

Table A.4.11: Preferred Track Condition attributes (by experience)

SETTING/EXPERIENCE

ATTRIBUTES - CONDITION

I don't want this
I avoid if possible
OK some times
I usually prefer this
Always essential
NOTES
* Rough/uneven/tight/narrow

- Inexperienced Female

- Experienced Female

- Inexperienced Male

- Experienced Male


9

0

4

0

40

3

12

2

38

46

50

30

13

43

22

52

0

7

11

16
Overall preference increased with experience. Experienced men were most positive toward this. Inexperienced women were by far the most negative, representing a clear difference.
* Rock/root/log obstructions

- Inexperienced Female

- Experienced Female

- Inexperienced Male

- Experienced Male


14

3

5

0

41

25

34

19

36

53

41

51

7

11

15

23

2

7

4

7
Riders were less negative toward this with experience, tending to become more neutral or positive. Women were most negative toward this, although they became less so with experience.
* Step/ditch/culvert obstructions

- Inexperienced Female

- Experienced Female

- Inexperienced Male

- Experienced Male


22

7

8

2

49

3

40

27

22

48

37

49

7

14

10

15

0

0

5

6
Inexperienced riders were very negative toward this, particularly the women. Rider tolerance tended to increase with experience, with little difference between experienced men and women.
* River/stream/creek crossings

- Inexperienced Female

- Experienced Female

- Inexperienced Male

- Experienced Male


7

0

1

1

13

7

13

15

73

65

55

56

2

24

21

24

4

4

9

4
Most riders were tolerant of this. Many men and the experienced women were also more positive, with inexperienced women being the exception. Women changed more with experience.

Table A.4.12: Preferred Downhill attributes (by experience)

SETTING/EXPERIENCE

ATTRIBUTES - DOWNHILLS

I don't want this
I avoid if possible
OK some times
I usually prefer this
Always essential
NOTES
* Fast/smooth/open/clear

- Inexperienced Female

- Experienced Female

- Inexperienced Male

- Experienced Male


2

0

1

1

2

0

1

19

27

27

27

45

53

52

42

35

16

21

28

0
Preference was high for all the women and inexperienced men, but decreased for experienced men. This was the main difference between riders.
* Fast/rough/tight

- Inexperienced Female

- Experienced Female

- Inexperienced Male

- Experienced Male


13

0

4

0

40

10

14

3

29

55

33

23

13

28

33

43

4

7

16

31
Men were much more positive toward this, particularly with increased experience. Preference by women was lower, but did increase with experience to a lesser extent.
* Slower/steep/technical

- Inexperienced Female

- Experienced Female

- Inexperienced Male

- Experienced Male


11

0

5

0

35

10

15

5

35

41

45

26

13

41

27

40

4

7

7

28
Both prefer this more with experience, particularly the experienced men. Preference by women increased a lot from that of the inexperienced women, who were the most negative.
* Slower/gentle/easy

- Inexperienced Female

- Experienced Female

- Inexperienced Male

- Experienced Male


2

14

7

13

4

17

17

26

40

51

52

46

47

14

19

12

7

3

4

3
Inexperienced women were much more positive toward this. This was the main difference, and the experienced riders were a little more negative.

Table A.4.13: Preferred Uphill attributes (by experience)

SETTING/EXPERIENCE

ATTRIBUTES - UPHILLS

I don't want this
I avoid if possible
OK some times
I usually prefer this
Always essential
NOTES
* Short/hard/steep sections

- Inexperienced Female

- Experienced Female

- Inexperienced Male

- Experienced Male


7

0

4

0

24

3

9

3

44

45

46

36

20

34

35

45

4

17

5

15
Both prefer this more with experience, particularly the men. The inexperienced women were the most negative, meaning the experienced women represented a greater change in preferences.
* Long/hard/steep climbs

- Inexperienced Female

- Experienced Female

- Inexperienced Male

- Experienced Male


20

0

8

20

36

17

22

9

36

52

49

41

7

24

16

33

2

7

4

14
Both prefer this more with experience, particularly the men. The inexperienced women were the most negative.
* Gradual/easy/relaxed climbs

- Inexperienced Female

- Experienced Female

- Inexperienced Male

- Experienced Male


0

3

5

3

7

7

8

10

27

55

42

50

57

27

36

29

9

7

9

7
Both preferred this less with experience. Inexperienced women were by far the most positive to this. Experienced riders of both gender had similar preferences.

