The Surprising Future of Bicycling: 12 Reasons Why Its Popularity Will Continue to Soar


Maria Contreras Tebbutt teaches bike safety in Woodland, Calif. Photo by Kate Hoff

The following is from the report The Surprising Future of Bicycling in America. A fundraising campaign is underway to expand the report into a full-scale book.

For too long biking has been viewed skeptically as a white people thing, a big city thing, an ultra-fit athlete thing, a 20-something thing, a warm-weather thing or an upper-middle class thing. And above all else, it's been seen as a guy thing. But guess what? The times, they are a changing. More than 100 million Americans rode a bike in 2014, and bicycles have out-sold cars most years in the U.S. since 2003.

Actually, Latinos bike more than any other racial group, followed by Asians and Native Americans. African Americans and whites bike at about the same rate.  Actually, most bicyclists are from low-income households, according to census figures — as many as 49 percent of bike commuters make less than $25,000 a year.

As for other misperceptions, keep in mind that Minneapolis (in chilly Minnesota) and Arlington, VA (in suburban Washington, DC) rank among America’s top towns for biking. And the one place in the U.S. where bikes account for more than 20 percent of traffic on local streets is Davis, CA (pop: 65,000).

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