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“The Surprising Promise of Bicycling in America” Study to be Released

The upcoming report The Surprising Promise of Bicycling in America by Jay Walljasper spells out why bicycling is becoming more convenient and fun for millions of Americans. The report will be available for download on Tuesday, September 19th at PedalLove.org/Promise-of-Bicycling.

2017 marks two important anniversaries for bicycling:

1) The first on-street bike lanes were created in Davis California 50 years ago (Davis still enjoys the highest percentage of bicycling commuting in the U.S.) and

2) This year’s Interbike Tradeshow (Sept. 20-22) marks the 20th anniversary of “the big ask” – when bicycling advocates convinced the bike industry to fund the “Bikes Belong” political campaign to support continued national funding for bicycling. Spoiler alert: they succeeded. This funding sparked the creation of thousands of miles of bike lanes and trails in all 50 states. Unfortunately, much of this funding was scrapped by Congress in 2015.

“If you look at the bike infrastructure we had 20 years ago and what we have today, it’s mind-boggling,” says John Burke, president of Trek Bicycles. Burke also pledged the first $100,000 for the Bikes Belong campaign.

Once favored for transportation only by kids under 16, hipsters in places like Portland and Brooklyn, and of course MAMILS (Middle Aged Men in Lycra) for fitness — The Surprising Promise of Bicycling in America shows how bicycling is picking up popularity on many fronts.

Eight Highlights Include:

  • Bicycles now outsell cars in the U.S.
  • Bicycling isn’t just for temperate climates – bike commuting is way up in places like New York and Minnesota
  • The increase of women and people of color in bike advocacy leadership is radically changing who rides
  • Networks of protected bike lanes are making riding make safe and appealing for people 8 to 80
  • Bicycling is not just for young white males—low-income people bike more than anyone else, older Americans account for more than 1/3 of new bicyclists each year, and Latinos ride more than any other racial group
  • Bikeshare, which is changing who rides a bike, is available at tens of thousands of streetside stations ready across the country with the swipe of a credit card
  • Safe Routes to School and other innovative programs are successfully engaging a new generation of children and their parents to bike
  • E-bikes are the fastest growing category of bicycle sales in the country because they’re breaking down many of the barriers—hills, distance, wind—for a wider group of riders

Bike Friendly Policies + Infrastructure Are Key – But People Count Most

It’s people who push for the policies and infrastructure that improve bicycling conditions—and one of the most important new developments in biking is one you will never notice on the streets says veteran bicycle advocate Charlie Gandy: “The growth of organized local volunteers trained to tell their stories and who are strategically supported by well-staffed advocacy organization. Their mission is to show that communities that are safe and fun and convenient for bicycling are safe and fun and vibrant for everyone.”

The report will be available for download on Tuesday, September 19 at PedalLove.org

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