The Massive Value of Bikes and Cycling
Some new data from the Outdoor Industry Association Trade Organization (OIA) indicate that we in the United States are shelling out significantly to feed our collective cycling habits, which is obviously a good thing.
Bikes are more than fitness…
The third-ever economic impact study which covers the outdoor sector found that almost $97 billion is spent on wheeled sports alone, notably cycling.
This figure is out of the total $887 which is spent yearly on outdoor adventuring.
It further calculated the amount spent on bike and skateboard gear, which roughly adds up to $14 billion, along with purchases on skateboards and bike trips, which totaled at $83 million. This helped create 847,559 jobs.
It should be noted that the OIA did not provide specific details on cycling alone, as these figures are combined.
Bikes and Infrastructure
Almost all bicycling readers know the value of buying bikes and do not need any further explanations. However, the figures involved are so impressive that it makes sense to evaluate our purchases outside of what is offered by #RideStoke.
This means that bike enthusiasts like us have a lot of spending power in the economy as a result.
President of the national advocacy organization PeopleForBikes, Tim Blumenthal believes that the OIA report attests the indispensability of bicycling and bike-related businesses which offer the best electric bikes value, as contributors to the economies of communities, states, and the nation.
Thus, he believes that investments in better bike infrastructure should be continued for reaping such financial benefits.
The report from OIA perceives the large $887 billion figure to be also a mandate. Essentially, supporting the biking economy would require a commitment from the country towards the protection of American land and water, along with investment towards outdoor recreation, both on a local and federal level.
Additionally, outdoor recreation should also be promoted as a major part of public health, both in policy and in programming.
Bikes and a Healthy Lifestyle
The report also gives us a clear picture of the value of bike buying, in relation to other factors such as improved environmental and human health, which factors into the spending. For example, reports indicated that outdoor recreation spending was triple of annual gasoline expenditure.
The same report also highlights the contributions of outdoor recreation towards higher senses of wellbeing. This includes a reduction in ADHD symptoms in children. Better educational outcomes and reduced crime rates are also seen in areas with better outdoor infrastructure.
In a bid to underscore the value of bikes to economics, the OIA report also highlighted cities like Darrington, Washington which suffered a devastating landslide in 2014.
The city has since been able to recover financially from the disaster, a large part of which can be attributed to the creation of a mountain bike park among other outdoor recreational facilities.
This helped them become a finalist for America’s Best Community award.
According to the authors from the OIA study, America’s outdoor recreation asset is the common trust of citizens.
Thus, for cyclists, the aforementioned $100 billion figure should serve as leverage in the fight for the rights of cyclists and more bike-friendly infrastructure.
This is also good news for the growing bike industry.