A4.4 Favourite Riding Conditions

A further indication of the differences in the recreation experience and setting preferences of men and women was provided by the open-ended responses in which they specified their favourite riding conditions. The summary of these responses by gender alone is presented in Table A.4.14.

The top ten riding conditions specified by the men re-emphasised their greater desire for experiencing speed and excitement, and both physical and technical challenge. Preference for riding in forest settings was high (51%), comprising 30% specifically stating native forest, and a further 21% who did not state a forest-type preference.

Women riders re-emphasised their overall preference for easier riding conditions, although 31% still specified a desire for some technical difficulty/challenge. Preference for forest settings was also high (44% in total). The preferences emphasised by women reflected those generally associated with the lower experience levels.

Table A.4.14: Top Ten Riding Conditions of Men and Women Riders

WOMEN RIDERS:

- Favourite Riding Conditions (Top 10)

%
MEN RIDERS:

- Favourite Riding Conditions (Top 10)

%
1 Uphills which are gradual/gentle/easy
40
1 Some technical difficulty/challenge
37
2= Downhills which are fast/smooth/open
34
2= Downhills which are fast/technical/tight
31
2= Few obstructions on track/not too difficult
34
2= An undulating route/mixture of ups and downs
31
3 Some technical difficulty/challenge
31
3 Riding in a forest setting (specifically native)
30
4 An undulating route/mixture of ups and downs
27
4 Single-track which is tight/narrow/winding
29
5= Riding in a forest setting (not type-specific)
23
5 Downhills which are fast/smooth/open
26
5= Track surface which is smooth//easy/open
23
6= Riding in a forest setting (not type-specific)
21
6= Riding in a forest setting (specifically native)
21
6= Ride duration between 2-3 hours
21
6= Good scenery and viewpoints
21
6= Track surface which is fast/smooth/open
21
7= Rides including a variety of track surfaces
18
7 Good scenery and viewpoints
19
7= Single-track and other (farm track/4WD)
18
-

To determine whether these gender differences result from the relatively lower experience of the women overall, comparisons across experience levels were made. A summary of these is presented in Table A.4.15, where close comparison does show differences between the men and women based upon both experience and gender. In the table, horizontal comparisons show differences between riders of lower and higher experience, while vertical comparisons show the differences according to gender.

When riders of lower experience were compared, the women again emphasised those riding conditions more characteristic of easier riding. These included gradual/gentle/easy uphills (50% vs 25% men); few obstructions on track/not too difficult (48% vs 31% men); and track surface which was smooth/easy/open (34% vs 21% men). For all of the other conditions listed by inexperienced men and women, there were few differences in response. Both gave the same level of response for some technical difficulty/challenge (27%), but in general terms, the women appeared less positive toward such challenges at this stage of their riding.

When comparing riders of higher experience, the range of conditions preferred by men and women was wider, and the degree to which some conditions were preferred also varied.

Women included some riding conditions not included by the men. These included preference for a variety of terrain/settings and track surfaces; good scenery and viewpoints, rides including single-track and other (farm track/4WD), and uphills which were gradual/gentle/easy. These suggested some differences in the basic riding motivations and desired outcomes of the women riders.

Other conditions that were specified equally by men and women included some technical difficulty/challenge, fast technical downhills, fast open downhills, and riding on undulating routes. These indicated many women shared the more challenge-orientated preferences of experienced men. However, overall they were clearly more inclined to include elements such as riding variety and scenery appreciation. The effect of the small sample size for experienced women may be an important factor here. This is especially so considering that these responses were to open-ended questions, which allow for much wider variety of responses.

