data viz 2021.1: The Great Bicycle Boom of 2020

Author by Leah Shea

3 minutes
Tags: data visualizationdata
data viz 2021.1:  The Great Bicycle Boom of 2020

#MakeoverMonday is a weekly data visualization exercise led by Eva Murray and Andy Kriebel. They post a data set and original viz - and we improve upon it! To participate or for more information, visit the Makeover Monday website

Week 1: The Great Bicycle Boom of 2020

Below is the original visualization. It depicts a spike in weekly US trail counts during the COVID pandemic.

Original Visualization

We start with two questions: 

1) What works?

  • Effective use of line chart to show the YOY increase from 2019 to 2020
  • Easy to read and simple

2) What doesn't?

  • It does not specify what type of counts - total, bike, or pedestrian; as the premise for the supporting article highlights the steep rise in bike activity on trails, we would expect the viz to show those relevant data points in context to each other
  • A bit boring, could be more visually engaging
  • The X axis is missing values

Updated Visualization by Leah Shea

final visualization

Click here for the full interactive viz on Tableau Public.


  • Loaded custom shapes into Tableau (a bike and a pedestrian icon)
    • bike icon pedestrian icon
  • Used a parameter to flex the date level of detail - you can see trends for the week, month, or quarter within the COVID timeframe
  • Added a min and max for the bike and pedestrian data points to understand the spike in bikes over pedestrians during the time period
  • Added context points for annual rate of change at the top of the viz
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