“After 50 years of framing work around the automobile, retail analysts in both the private and public sectors are shifting to a new consensus: cars don’t spend money — people do.”

The quote above, taken from the report Protected Bike Lanes Mean Business, highlights a significant shift in thinking. People need access to our locally owned stores, whether getting there by foot, bicycle, wheelchair, bus, or personal vehicle. How can we balance each person’s transportation needs with municipal budgets and businesses’ bottom lines? Enter the bicycle.

There’s growing evidence that encouraging people to go by bicycle boosts the local economy. When done correctly, adding bicycle lanes and other cycling amenities can increase retail sales while decreasing parking pressures.

“Bicycling is more than a practical, cost-effective solution to many municipal challenges,” said Bill Nesper, executive director of the League of American Bicyclists. “When local communities invest in making bicycling safer and a real transportation option for more people, the return on investment is clear for individuals and society at large — from cost-savings on public health to small businesses’ growth and more.”

While bicyclists tend to buy smaller amounts when they shop, bicyclists visit each store more often and spend more money overall compared to those who commute by automobile. Also, providing space for bicycle parking costs municipalities less than vehicle parking. A dozen bicycles can fit into one parking space designed for a vehicle.

Celebrate Bicycling in May

May is National Bicycle Month, the perfect time to amplify the benefits of bicycling and take more bike rides. Whether you ride for fun, fitness, or take essential trips to work or shop, be part of the movement for safer streets, connected communities, a healthier planet, and happier people.

Mark your calendar and cycle along! National Ride A Bike Day happens May 5, Bike to Work Week will take place May 13-19, and Bike to Work Day is on Friday, May 17.

The American Independent Business Alliance and partners throughout North America will celebrate Bicycling Means Business Month in May, promoting the connections between bicycling and healthy local economies.

Schools nationwide will celebrate Bike & Roll to School Day on May 8. Over 1,000 schools will participate to call attention to making routes to schools safer and kids more active.

Track all your bicycling miles on Love to Ride’s website. Create your own goals and connect with other bicyclists. Register today to get started.

Let’s get rolling

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