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Spatial media and cycling spaces: a theory of coded attractors

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Original languageEnglish
Accepted/In press29 Jun 2019
Published29 Jul 2019

King's Authors


This paper contributes to the literature on the digital geographies of cycling and everyday mobility by further examining the ways that spatial media have become embedded in the riding practices of amateur road cyclists. Road cycling offers a useful case study for examining the complexity of these relations because it is a primarily mobile practice that unfolds across multiple spaces, all of which may be contextually mediated by people, technologies and environments in various ways. Using empirical evidence taken from an ethnographic study exploring the impacts of spatial media in an amateur road cycling club, the paper demonstrates why geographers could pay more attention to the socio-material assemblages of leisure spaces. The paper complicates the notion that cycling is simply mediated, tracked and datafied by digital technologies, by arguing that cycling spaces are mediated by a multiplicity of socio-material modulations. Adapting the Deleuzian concept of attractors, the paper demonstrates how spatial media can be conceptualized as a form of ‘coded attractor’, which compete with other socio-material attractors to transduce and shape the spaces and practices of cycling. It is argued that this theoretical approach that could be applied by geographers and others seeking alternative theoretical perspectives on studies of spatial media and everyday mobility.

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