Biking Through the Eyes of Kids: The Lived Experiences of Kids Riding Bikes in their Neighborhood
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AbstractBiking provides kids with a means of being active, social and mobile in the neighborhoods and places they ride. This project aimed to look at the ways in which kids used their bikes and report on their lived experiences. To understand the lived experience of kids’ biking, this project explored the experiences of kids from various neighborhoods in the city of St. Catharines, Ontario. Data collection drew upon the experiences of 12 participants who rode their bike at least once a week, without the presence of an adult. This project was guided by phenomenology and incorporated multiple data collection methods in order to capture the perspectives of kids’ lived experiences as presented by the kids themselves. To accomplish this goal, the study incorporated mobile methods of data collection adapted from Spinney (2011), where kids video recorded parts of their typical bike rides, in addition to sit-down interviews. The data presented by participants was also analyzed through the use of Interpretive Phenomenological Analysis (IPA) as outlined by Smith, Flowers, and Larkin (2013). Using IPA as an analysis framework allowed analysis to be flexible based on the unique experiences presented by the participants. The findings of this study outline 6 themes; Building Spatial Knowledge, Going Out and About, Being and Biking with Others, Maneuvering and Negotiating Others, Getting Away and Finding Peace and Quiet, and Testing Independence. These themes are supported by the accounts participants provided regarding their biking experiences. Based on the findings, this project’s discussion highlights the importance of kids’ independent learning during biking experiences and outlines ways in which kids’ neighborhood biking can be supported by members of the community.
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