Go Back  Bike Forums > Bike Forums > General Cycling Discussion
Reload this Page >

Is Cycling Growing Or Declining In Your Area (U.S.)?

Notices
General Cycling Discussion Have a cycling related question or comment that doesn't fit in one of the other specialty forums? Drop on in and post in here! When possible, please select the forum above that most fits your post!

Is Cycling Growing Or Declining In Your Area (U.S.)?

Old 02-10-18, 10:43 AM
  #1  
Full Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: May 2014
Posts: 355
Likes: 0
Liked 12 Times in 6 Posts
Is Cycling Growing Or Declining In Your Area (U.S.)?

Statistically, cycling is growing on an international scale, but in the U.S., are you noticing an increase or a decline in cycling interest in your city/region? And if it's growing, what do you feel has been the catalyst for that? Growing wages per capita (cycling is known as a well-to-do sport, afterall), has your city government successfully promoted active lifestyles, more public awareness by cycling clubs, or something else? It would be particularly interesting to hear from folks who live in more typical cities and not the large metros, which seem to defy the statistics through sheer population.

I live in a city with a metro population of around 200,000. In four years time we've gone from four bike shops to one. Club ride participation has dropped 50-75% in just 3-4 years, and we've gone from around 25 well-attended group rides a week to five. For every 10 riders who disappear, there might be one new rider come in. Once-vibrant charity rides and unsanctioned local races have dissolved entirely. Even our triathlon-specific riding groups have dropped in attendance by 50% or more. I'd like to think it's a cyclical thing, but the decrease has been pretty dramatic and shows no sign of slowing down or turning back.

Are you seeing a similar scenario?
Dreww10 is offline  
Old 02-10-18, 11:02 AM
  #2  
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2007
Location: Allentown, Pennsylvania
Posts: 780

Bikes: 2018 Lynskey Cooper CX; 2007 Cannondale F4

Liked 155 Times in 64 Posts
My area (metropoliltan area population of about 200k as well) consists of mostly lower/no income utility cyclists who ride because they have to, not because they want to.


And while I'm sure there's at least a small population of cycling enthusiasts, I can't attend local organized group rides because they mandate helmet usage, and I don't own or wear a bicycle helmet (for various reasons I won't get into here).
General Geoff is offline  
Old 02-10-18, 11:31 AM
  #3  
Interocitor Command
 
Doctor Morbius's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2003
Location: The adult video section
Posts: 3,375

Bikes: 3 Road Bikes, 2 Hybrids

Liked 64 Times in 40 Posts
In Indianapolis interest has definitely been growing. I see a lot more people on bikes than I used to. Hopefully, it will continue.
Doctor Morbius is offline  
Old 02-10-18, 11:34 AM
  #4  
vespertine member
 
wipekitty's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2013
Location: Land of Angora, Turkey
Posts: 2,476

Bikes: Yes

Liked 220 Times in 163 Posts
Happily, it's a bit different in my area!

I live in a "city" (I hesitate to call it that) of about 50,000, with an adjacent community to the north with another ~20,000, surrounded by smaller communities and rural areas for maybe another ~25,000.

The largest growth areas I've observed are among women (road and mountain biking), family cycling, and winter cycling (especially fatbiking). There are a ton of shop rides, group rides, and events/races for all different skill levels and disciplines - including road, MTB, gravel, and fatbiking. There's also a huge social ride (bar hop) that attracts insane numbers of people, like over a thousand. I haven't seen a ton of growth in commuting, but that's unsurprising for an area that isn't really urban.

I think all the local bike shops - I believe there are four, but I might be missing some - have done a good job promoting cycling and catering to different interests. It may be helpful that there are not many alternatives for purchasing bicycles locally - no Performance Bike, REI, etc. - so anyone who doesn't want an X-mart bike is getting one that fits properly and includes free tuneups.

