Tr(y)ke it! Are we ready for “velo-diversity” for all ages and infrastructure?

Thursday, 27 June 2019 (All day)
Rathdown House, Grangegorman, TU Dublin

As part of the Erasmus+ ‘Sustainable Mobility, Sustainable Community’ cultural exchange programme and linking into the Velo-city International Cycle Planning Conference taking place in Dublin,, Dublin Cycling Campaign and An Taisce Green Schools are delighted to have Heike Bunte based in Hamburg in Germany speaking to an Irish audience about trikes and tricycles. An abstract of her paper and a short bio for Heike are below. For more information about the Erasmus+ programme, check out the article on the recent cultural visit to Corella in Spain.

Heike’s talk is part of an evening of (two) presentations commencing at 6.15pm in Rathdown House, Grangegorman, TU Dublin.


The stigma around the tricycle emerged through cycling not being available to those with certain disabilities. Moreover, not only did the social stigma become apparent but also the technical understanding of the machine the tricycle itself. Odd style, heavy, uncomfortable riding was the dominant feeling of the 1970-80ies while looking at tricycles. This picture of trikes has changed dramatically during the past 25 years. Nowadays modern stylish, chic and high technology equipped trikes are dominating the picture in our streets whether we talk about cargo-tricycles, velomobiles, trekking-trikes, carbon-hand-bikes or cool kids KMX Karts. Even every (e-trike) wish can be easily fulfilled for every target group and age.

While there are no longer any restrictions about technical standards of tricycles, the infrastructure in our cities relies on the “standard bicycle”. Additionally, facing the overall challenge of the demographic change all over Europe PLUS the awareness that 60+ people have more severe injuries due to (single-) bicycle crashes, we badly need a better infrastructure. Cycling allows independent (!) mobility up to very high ages. Therefore, we need a much more detailed discussion about building future infrastructure and facilities to encourage trike use in urban areas. The talk will highlight positive and negative approaches towards effects of “Cycling-training 60+” PLUS requirements for infrastructure and facilities.


Heike Bunte worked as a trained bicycle mechanic from 1991 to 2001 in Germany, England, France and New Zealand. She trained young people to become bike mechanics and build recumbents. Between 2001 and 2008 she studied socio-economics with a strong focus on cycling related topics. After university she worked for several institutions in Europe and Germany as a researcher on “Mobility behaviour of elderly women”, “Cycling training 60+” with over 300 participants, feasibility study of mobility management for cyclists for a big company with over 11.000 employees, cycling behaviour of migrant women and other research projects. She published several articles and brochures. In her spare time, she was chairwoman of Human Powered Vehicles association Germany for 10 years. Currently she is responsible for European Cycling Projects for the City of Hamburg, Germany.


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