It seems like biking and bicycle ownership is on the rise However, the facts do not support this “feeling”. In fact bicycle ownership in the world has halved in the past 30 years. 1.25 billion households were in the study. Today, 32% of the households had a bicycle, in 1989 that number was 60%. The biggest drop was in China, where in 1992 97% of households had a bicycle and today only 63%. It is very important to note that in certain areas, especially northern Europe, ownership levels have remained very high. This is most likely due to very bicycle friendly infrastructure and policies A Bicycle is great for recreation and exercise. In fact, most people I ride with only bike for exercise and recreation. However, to most of the world a bike is transportation, plain and simple. So, whenever I ride, I never forget what a “luxury” it is to ride simply for fun. I suspect, bike ownership has fallen for several reasons. One, China is now more prosperous, so more people are able to purchase a car for transportation (not a better alternative in my opinion). Second, there is some additional ways to commute, such as Uber, that have lowered the cost of travel. However, biking is the world’s most efficient form of transportation and will always be the best option within a certain geographical area. Accordingly, if we continue to push for infrastructure that separates us from motor vehicles, ownership and ridership will continue to rise.
Ride. Be Safe. Have Fun.
Andrew Kass – Bicycle Injury Lawyer / Enthusiast