My town and the adjacent community have also been doing a ton to improve cycling infrastructure. There are strong local and state advocacy groups, which have been working to improve trail access for cyclists and educate cyclists and drivers.
wipekitty is offline  
Old 02-10-18, 11:38 AM
  #5  
Senior Member
 
tyrion's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2015
Location: San Diego, California
Posts: 4,076

Bikes: Velo Orange Piolet

Liked 2,011 Times in 972 Posts
e-biking is sure growing around here (San Diego).
tyrion is offline  
Old 02-10-18, 11:39 AM
  #6  
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2005
Location: Northern California
Posts: 10,879
Likes: 0
Liked 5 Times in 5 Posts
There are a lot of different types of cycling. Cities in my area have been building a lot of bike lanes over the last 15 years or so and most counts say the number of people bicycling for transportation has more than doubled over the last 10 years.

Bicycling for sport is harder to measure. Attendance at the biggest events is generally down, but there seems to be more events and prices are way up. 10 years ago, century rides usually charged $25 or so per person. Now some of them are charging $100 and Gran Fondos and charity events cost a lot more than that. I think membership in my local cycling club is up about 40% compared to 10 years ago, but there are a lot of clubs in my area and I have no idea what the total membership is.
johnny99 is offline  
Old 02-10-18, 11:51 AM
  #7  
Senior Member
 
GrainBrain's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2017
Location: Central Io-way
Posts: 2,690

Bikes: LeMond Zurich, Giant Talon 29er

Liked 643 Times in 480 Posts
We have a major University in our town, so that helps to always have fresh blood. It probably evens out though when they graduate.

There's been expansions of MUPs here and proposals of expensive MUPs to connect larger trail systems so I take that as a good sign. People seem positive to it since it's not just cyclists benefiting. The rails to trails program is a God send to the mid west. I see lots of families enjoying cycling on the trails.

Also interesting is in my aggressive punk riding, there has been pretty much zero negativity towards me by automobiles. Nothing like the crazy stuff I see else where. Infact drivers are often too courteous.

As far as organized rides go I have yet to join, and I'm only aware of one group really that's only maybe an average of fifteen members. They seem really friendly though.
GrainBrain is offline  
Old 02-10-18, 12:00 PM
  #8  
WALSTIB
 
hillyman's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2002
Posts: 1,798
Liked 384 Times in 183 Posts
As a solo rider I'm still riding with the same number of people as I always did. But as I travel the country I still see alot of bikes. Even some of the homeless are riding old good name brand bikes.
hillyman is offline  
Old 02-10-18, 12:02 PM
  #9  
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2015
Location: Nashville, TN.
Posts: 2,176

Bikes: 2020 Specialized Roubaix Comp SC - 2016 Specialized Roubaix SL4 - 2015 Giant Roam 2 Disc

Liked 338 Times in 224 Posts
With the soaring popularity of Nashville the last couple of decades, people are moving here in droves. Our traffic is absolutely horrendous these days. Back 20 or 30 years ago, you could move around at ease during rush hour. Now, it's practically gridlocked. Super frustrating. Which brings me to cycling...

Don't have any stats to back me up, but it visually seems like there are more cyclists lately. Other cyclists I talk to seem to think so as well. So, I would say yes. With traffic the way it is, it sure makes sense.

Note to the rest of the U.S...
Nashville, TN. SUCKS! WORST CITY IN AMERICA! SAVE YOURSELF MAJOR DISAPPOINTMENT AND DO NOT MOVE HERE!!!

On a different note...
I follow NASCAR, and those boys sure are into cycling lately. Almost all the drivers, crews, etc.. are into it. Jimmie Johnson was instrumental into turning his sport on to it. He (and a few others) could very well do it professionally. I follow several of them on Strava, and they're pretty impressive.
one4smoke is offline  
Old 02-10-18, 12:05 PM
  #10  
Senior Member
 
mcours2006's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2014
Location: Toronto, CANADA
Posts: 6,209

Bikes: ...a few.

Liked 410 Times in 236 Posts
Not U.S. here, but I would hazard to guess that it's growing. I've been running the same roads frequently used by cyclists near my own neighbourhood for over ten years and I feel like there are more cyclists using them these past few years. Not very scientific, I know, and it may be that I'm taking more notice.
mcours2006 is offline  
Old 02-10-18, 12:13 PM
  #11  
Member
 
Mars_'s Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2018
Location: nyc
Posts: 29
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
I’ve seen an increase in my area, specially since they added those (sh)City bikes around. Just hope those who are getting into riding bikes stay safe, cuz drivers around here are bad
Mars_ is offline  
Old 02-10-18, 12:13 PM
  #12  
Senior Member
 
bkentr's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2018
Location: Veneta OR
Posts: 109

Bikes: yes, Bikes

Likes: 0
Liked 1 Time in 1 Post
There is a small increase in interest around here.
We are about 20 miles west of Eugene, OR where there is a larger interest than here.

