Do you feel stressed while cycling? You are not alone — many cyclists feel unsafe on roads. Brains on Bikes used Google Glass and Electroencephalography (EEG) headsets to investigate feelings of confidence and safety in 15 cyclists.
Our initial research showed that people often don’t cycle because they lack confidence or feel unsafe on the road. We therefore designed a pilot study with 15 participants of varying cycling experience, to find out how they really feel while cycling, what might cause feelings of stress and how we might improve the situation.
The participants cycled a short route in Inverleith while talking about how they felt. They wore an EEG headset which measured their stress levels and Google Glass which video recorded what they saw and said.
Due to issues with data collection, the EEG data varied in quality. However, the video and commentary data was useful in showing just how stressful cycling can be for inexperienced cyclists in particular, and the kinds of things that cause stress, such as Crewe Toll roundabout.
Finally, we used the data with a participatory design approach to create a prototype intervention that helps encourage people to cycle by increasing their confidence on the road. Other applications for the data include raising awareness of how it feels to be a cyclist and of the issues for cyclists in Inverleith and elsewhere.