Off-Road Mountain Biking: A profile of participants, setting and preferences, by Gordan Cessford, 1995
Home | Intro | Methods | Riders | Setting | Attitudes | Findings | Recommend | References | Appendices

2. RESEARCH METHODS

2.1 Data collection

The target group for the survey were those more `active' riders likely to be using tracks and facilities managed by the department. A sample of such riders was readily available from two major mountain bike races in the Wellington area. One was the `Karapoti Classic', which was first staged in 1986. It is one of New Zealand's premier mountain bike events, attracting over 700 entries in 1993 when the sample was compiled (reached 1000 in 1994). The other was the `Orongorongo Classic' which includes many of the same riders. In addition, a list of bike shop customers was used to provide a contrast between the `race' sample and more general riders.

When combined, the total initial sample comprised 786 riders. These were sent postal questionnaires to complete and return. Envelopes with postage and return-address were provided, and a letter endorsing the study from a representative of the New Zealand Mountain Bike Association was included. In addition, reminder notices were sent to encourage response. The questionnaire, the covering letter, and the reminder notice are included in Appendix 1.

2.2 Response Rate

As shown in Table 2.1, response to the survey was high, particularly amongst the more committed riders (as defined by their race class). A much lower response was received from the sample of bike shop customers (referred to as `shop' sample). This provided justification for the decision to concentrate sampling effort upon the more specific `active' riders represented by the `race-entry' sample. In the following tables, unless otherwise indicated, the sample size being referred to by the percentage figures is 504 responses.

Table 2.1: Response rate to the postal survey

RACE CLASS

(based on race entry)

Original Post-out
Not received
Actual Post-out
Final Returns
Response Rate
Expert Riders
141
4
137
113
82.3%
Sport Riders
235
3
232
183
78.9%
Novice Race Riders
140
1
139
96
69.0%
Novice/Fun Riders
78
2
76
46
60.5%
TOTAL RACE SAMPLE
594
10
584
438
75.0%
Bike Shop Customers
192
12
180
66
36.6%
TOTAL OVERALL
786
22
764
504
65.9%

2.3 Analysis Notes

Most of the analysis presented in this report deals with the total response of the sample, and additional comparison of these responses based upon rider experience. The experience level groups were identified using the rider's own definition of how experienced they were at mountain biking. While this was a subjective self-assessment, comparison of the `rated experience' with other experience indicators such as `years of riding', `riding trip frequency' and `number of races' indicated rider self-assessments were representative of the other experience criteria. In addition, riders who indicated they were more experienced had visited a greater variety of Wellington riding sites.

And while the sample was drawn from riders who had entered a race, it was not considered that they would therefore represent a group dedicated to racing. The race events providing the sample included a range of race classes (refer Table 2.1), which represented a cross-section of rider experience and orientation towards racing.


Top | Home | Intro | Methods | Riders | Setting | Attitudes | Findings | Recommend | References | Appendices