Bike Commuting Almost Doubles Over Two Decades?

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A report on Bicycle Retailer has confirmed that bike commuting almost doubles over past two decades. It’s no surprise that bike commuting is the third most popular U.S. transportation mode. Bike commuting is fun, healthy, and very affordable. Which is why it increased 61% nationwide from 2000 to 2019, according to a report published by the Bike Adviser.

The report, came out one day before Bike to Work Day, which happened to be on a Friday. This report measures what U.S. states and cities have the most bike commuters and the gender breakdown. In 2000, there were 488,000 regular bike commuters. A very small number when compare to 2019, which showed an increase to 786,000.

At first glance, you’ll notice there was an increase over the 2000-2019 period. But the peak occurred in 2014, and there was a 5.9% drop from 2010-2019.

All this data comes from the U.S. Census American Community Survey, along with input from The League of American Bicyclists, PeopleForBikes, American Public Transportation Association, and National Household Travel Survey.

The proportion of bike commuters peaked in 2014.
The proportion of bike commuters peaked in 2014.

Other findings on how bike commuting almost doubles:

  • Nationwide, men make up 77% of bike-to-work trips, and women 23%. However, bike commuting is more popular for women in Alabama (53%), Maine (52%), and New Mexico (51%).
  • Oregon leads among all 50 states, with the highest percentage (1.90%) of bike commuters in proportion to the total population of workers.
  • Montana (1.22%), Colorado (1.12%), Wyoming (1.05%), and Washington (0.87%) complete the top five with the largest percentage share of bike commuters.
  • Portland, Washington, and Minneapolis are the cities that appeal the most to bike commuters.

How many people use a bike as their primary travel mode?

To find out what percentage of workers use a bike as their primary travel mode. This number was found by dividing the number of bike commuters by the total population of workers.

As quoted in the report “Thanks in large part to Bike to Work Day, bike commuting has changed from a fringe activity performed by only the renegade few to a more commonplace means of transportation, surging its way through ever-wider circles and increasing its appeal in today’s generation,”.

Which states consistently rank high by avid cyclists?

Oregon, Montana, Colorado, Wyoming, and Washington have consistently ranked high by avid cyclists because those states value infrastructure, advocacy, education, and bike law enforcement, according to the report. At the other end, Mississippi (0.08%), Tennessee (0.12%), and West Virginia (0.13%) have the fewest workers commuting by bike.

How is the U.S Census American Community Survey conducted?

The U.S. Census American Community Survey is conducted yearly by the Census Bureau to track commuting patterns and transportation choices. The bike-commuting data measures employees older than 16 and younger than 64 who use a bike as their primary mode of travel for their commute to work. It doesn’t count commuters who use a short bike ride to a transit stop, use a bike fewer than five times a week, or use a bike for non-commuting purposes, like for recreation or a workout.

Bike commuting almost doubles over past two decades, according to report
Bike commuting almost doubles over past two decades, according to report


We believe that it’s great that bike commuting has almost doubled over the last few decades.

But we think we can all do better by improving cycling infrastructure in many cities across the United States. Sharing the knowledge gained from bicycle commuting ourselves. And spreading the benefits of bicycle commuting in a positive manner.

While many Americans still don’t bike commute to work for various reasons. We hope that all changes as we all do our part to make them feel welcomed into the bicycle commuting world.


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