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PeopleForBikes selects researcher for rider participation study

Published August 11, 2014

BOULDER, Colo. (BRAIN) — Executives for PeopleForBikes have selected a researcher to survey U.S. rider participation including breakdowns of rides and rider types.

The survey is near completion and will be programmed and in the field by Aug. 25. A final report is slated for completion in October.

Jennifer Boldry, who holds a Ph.D. from Texas A&M and who formerly directed research at Leisure Trends, now part of the NPD Group, was named to lead the project after a PFB panel reviewed proposals from three other companies.

In a memo sent to PFB's board, Charlie Cooper, vice president of membership and development, said Boldry's experience in statistical modeling and in applying her methodological expertise to data collection has helped companies in the outdoor, bike, run and snow industries boost their business. Like Boldry, Cooper is a former Leisure Trends executive. 

Two of the four proposals were rejected because of costs exceeding $200,000. Boldry and one other submission were competitive cost-wise, but offered dramatically different approaches to the sample size. PeopleForBikes wanted to keep the project cost under $100,000.

"We worked with both of these two to see if there was an opportunity for them to collaborate," Cooper said in the memo, noting that Boldry was the "best partner" for the project. The initial report will provide benchmarks for participation of all types of riders and all types of riding.

"Accuracy is the number one goal. We are determined to get the benchmarks right so that we can accurately measure increases or declines in general and within specific rider or riding type segments," Cooper said.

The survey is most likely to be repeated every other year, or as frequently as necessary, based on percentage changes over time, he added.

A four-page request for proposals was sent to five companies in mid-May, but only four submitted plans to meet a May 27 deadline. PFB had hoped to select a contractor and conduct its research during the months of June, July and August. In its request, PFB acknowledged that industry growth appears stalled based on various studies done by groups outside the industry such as the annual bicycling participation study done the by the National Sporting Goods Association.

Topics associated with this article: Advocacy/Non-profits

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