Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Show me the money

Sometimes, bike news comes along and gives me hope. I try to not let it go to my head, because the next story I read will likely be about some drunk, text-messaging dumbass in a monster truck who ran over a cyclist and didn't get charged with anything.

But I occasionally like to savor glimmers of optimism, if only for a few moments. The folks at Paramount Cycles yesterday posted a Facebook link to this story at the Huffington Post about the increasing number of people taking vacations on bikes. More people are taking trips for events like RAGBRAI, or spending their free time (and money) on commercial tours.

Best of all, cities and states are starting to recognize the economic impact of cycling. That leads to more investment to lure bike riders and provide for their needs. The state of Wisconsin reports that out-of-state visitors traveling there to ride bikes generated half a billion dollars in economic activity.

And that's Wisconsin.

It's enough to make a person think that maybe—just maybe—a day will come when we'll be seen not as Lycra-wearing goofballs, but as the economic force we actually are. You don't think we're an economic force? Look at all the bike-rack-equipped cars in the parking lots of hotels, stores and restaurants in places like Moab, Crested Butte and Fruita, or any other well-known bike destination. Ask a member of the chamber of commerce in one of those towns what he thinks of bike riders, he'll probably say one thing: Cha-ching!

Speaking of traveling bike riders, today's Fabulous Finger Photo comes from my friend Debbie, who recently took her snow bike and rode off into the sunset on a beach down south. I guess this was her way of saying goodbye.

Sort of reminds me of the departing gesture of a girlfriend I once knew.


Daniel said...

I couldn’t agree more. As someone who has been fortunate enough to spend the last few years riding all over the western states I can attest that the communities that ‘get it’ are definitely reaping the rewards from the efforts they put into supporting MTB in their area. Early Oct I spent a week in Bend, OR and it has to be the best example I have seen yet of a MTB friendly town outside of Moab. But where Moab embraces the 4x4’s and other forms of ATV’s Bend seems to be focused on MTB, love it. I did a short write up over on my blog-

Speaking of Moab, I was there a week ago, and being Nov I expected things to be slow, not the case. Hotels were busy, campgrounds full. My travel plans had me leaving on Friday, the line of bike toting vehicles that were headed into town for the weekend as I was headed out resembled a parade, was awesome to see and I sure did not want to leave.

Anonymous said...

Agree. And really like your new blog look. Must be some outstanding icebiking there.

Unknown said...

Tim, I'm headed on a vacation next month and there are at least two tours that are in the works that I'm pretty stoked about.

P.S. I'm not buying the house so I might have to get back to my MTB shopping. ;-)

Greg Heil said...

Dude, definitely agree with you. MTBing=dollars!