Cycling in Melbourne City Futures Research Centre

Bicycle Trips by Time of Day

The Riderlog application which is the source of the data used to create this map, records the location of bicycle riders at approximately 40 second intervals. The map illustrates bicycle riders in the greater Melbourne area on weekdays from January to December 2012. The map shows 1,281 bicyclists on 18,209 bicycling routes. The map shows heavy bicycling activity in the Melbourne CBD. The time slider shows two pulses of heavy cycling activity, from 6:30 through 9:30 AM and from 5:30 – 7:30 PM.

Bicycle Trips by Gender

According to the Bicycle Network, the ratio of female to male riders is a leading indicator of cycling health within a city. Cities and routes that are bicycle friendly typically have greater than 35% female riders, more automobile focused areas will only have 15% - 20% female riders. Melbourne falls into this second category with 18% of female riders. Using the Riderlog data for the Melbourne region where bicycling routes are mapped by gender clearly illustrates those areas where there tend to be more female riders (highlighted in pink) as well as areas where there are mostly male riders (indicated in blue). In Melbourne, female bicycling activity tends to occur where there is dedicated cycle infrastructure.

Bicycle Trips by Age

The Riderlog application which is the source of the data used to create this map, records the age of the bicyclist. We can see from the map and the underlying data that the majority of riders fit into the following three age cohorts (i) 26-35yrs - 22%, (ii) 36-45yrs - 37% and (iii) 46-55yrs - 22%. The proportion of cyclists using the Riderlog app drops off significantly for the less than 26 yrs category - 5%, or above 55 yrs - 14%. Preliminary analysis of this age based data would suggest policy makers might like to target bicycle promotion programs to those aged 25 years and below in order to increase bicyclist numbers across the City.

Bicycle Trips by Duration

This map illustrates the travel time required by bicyclists to travel from their origin to their destination. 31% of the rides take 30 min or less, 44% take between 30 min and one hour, and 25% take more than one hour. Analysis of the riderlog duration data related to distance indicates that 38% of cycle journeys are made within the 5-10 km distance, 21% within 10-15 Km, 20%involve more than 15 km, with only 21% of journeys made between 0-5 km.

Bicycle Trips by Purpose

The Riderlog app allows users to input information indicating the purpose of each of their bicycling trips. The map shows the majority of trips that start or end in Greater Melbourne are indicated by app users as being for varied transportation purposes, such going to work, to school, or to other non- recreation activities. 64% of the cycling trips are for general transport purposes, 15% are for commute, and 0.2% for school. 20.8% of the cycling trips are for recreational or fitness purposes.

Bicycle Trips by Origin

Mapping rider origin and cycling route shows both areas where bicyclists reside as well as use patterns across the city. As shown in the previous maps, most bicycle trips recorded using the Riderlog App are to the centre of the Melbourne as the final destination. This rider origin data can be used to highlight suburbs and precincts where bicyclists reside. This can further assist planners in developing municipal specific bicycle infrastructure strategies. For example those areas where bicyclists live and which are in close proximity to a train station might then be candidates for a bicycle parkiteer (a secure parking station), which supports multi-modal commuter behaviour. More information here.

See Publication:

Pettit, C.J. Lieske, S.N. Leao, S.Z. Big Bicycle Data Processing: From Personal Data to Urban Applications, ISPRS XXIII Congress 2016, Prague, Czech Republic, July 12-19th 2016.


This data was acquired from Bicycle Network as collected through their RiderLog App.

map creators: Vandana Mann, Dr Simone Z Leao and Chris Pettit.