Last year at our local yearly "Harvest Party", street fair, there was even a Bike Show, complete with prizes.

Best in show was restored track bike, sorry forgot the name, that was just flawless, even the spokes were polished.
Had vintage wooden rims.
bkentr is offline  
Old 02-10-18, 12:17 PM
  #13  
WALSTIB
 
hillyman's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2002
Posts: 1,798
Liked 384 Times in 183 Posts
Originally Posted by one4smoke

Don't have any stats to back me up, but it visually seems like there are more cyclists lately. Other cyclists I talk to seem to think so as well. So, I would say yes. With traffic the way it is, it sure makes sense.
parked my truck at the TA and rode my bike into Nashville a couple years ago. Over the foot bridge and into town. Right up there in weird with Sunset Strip Hollywood and Las Vegas
hillyman is offline  
Old 02-10-18, 12:38 PM
  #14  
Senior Member
 
MinnMan's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: Minneapolis
Posts: 5,819

Bikes: 2022 Salsa Beargrease Carbon Deore 11, 2020 Salsa Warbird GRX 600, 2020 Canyon Ultimate CF SLX disc 9.0 Di2, 2020 Catrike Eola, 2016 Masi cxgr, 2011, Felt F3 Ltd, 2010 Trek 2.1, 2009 KHS Flite 220

Liked 3,080 Times in 1,903 Posts
Bicycle riding and bicycle culture are booming in the Twin Cities - there's a continued increase in bike ridership. The main cycling artery in Minneapolis, the Midtown Greenway, opened a little more than 10 years ago and now logs 10,000 bicycles/day in the summer
(see Fig. 1, here https://www.minneapolismn.gov/www/gro...msp-197770.pdf)

Bicycling infrastructure continues to grow. Saint Paul was/is way behind Minneapolis in bike paths and dedicated bike lanes, but is trying to catch up. There are also big increases in commuting in general, winter riding (including everything from commuting to fatbiking) and, in the last 5 years, an explosion in interest in gravel biking and in gravel events.

BUT, some areas are down. Conventional recreational road cycling clubs are losing ridership, in part, I think, because their membership is aging. Younger riders tend to be more interested in other types of riding and/or gather in less conventional ways (internet meetups, for example).
MinnMan is offline  
Old 02-10-18, 01:01 PM
  #15  
Senior Member
 
SouthFLpix's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: Miami, FL
Posts: 1,230

Bikes: 2007 Giant Cypress DX, Windsor Tourist 2011

Likes: 0
Liked 1 Time in 1 Post
There are places in the city where more people ride, mainly because traffic is much slower (Miami Beach) and there is a very strong law enforcement presence, so you can't just run someone down and expect to ride off. As for the rest of the city, only the daredevils ride, and I am proud to count myself among this number. I did visit Gainesville recently, in Northern Florida, and it was very bike friendly.
SouthFLpix is offline  
Old 02-10-18, 01:15 PM
  #16  
rebmeM roineS
 
JanMM's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: Metro Indy, IN
Posts: 16,217

Bikes: Bacchetta Giro A20, RANS V-Rex, RANS Screamer

Liked 348 Times in 227 Posts
The main Indy cycling club's membership numbers are down but there are more people riding bikes in the area.
__________________
Bacchetta Giro A20, RANS V-Rex, RANS Screamer
JanMM is offline  
Old 02-10-18, 01:52 PM
  #17  
Senior Member
 
Gravity Aided's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2011
Location: Normal, Illinois
Posts: 2,714

Bikes: Trek 600 ,1980Raleigh Competition G.S., 1986 Schwinn Passage, Facet Biotour 2000, Falcon San Remo 531,Schwinn Sierra, Sun Seeker tricycle recumbent,1985 Bianchi Squadra

