As we approach the first six months of the cycle BOOM project I thought it would be useful to look back at the progress we have made so far.
Firstly, I must say that as Principal Investigator on the project I feel very fortunate to be working alongside such a diverse, enthusiastic and multi-skilled team. Team meetings are both productive and fun and there is definitely a sense of commitment to the project and the desire to deliver innovative research with meaningful outcomes. We hold these monthly using virtual media but we have also managed to get everyone together at Oxford Brookes University on two occasions (November 2013 and February 2014) to discuss our research and to spend some social time together– an important ingredient for successful team working.
So looking back over the first six months what have we achieved? Here’s my top ten:
- Generated significant media interest leading up to the project launch in September 2013 – see the media mentions page of the web site – and put the importance of older people’s cycling on the map.
- Developed a suite of professionally designed electronic and print materials including the cycle BOOM website – we hope you like it!
- Attended a flurry of events and meetings with project partners and have written several items to promote our research – see our Outputs page on the web site and our other Blog posts.
- Gained permission to access existing data sources and have started to review these so that we can form an initial insight into the state of older people and cycling in the UK – look out for an info-graphic on our website soon.
- Scoped our four case study areas (Oxford, Reading, Bristol and Cardiff) to identify key sites and organisations where we will target recruitment so that we can achieve a diverse range of participants – Thank you to everyone who has already registered an interest to participate; we will be in contact soon!
- Developed a ‘cycling timeline’ mapping key national events of significance whether policy, funding, cultural etc. We are also doing this for London (given its significance) and repeating this for our four case study areas – again look out for an info-graphic on our web site soon.
- Investigated key literature from the fields of transport, mobility, planning and design, and ageing and we are currently in the process of writing this up.
- Developed relationships with local stakeholders, and over the next two months, will be conducting a series of interviews to understand cycling vision and strategy and how this relates to older people’s cycling.
- Identified Seville and Munich as the front runners for international case study sites that have been successful in encouraging cycling amongst a diverse populous in more recent years and have made contact with key stakeholders to arrange visits – look out for updates.
- Submitted an ethics application to Oxford Brookes University Research Ethics Committee to gain clearance to undertake field research from April 2014.
Looking back, perhaps our biggest break-through came after an intensive ‘methods workshop’ at Oxford Brookes over two-days in early February (6 & 7). Indeed, such was the intellectual effort that half of the team went down with a nasty virus afterwards! But this event definitely allowed us to hone our overall research approach and to detail the methods and the equipment we will use – more on this in subsequent blog posts. New equipment has since been arriving in waves which we are currently testing and will be piloting.
Looking ahead, Wednesday 12 March 2014 is a key date for the cycle BOOM team. This is when we will host our first Stakeholder Advisory Group meeting, in Bristol, whilst on the same day, Oxford Brookes University Research Ethics Committee will meet to consider our ethics application. Fingers are crossed. We’ll keep you updated on how we fared!
Tim Jones is Principal Investigator on the cycle BOOM research project at Oxford Brookes University. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org