Table A.4.15: Top Ten Riding Conditions of Men and Women Riders (by experience)

WOMEN - Lower Experience: (n=44)

- Favourite Riding Conditions (Top 10)

%
WOMEN - Higher Experience: (n=29)

- Favourite Riding Conditions (Top 10)

%
1 Uphills which are gradual/gentle/easy

2 Few obstructions on track/not too difficult

3 Downhills which are fast/smooth/open

4 Track surface which is smooth/easy/open

5= Some technical difficulty/challenge

5= Riding in a forest setting (not type-specific)

6= An undulating route/mixture of ups and downs

6= Riding in a forest setting (specifically native)

7 Good scenery and viewpoints

8= Track surface which is smooth/fast/open

8= Single-track which is smooth/open/clear

50

48

39

34

27

27

25

25

20

19

19
1 Some technical difficulty/challenge

2= An undulating route/mixture of ups and downs

2= Downhills which are fast/technical/tight

2= Rides going through a variety of terrain/settings

2= Single-track and other (farm track/4WD)

3= Downhills which are fast/smooth/open

3= Rides including a variety of track surfaces

4= Uphills which are gradual/gentle/easy

4= Good scenery and viewpoints

5= Single-track which is tight/narrow/winding

5= Track surface which is rough/technical/fast

38

31

31

31

31

27

27

23

23

19

19
MEN - Lower Experience: (n=121)

- Favourite Riding Conditions (Top 10)

%
MEN - Higher Experience: (n=272)

- Favourite Riding Conditions (Top 10)

%
1 Downhills which are fast/smooth/open

2 Few obstructions on track/not too difficult

3 Riding in a forest setting (specifically native)

4 Some technical difficulty/challenge

5 Uphills which are gradual/gentle/easy

6= Good scenery and viewpoints

6= An undulating route/mixture of ups and downs

7= Riding in a forest setting (not type-specific)

7= Track surface which is smooth/fast/open

7= Track surface which is smooth/easy/open

36

31

30

27

25

24

24

21

21

21
1 Some technical difficulty/challenge

2 Downhills which are fast/technical/tight

3 Single-track which is tight/narrow/winding

4 An undulating route/mixture of ups and downs

5 Riding in a forest setting (specifically native)

6 Downhills which are fast/smooth/open

7 Ride duration between 2-3 hours

8 Uphills which are long/steep/smooth

9= Riding in a forest setting (not type-specific)

9= Track surface which is smooth/fast/open

41

37

36

34

30

28

23

22

21

21

A4.5 Rider Attitudes to Opinion Statements

Rider responses to the opinion statements included in the questionnaire also showed some differences related to gender. The opinions on which these differences were apparent are listed in Table A.4.16.

Table A.4.16: Responses to different opinion statements (by gender)

ATTITUDES TO OPINION STATEMENTS
Strongly Disagree
Tend to Disagree

Neutral
Tend to Agree
Strongly Agree
* Mountain bikes should not be allowed on walking tracks

- Female

- Male


18

16

38

41

11

20

27

17

5

5
* Environmental damage by mountain bikes is over-estimated

- Female

- Male


0

1

10

8

31

21

39

37

21

33
* Un-informed walkers imagine most problems from biking use

- Female

- Male


0

0

6

5

35

28

50

45

10

22
* Access to some riding areas will sometimes need to be limited

- Female

- Male


3

5

10

13

19

26

51

42

17

13
* Views/scenery/nature are not essential for my riding enjoyment

- Female

- Male


63

42

31

32

3

11

1

11

1

3
* Speed/action/excitement are not essential for my riding enjoyment

- Female

- Male


31

47

33

34

15

7

15

9

5

2

In general, men tended to indicate more strongly that mountain bikes should be allowed on walking tracks, damage by biking was over-estimated, uninformed walkers imagined most problems, and that experiencing speed/action/excitement was essential to their riding enjoyment. The women tended to indicate more strongly that access will sometimes need to be limited, and that views/scenery/nature were essential for their riding enjoyment. In general, the degree to which these riders differed on these opinions was small.