Liked 12 Times in 9 Posts
Fairly strong ridership and cycling here on Central Illinois. I live in Bloomington /Normal, a very cycling oriented area, as is Peoria.
Gravity Aided is offline  
Old 02-10-18, 01:59 PM
  #18  
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2015
Posts: 609
Liked 29 Times in 19 Posts
Increasing in the Charlotte, NC area. But everything is increasing here.
RShantz is offline  
Old 02-10-18, 02:10 PM
  #19  
Senior Member
 
John_V's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2011
Location: Tampa, Florida
Posts: 5,585

Bikes: 2017 Colnago C-RS, 2012 Colnago Ace, 2010 Giant Cypress hybrid

Liked 122 Times in 85 Posts
Cycling in the Tampa/St Petersburg area is growing quite rapidly. Unfortunately, Florida leads the country in cyclist fatalities and the Bay Area leads in the state. Cities and the state are now realizing something must be done and are working on putting more bike lanes on existing roads and changing the cycling/pedestrian infrastructure. I canít wait for them to finish connecting existing trails so one can ride from St. Petersburg to Daytona Beach without leaving a paved bike path.
John_V is offline  
Old 02-10-18, 02:29 PM
  #20  
Me duelen las nalgas
 
canklecat's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2015
Location: Texas
Posts: 13,513

Bikes: Centurion Ironman, Trek 5900, Univega Via Carisma, Globe Carmel

Liked 2,807 Times in 1,803 Posts
Cycling is growing in Fort Worth and, judging from social media contacts, doing well elsewhere in Texas. My acquaintances in Houston, Austin, San Antonio and Dallas report good experiences and a vibrant cycling community. And I've met a couple of local and regional cyclists through bike forums.

Fort Worth's Mayor Betsy Price is a fitness buff and very supportive of cycling. She participates in group rides, including the summer Tour de Fort Worth corresponding with the Tour de France schedule, although our local rides are usually modestly paced 10-20 mile rides. That helps a lot. It also helps to ignore the usual handful of anti-cycling curmudgeons who infest the comment sections on local media pages.

The Trinity Trails and other cycling/jogging/pedestrian paths encourage more fitness cycling, especially among casual cyclists and folks who prefer to avoid city streets.

I'll use those for transportation routes to and from downtown, at least during rush hour. Outside rush hour it's often shorter and faster to take other routes.

I usually prefer the streets and ride mostly semi-rural and rural areas. Lots of serious cyclists riding the same routes. Over time we'll need to make adjustments as housing developments will increase traffic on narrow two lane farm to market roads that were never designed for that much traffic. One particularly popular route with cyclists will probably be unsafe to ride in five years.

I also see lots of utility cyclists, folks who are de-horsed by the economy and need transportation beyond the bare bones bus service to the outskirts of Fort Worth. I'm also a utility cyclist and ride or walk for most grocery shopping.

A key to promoting any cycling community -- whether casual group rides or competition -- is an energetic and charismatic promoter and organizer. This is true for any community activity, whether cycling or live community theater. The burden invariably falls onto the shoulders of one person, supported by a tiny handful of other folks.

If you want to see more casual family oriented rides, more pub crawls, more amateur competition in time trials, cyclocross, etc., *BE* that person. Nobody will do it for you. Usually it starts with a couple of friends chatting over coffee or beer, saying "Why don't we...?"

Next thing you know, one of the two people is posting schedules on Facebook, tacking up notices in bike shops, etc. They'll meet once a week or more often. The key is to be there, even if nobody else shows up. Keep doing it, post about it, support and encourage folks who express an interest and do show up, and it'll happen.

But it takes that one person. Almost invariably if that one person leaves the area, becomes incapacitated or experiences life changes that make it impossible to continue participating, the activity declines unless there's a small core group with someone else willing to pick up the slack.
canklecat is offline  
Old 02-10-18, 02:35 PM
  #21  
Senior Member
 
Jim from Boston's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2008
Posts: 7,384
Liked 218 Times in 171 Posts
Is Cycling Growing Or Declining In Your Area (U.S.)?

From my experience as a commuter and weekend road cyclist, I would say it has increased in Metro Boston. More specifically, back in 2011, I was able to post about progress.
Originally Posted by Juan Foote
Wow, I have vowed to never DRIVE in Boston again, much less to attempt to ride a bicycle there. You are a brave bunch.
Originally Posted by godshammgod
It's honestly not that bad. Sure, in the heart of the city (Back Bay, Kenmore Square [where I (Jim from Boston live)]) it can be a little dicey, but most areas are quite nice.

