MID CITY NEWSPAPER GROUP | JULY 2016 |
San Diego Becoming North America’s Bicycling Capital Report by San Diego Sport Innovators San Diego is becoming North America’s bicycling capital, where annual revenues from wholesale and retail sectors of the bicycling industry top $547 million, according to a report by San Diego Sport Innovators. In the wholesale cycling and related manufacturing, there are currently more than 50 companies with annual revenues of $97.4 million, according to the report. The retail sector — bikes and related cycling gear — total $220 million per year generated by 227 independent bicycle dealers, with those IBDs employing an estimated 1,226 workers. Other bike-related retail activity totals $230 million with $56 million in retail salaries and wages. The report also focused on San Diego’s Cycling Consumer. Onethird of San Diego County residents or 1.1 million people currently participate in cycling. That’s a cycling population that exceeds the entire population of top cycling cities like Austin, Texas (885,400), Portland, Ore. (609,500) and Boulder, Colo. (102,200). Additionally, 37 percent of San Diego cyclists or 470,000 identify themselves as “frequent/avid” cyclists; San Diego cyclists are 29 percent more likely to purchase a new bike in the next year than U.S. cyclists overall; and San Diego has experienced an 84 percent increase in the number of bicycle commuters since 2000. The report pointed to San Diego demographics that support both cycling participation and industry growth. San Diego’s median household and per capita income is $63,996 and $31,043, respectively, versus the U.S. totals of $53,482 and $28,555. An important statistic to cycling growth is that San Diego’s 18-34 age group totals 27.4 percent of the population or No. 1 in the country. San Diego continues to be a pioneering leader nationally with an emphasis on high-performance fitness; leading engineering of high performance machines; the birthplace and hotbed of Triathlon training; and a political will to get the population out of cars and onto bicycles, the report states. As of 2015, it said, San Diego County has approximately 1,340 miles of bikeway facilities, with the city of San Diego planning to more than double that number by 2030.