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The Economic “Cycle”

shutterstock_129242276If you give a girl a bike, she will buy a helmet, cool shades, colorful biking clothes to look good and lots of techie gadgets. Once she’s ready to ride, what will she do next? She stops at a local watering hole to buy some water to refill her fancy water bottle and meets some new biking friends. She meets her friends on a bumpy road and realizes her tire is flat. She heads to the local repair shop and sees the touring bike of her dreams in the window…

shutterstock_211287034According to Bicycle Retailer and Industry News (BRAIN) bicycle manufacturing is a $6 billion national industry. Recreation bicyclists spend millions of dollars on meals, transportation, lodging, gifts and entertainment and the tourism benefits state, regional and local economies.

We all know that biking is good exercise and good for your health, but studies published through the Adventure Cycling Association show that bicycling also has a strong economic impact throughout our states and communities. Bike recreation and tourism contributes multi-millions of dollars all around the U.S. and abroad. Visitors engaged in organized bicycling activities bring an increased demand for recreational and leisure goods and services. Studies have also shown that properties within 50 miles of bike paths and trails will sell for thousands more than similar homes.IMG_8938

Many communities, resorts, and cities across most of the U.S. have conducted focus studies for developing infrastructure for bicycling. Business benefits from investments that attract people on bikes. A lot of parking in a space (12 bikes per 1 car space) means more customers for local business. Many communities have made a modest investment in paths, expanded shoulders and trails which have proven to impact the local economy by attracting visitors, residents and businesses. Building cycling infrastructure to attract bike riders is extremely cost effective. Widening shoulders and creating shared-use paths and lanes is far cheaper compared to road transportation projects and enhance shopping districts, communities, generate tourism and support business.shutterstock_252245275

Communities that provide bicycle infrastructure for transportation and recreation have seen the benefits by attracting business, tourism and active residents. It is a more desirable neighborhood when traffic slows down and residents get the benefits of increased fitness and health, not to mention fuel savings, less CO2 emissions, and reduced air and noise pollution. Bicycling means Business.

… So she buys the bike of her dreams. And if you give a girl a bike, she’s going to need a new outfit to go with it!

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