Busting myths about people who bike & reasons to build cycling infrastructure

PeopleForBikesAs the Richmond area continues to develop bike infrastructure — including buffered and separated bike lanes, bike trails and more — people in our region need to keep an open mind about who is going to benefit from the trails. It will likely be many more people than they expect, from much wider walks in life, across much greater economic earning levels.

Last year, 104 million people rode a bicycle at least once, according to PeopleForBikes, who conducted a U.S. Bicycling Participation Study in 2014. There is a PDF of the study available on their website, for the price of registering your name and email address.

They also gathered some of the key findings in an infographic in an effort to bust seven myths about people who bike. Their hope is to give cyclists a little more knowledge before they go to their next forum or locality meeting where they may be inclined to defend the need for more bike infrastructure. Visit the Participation Study and the PeopleForBikes Statistics Library for more statistics.

“In 2014, People for Bikes commissioned the U.S. Bicycling Participation Study. Our data, which came from more than 25,000 people, helped us separate fact from fiction and bust a bunch of myths about people who ride bikes,” according to a post on their website about the study.

Busting 7 myths about people who bike

1. Not many people ride bikes. In 2014, 104 million people rode a bicycle at least once, accounting for one third of the U.S. population.

Among Americans (ages 18 and older) who didn’t ride, only 12 percent have never ridden a bicycle.

“Thirty percent of those who rode in 2014 did so fewer than six days. These infrequent riders represent the best opportunity for increasing participation frequency.”

2. Bike riders don’t have cars. The study showed that 88 percent of adults who biked also drove a car.

3. People who ride bikes are white. The study showed that 42 percent of bicycle riders identify with racial/ethnic groups other than White/Caucasian.

4. People who ride bikes are rich. The study showed that 40 percent of adults who rode a bike have incomes less than $20,000.

5. People who ride bikes are fearless. The study showed that 46 percent of all adults would be more likely to ride with physical separation, and 52 percent of adults worry about being hit by a car.

6. People who ride bikes are young. More than 50 percent of adults 55 and older see bicycling as a convenient way to get around and 44 percent said they want to bike more often.

7. People who ride bikes are men. Of the 104 million people who biked in 2014, 45 million (44 percent) were women compared to 59 million men (56 percent).

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