Inventing the Pandemic Lifestyles: Bicycle Tourism during COVID-19

B. J. Sujibto,1* Mira Arba'atun2

   1 UIN Sunan Kalijaga Yogyakarta
   2 UIN Sunan Kalijaga Yogyakarta
   * Corresponding Author


The COVID-19 outbreak has harshly accelerated existing future of social life in general and changed how people approach and act toward it, including in the aspect of sport and tourism, that can be claimed to have created the pandemic's new social orders. This article, in essence, examines the cycling meanings and experiences of Yogyakarta’s cyclists in both individual and communal contexts during the COVID-19 pandemic. Having been categorized as an active sport which supports social and physical distance campaigns, the shift of meaning of cycle tourism that has been chosen by society both to increase immune system and to enjoy sightseeing at the same time is applied to critically explain the way how people are understanding cycling itself. In line with the motivation and rational choice, the meaning of cycling has shown very interesting facts shifted from regular sport to be more valuable due to the experiences of life disruptions during a pandemic. By applying qualitative descriptive methods, this research conducted some observations to cycling communities and interviews with personal cyclists who have been actively cycling during the pandemic. This research found two interesting findings, first, the shift of meaning and awareness of cycling is considered as a pandemic sport because of a compatibility with its health protocols and as a sustainable tourism sector; and second, the emergence of cycle tourism as a pandemic lifestyle shaped constantly with social narratives and cultural performances of a pandemic pushing people to extremely adapt to its challenges. Other aspects of cycling to be psychological therapy or refreshing from boredom of pandemic’s stay-at-home rules and in specific ways of boosting the immune system as an active sport have become additional notes and findings explained by this article.


Cycle tourism, Community, Pandemic, COVID-19, Lifestyle


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