While you can pay thousands for high-end bikes, there are low-end and mid-range bikes at affordable prices for almost anyone in the United States. Plus, the used bike market is relatively strong, so people who want to save even more can always find deals.
What this means is that most people have access to bikes if they want them. And many do. Research shows that around 100 million people take their bikes out for at least one ride every year in the United States.
Maybe you have a bike in your garage. You take it out once or twice every spring, when the weather warms up. Or, perhaps you are a college student in Connecticut, and you ride your bike all the time. You do not want to shell out far more money for a car, gasoline and parking passes, so a bike is the perfect means of transportation.
If you are in that second category, you are also in the minority. While studies found that 100 million people enjoy cycling, a mere 14 million get their bikes out twice per week. That means that, for the vast majority of people, biking is not a habit. They do not do it consistently. Why is this?
When asked, most people said that they wished they used their bikes more. It stands to reason that a lot of people who never bike still wish that they did. So, if it is what Americans want, why don’t they do it?
For the majority (54 percent), it is because they worry about getting into an accident with a motor vehicle. It is just not worth the risk of a car or truck crash. Cyclists understand their lack of protection. They know the risk of serious or even fatal injuries. And so those bikes stay in the garage, even though they think cycling sounds fun in theory.
Another key note is that 46 percent of people in the study claimed they would probably ride more often if they had specific areas that were set aside from traffic, with physical barriers or at least open space separating them. They just do not trust modern drivers. After all, a simple mistake may lead to a dent or some scratches on the car for a driver, even if it puts the cyclist in the hospital.
Income may also play a role. The study discovered that those who made less than $20,000 per year — many college students fall into this category — and people who made more than $100,000 per year had the greatest odds of cycling in the last year. People with incomes in that middle bracket still did use bikes, but not with the same frequency.
Accidents and options
Do you plan to go cycling this year? If you suffer injuries in an accident, make sure you understand all of your legal options.