Especially if you're riding from Cambridge. That's a pretty cycling friendly area.
Originally Posted by Jim from Boston
One of the big changes in the Boston cycling scene over the past couple years has been the interest that Mayor Menino has taken in bicycling, and he has appointed a bike czar, introduced several cycling lanes in those above-mentioned areas in the heart of the city, and instituted a bicycle sharing system, called “Hubway,” particularly centered in the downtown and surrounding neighborhoods.

(Boston is known, besides Beantown, as the Hub [of the Universe] )
Originally Posted by jimmuller
…(from 2014) mr_bill, nice tribute to Mr. Menino. Indeed we miss him already. A politician who seemed to care more for his city and its people than for his own political agenda. A man who was easy to like. Hard to believe, isn't it? Too bad he didn't have much time to enjoy his retirement.)
and it continues today.

Last edited by Jim from Boston; 02-10-18 at 02:41 PM.
Jim from Boston is offline  
Old 02-10-18, 03:01 PM
  #22  
Senior Member
 
Jim from Boston's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2008
Posts: 7,384
Liked 218 Times in 171 Posts
Originally Posted by canklecat
Cycling is growing in Fort Worth and,judging from social media contacts, doing well elsewhere in Texas. Myacquaintances in Houston, Austin, San Antonio and Dallas report goodexperiences and a vibrant cycling community. And I've met a couple of local andregional cyclists through bike forums.

Fort Worth's Mayor Betsy Price is a fitness buff and very supportive of cycling. She participates in group rides, including the summer Tour de Fort Worth corresponding with the Tour de France schedule, although our local rides are usually modestly paced 10-20 mile rides. That helps a lot. It also helps to ignore the usual handful of anti-cycling curmudgeons who infest the comment sections on local media pages...

But it takes that one person. Almost invariably if that one person leaves the area, becomes incapacitated or experiences life changes that make it impossible to continue participating, the activity declines unless there's a small core group with someone else willing to pick up the slack.
Originally Posted by Jim from Boston
(from 2011)One of the big changes in the Boston cycling scene over the past couple years has been the interest that Mayor Menino has taken in bicycling, and he has appointed a bike czar, introduced several cycling lanes in those above-mentioned areas in the heart of the city, and instituted a bicycle sharing system, called “Hubway,” particularly centered in the downtownand surrounding neighborhoods...
Originally Posted by jimmuller
…(from 2014) mr_bill, nice tribute to Mr. Menino. Indeed we miss him already. A politician who seemed to care more for his city and its people than for his own political agenda. A man who was easy to like. Hard to believe, isn't it? Too bad he didn't have much time to enjoy his retirement.)
and it continues today.
Interestingly enough, @canklecat, I posted my thread just before I saw yours, and we have our curmudgeons (link) here too.

Last edited by Jim from Boston; 02-10-18 at 03:39 PM.
Jim from Boston is offline  
Old 02-10-18, 03:09 PM
  #23  
Banned
 
Join Date: Jun 2010
Location: NW,Oregon Coast
Posts: 43,598

Bikes: 8

Liked 1,360 Times in 866 Posts
its very seasonal , here, busy in the summer, sparse in the other 3/4 of the year.. lots of bike tourist visits during the busy times..
fietsbob is offline  
Old 02-10-18, 03:44 PM
  #24  
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2009
Posts: 6,216

Bikes: Colnago, Van Dessel, Factor, Cervelo, Ritchey

Liked 7,800 Times in 3,119 Posts
It's snowing here today so, for the moment, cycling is on the decline.
tomato coupe is offline  
Old 02-10-18, 08:19 PM
  #25  
Senior Member
 
woodcraft's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2012
Location: Nor Cal
Posts: 6,016
Likes: 0
Liked 923 Times in 569 Posts
My club is somewhat down, as well,

but overall cycling is booming- hordes out on the roads, and trails.
woodcraft is offline  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Terms of Service - Your Privacy Choices -

Copyright © 2024 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. All rights reserved. Use of this site indicates your consent to the Terms of Use.