COVID-19, commuter territories and the e-bike boom

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The appearance and integration of e-bikes in public space is a source of much debate worldwide. This paper offers insights to these debates by reflecting on how Deleuze and Guattari's concept of assemblage as territory helps us to understand the uptake of e-bike commuter cycling during the Covid-19 pandemic through empirical material from a study conducted in Sydney, Australia. Here we conceptualise commuter journeys in terms of processes of deterritorialisation and reterritorialisation; experienced through the affective territories generated by e-bikes. The disclosure of commuter cycling sensations generated by the pandemic disruptions to commuter routines provided an important lens through which to understand the uptake of e-bikes. The paper concludes by showing the utility of the concept of territory as a means of theorising changes to everyday mobility practices.

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Australian Research Council



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