Research

 

Measuring Specialization, Preferences, Economic Impact, and Benefit Attainment of Mountain Bike Trail Riders in the US

This national research applied the Recreation Specialization construct to mountain bike trail users for the first time to fill a gap in the literature and to help managers match diverse participants with the appropriate trails. This national study also examined the economic impact of mountain biking, and the methodology and data will be used as baselines for future studies at smaller scales.


Applicant: West Virginia University Research Corporation
Project Location: Mountain bike trailheads in the Morgantown, West Virginia area, and the new Mountaineer Trail Network which includes over 15 counties in West Virginia
Amount Awarded: $8,424.00

This project proposes to conduct secondary analysis of a nationwide mountain bike dataset that was collected by Dr. Twilley (WVU Assistant Vice President of Economic, Community and Development), IMBA, and other partners in 2018. There were over 13,000 trail riders in the US that participated in the online survey (including 79 questions) that used a snowball sampling method. (The total number of usable surveys were over 19,000). The analysis of data has been underutilized (no publications) due to COVID-19 and the lack of continuing funds. We plan to replicate this study in the future to examine Mountain Bike trailheads in the Morgantown (West Virginia) area and the new Mountaineer Trail Network which includes over 15 counties in West Virginia.

This national research applied the Recreation Specialization construct to mountain bike trail users for the first time to fill a gap in the literature and to help managers match diverse participants with the appropriate trails. By delineating subtypes (market segments) of mountain bikers (casual to committed), managers throughout the US can understand differing demographics, recreation experience preferences, benefits attained, and management preferences. This national study also examined the economic impact of mountain biking, and the methodology and data will be used as baselines for future studies at smaller scales. For example, this study was timely given the recent interest in expanding mountain bike trails in the Morgantown area. The recently developed Brad and Alys Smith Outdoor Economic Development Collaborative at WVU teamed up with IMBA to develop trail planning goals for Morgantown including to provide a diversity of trails to appeal to riders of all ability levels.

954 views • posted 05/19/2022