Initial U.S. Bicycling Participation Benchmarking Report Measures How Many Americans Ride Bikes

BOULDER, Colo. (Mar. 2, 2015) -- In an effort to better understand and track bicycling in America, PeopleForBikes commissioned the first comprehensive U.S. Bicycling Participation Benchmarking Report. Based on a survey of the general population, conducted by Breakaway Research Group in the fall of 2014, the report measures bicycling participation across all types of bicycling and all types of riders.

“Accurate and detailed information on bicycling participation is essential in evaluating our overall work and the effectiveness of our programs and key projects,” said Charlie Cooper, vice president of membership and development at PeopleForBikes.

Existing regular studies on bicycling participation have been limited to either recreational riding or transportation riding of certain types. The new participation research is designed to address these limitations by measuring bicycling of any kind, by any type of rider. In addition to measuring participation, the report examines Americans’ bicycling perceptions and barriers.

Key results from the report include:

  • Thirty-four percent of Americans ages 3+ rode a bicycle at least one day in the past year.
  • Of those who rode a bicycle, many do so infrequently: 30% rode five days or fewer.
  • Those who rode for transportation are much more likely to have done so to get to and from social, recreation, or leisure activities (70%) than to have commuted to and from work or school (46%).
  • Forty-eight percent of adults in the U.S. don’t have access to an operational bicycle at home.
  • Fifty-four percent of adults in the U.S. perceive bicycling as a convenient way to get from one place to another and 53% would like to ride more often. However, 52% worry about being hit by a car and 46% say they would be more likely to ride a bicycle if motor vehicles and bicycles were physically separated.

PeopleForBikes intends to repeat the study at least every three years to observe long-term trends in U.S. bicycling participation.

The study was conducted by Jennifer Boldry, PhD, principal of Breakaway Research Group, an independent research firm with expertise in consumer insights and active outdoor industry trends with extensive experience developing proven methodologies for custom research projects. A total of 16,193 completed interviews were collected from adults 18+ who reported on a total of 8,858 children between the ages of 3 and 17. This sample provides an overall margin of error +/- less than 1% at a 95% level of confidence.

To view the report, visit

About PeopleForBikes:

PeopleForBikes is a movement to make riding better for everyone. They are uniting millions of individuals, thousands of businesses, and hundreds of communities to improve bicycling. Join the movement at

About Breakaway Research Group:

Breakaway Research Group provides industry associations, suppliers and retailers with the market research insights they need to grow their businesses. Breakaway’s mission is to form strategic relationships with their clients to ensure that the outdoor, snow, run and bike industries continue to be healthy, vibrant and, most importantly, growing industries. 

Media Contact:

Lauren Fallert

Verde Brand Communications

(970) 366-4579