Mid-Life Cycling

Mid-Life Cycling

25 August 2017

This Price Is Right

$88 billion isn't chump change, even for Warren Buffett.

It's greater than the GDPs of about 50 countries, including Moldova, Kosovo and Rwanda.  Moreover, it's the value of a not-insignificant industry.

Now, when I say that something is "not insignificant" on this blog, you know it has something to do with cycling.  In this case, that $88 billion is the "economic impact" bicycles have on the United States.  

The fellow who pointed that out ought to know:  His state is one that benefits more than most from all of those bikes, parts, helmets and related items cyclists buy--and from related services.

He is David Price, who represents North Carolina's Fourth District in the US Congress.  That district includes much of "The Triangle," home to several leading universities and research laboratories--where one finds, not surprisingly, lots of cyclists.  

Also, right in the heart of that district is the headquarters of Performance Bicycle, one of the world's largest cycling retailers.  Their "command center" employs 200 people, while another 2000 work in its online store or retail shops.

It also just happens that some 35 bicycle equipment manufacturers are located in the Tar Heel State, as well as 229 brick-and-mortar retailers and 44,103 PeopleForBikes members.

I don't know how many people are employed by those manufacturers or retailers, but I'm sure that it's more than a few.  And that's just in North Carolina:  There are surely thousands, if not millions, more in the rest of the country.

So why is Congressman Price pointing out the economic impact of the bicycle in the US? 

David Price

He is part of the PeopleForBikes Summer Campaign, which includes a tour of bicycle industry companies and retailers.  The campaign, says Price, "highlights the impact that Federal infrastructure investment programs have in providing alternative modes of transportation that can enhance the quality of life in a community."  

He knows what he's talking about:  he is the highest-ranking Democrat on the Congressional subcommittee responsible for federal infrastructure investment.   Moreover, he is a member of the Congressional Bike Caucus who vows to "continue fighting for programs that enhance the cycling experience."

Of course:  If you "enhance the cycling experience", you just might entice people to leave their cars home for errands, shopping trips or even their daily commutes--and for day and weekend trips, or even vacations.  That will keep more than a few people working, I'm sure!

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