To assess whether these differences were merely a reflection of the relative riding experience of the gender groups, they were compared on the basis of experience by gender group. All of the above did show some differences by gender across experience. Compared across experience levels, the opinion that responsible riding and attitude would reduce conflict also showed some gender difference (hence its inclusion above). The results of these comparisons are presented in Table A.4.17.

Gender differences in response to the management opinion statements were not great. Experience level appeared more important in any variation which did occur. To summarise the results above in general terms, women appeared more conciliatory in their attitudes to potential management controls, accorded greater preference to views/scenery/nature attributes, and less preference to speed/action/excitement attributes. In general, with an increase in experience levels, their preferences tended to shift toward those of the men.

Table A.4.17: Responses to different opinion statements (by gender)

ATTITUDES TO OPINION STATEMENTS
Strongly Disagree
Tend to Disagree

Neutral
Tend to Agree
Strongly Agree
NOTES
* Mountain bikes should not be allowed on walking tracks

- Inexperienced Female

- Experienced Female

- Inexperienced Male

- Experienced Male



11

14

10

19


43

55

39

42


16

24

28

17


29

7

18

17


0

0

5

5
Riders disagreed more with experience, and in particular the experienced women. The differences by experience and gender were not great, suggesting this is a generally held attitude amongst most riders here.
* Environmental damage by mountain bikes is over-estimated

- Inexperienced Female

- Experienced Female

- Inexperienced Male

- Experienced Male



0

0

0

1


9

10

9

8


32

36

37

14


39

38

39

37


19

24

16

40
Most riders agreed with this, but only the men demonstrated an increased level of agreement with experience. Overall, this appears to be a generally held attitude, although stronger amongst experienced men.
* Un-informed walkers imagine most problems from biking use

- Inexperienced Female

- Experienced Female

- Inexperienced Male

- Experienced Male



0

0

0

1


7

3

4

5


39

27

43

22


44

59

41

46


9

10

11

26
Most riders agreed with this, and this preference increased with experience. The experienced men agreed most strongly with this, suggesting they express their opinion more strongly.
* Responsible riding and attitude would reduce conflicts

- Inexperienced Female

- Experienced Female

- Inexperienced Male

- Experienced Male



0

0

0

1


0

7

1

1


4

0

4

5


48

38

58

38


48

55

37

55
Most riders agreed with this. This was relatively consistent across experience levels, although it was least pronounced amongst the inexperienced men. The inexperienced women were more like the experienced riders in this case.
* Access to some riding areas will sometimes need to be limited

- Inexperienced Female

- Experienced Female

- Inexperienced Male

- Experienced Male



5

0

2

7


7

14

14

13


25

10

28

25


49

55

44

41


14

21

12

14
Men agrees with this to the same extent across experience levels. Women agreed more, and this increased with experience. Experienced women agreed most with this, although it appears a generally held opinion.
* Views/scenery/nature are not essential for my riding enjoyment

- Inexperienced Female

- Experienced Female

- Inexperienced Male

- Experienced Male



70

52

44

42


27

38

34

32


2

3

11

11


0

3

7

13


0

3

4

3
Most riders disagreed with this. Women disagreed more, and inexperienced women disagreed the most by far. It appears that opinion amongst women shifts toward that of men with increasing experience.
* Speed/action/excitement are not essential for my riding enjoyment

- Inexperienced Female

- Experienced Female

- Inexperienced Male

- Experienced Male



34

27

44

49


25

45

32

34


14

17

8

7


20

7

10

9


7

3

5

1
Most riders disagreed with this. Men disagreed consistently across experience levels, women disagreed more with experience, getting closer to the levels expressed by the men. Inexperienced women disagreed the least overall.


Appendices: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9
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