Biking Shorts - January 3, 2013
By Barbara Schmid
As we head into Michigan's deep freeze season, plan on a rapid thaw at GGRBC’s 2nd Handlebar Happy Hour, Wednesday, January 9. This cyclists’ networking event will take place at Grand Rapids Brewing Company, 1 Ionia Ave. SW, from 5-7 p.m.
At H3, everyone is welcome! Our coalition is comprised of all types of cyclists and cycling advocates so please invite your friends to join you downtown for some post-holiday merriment.
Feeling lucky in the new year? Alger Bikes will be offering door prizes!
Check out the HHH Facebook page and RSVP at https://www.facebook.com/events/142094449274809/?ref=22
Grand Rapids Brewing Company is the first USDA Certified organic brewery in Michigan, and one of less than two dozen in the country. Such fun that our city has become a microbrewery mecca!
Come celebrate cycling, life and the new year at Handlebar Happy Hour!
Interns at Work
Clare Horning is one of our newest interns. She’s a senior at Grand Valley State University majoring in Liberal Studies with an emphasis on Community Nutrition and Sustainable Development. She is minoring in Environmental Studies and Non-Profit Management.
Clare’s time with us is part of her course work at GVSU. She is currently helping out with several of our programs and initiatives, including the upcoming Handlebar Happy Hour. She will also serve at our table at the Living Well Grand Rapids, a health and fitness show, Jan. 11-12 at DeVos Place. In addition, she will be assisting us with Active Commute Week in May and many of our Bike Month activities.
Is she a bike rider?
“I do ride my bike, but not as much as I would like to because of my crazy schedule,” she said. “I would like to do more, but I enjoy biking tours and think it is a great way to discover a city. I commute by bike a great deal in the summer when the public transportation is not as frequent (due to the school break), but I mostly rely on public transportation for getting around.”
We appreciate Clare's enthusiasm for GGRBC and helping us reach our goals.
Bicycle Travel, Tourism Booming
Recent information from Adventure Cycling Association shows that bike tourism is becoming more popular and lucrative here in the U.S. and also globally.
Listed below are nine new indicators that show bike travel and tourism are booming, according to ACA.
"European Bike Tourism Generates 44 Billion Euros Annually: In September, researchers in the United Kingdom and the Netherlands found that bicycle tourism (including day trips and overnight trips) generates 44 billion Euros (or about $57 billion). The comprehensive study indicates that the bike-tourism sector generates 2.3 billion cycle trips in Europe every year and also takes visitors (and their money) to rural areas that are not often visited by other tourists.
Greater Global Interest in Bike Tour Business: This year at the Adventure Travel World Summit in Lucerne, Switzerland, there were more bike tour operators than ever. There were also many tour operators, which have focused traditionally on walking and trekking tours, that are now edging into bike travel as an alternative (and growing) revenue stream.
Bigger Bike Route Networks in Development: Around the world, countries, states and provinces are creating bigger and better bicycle route networks for use by locals and to attract tourists. In Quebec Province, La Route Verte — a system of urban, suburban and rural bikeways — has grown over the last five years from 4,000 km to more than 5,000 km. In Europe, work has accelerated on establishing EuroVelo, a 70,000 km continental system of bike routes; the goal is to complete the network by 2020. In the U.S., agencies and non-profits have begun creating an official U.S. Bicycle Route System (USBRS). In the last two years, eight new U.S. Bicycle Routes have been approved, and 41 states are now involved in planning, implementing, and signing routes. At the state level, agencies are developing unique route networks, some which will dovetail with the USBRS.
More North America States and Provinces Studying Bike Tourism’s Economic Impact: Until now, only two states in the U.S. (Wisconsin and Colorado) had conducted in-depth studies of the economic impact of biking and bike tourism. In Wisconsin’s case, researchers found that bike tourism generated an impressive $924 million from in-state and out-of-state visitors. In 2012, three more states began economic impact studies, which will be completed in 2013: Oregon, Michigan, and Arizona.
U.S. Bike Events Expanding, Re-branding: Attendance and fundraising at large multi-day bike events — like RAGBRAI (Iowa), Ride the Rockies (Colorado), and the popular Bike MS events — are surging. In fact, the national organization of bike-event directors has re-branded itself as the Bicycle Tour Network (BTN) and, in November, experienced the largest turnout ever at its annual conference in Denver, Colorado.
States Investing in Bike Tourism Public Relations: In a clear indicator that states and tourism bureaus are realizing the financial value of cycling tourists, 2012 witnessed the rollout of major investments by Oregon and Minnesota in TV spots, websites, and other public-relation devices to draw traveling cyclists to their states. Particularly notable were videos produced for Oregon by the global ad firm Wieden+Kennedy, and for Minnesota with the backing of a unique consortium of health, tourism, and non-profit organizations. The race for the most bike-travel friendly state is on!
Rural Communities Invest in Bike Tourism: Over the last several years, more rural communities have discovered that attracting cycle-tourists is a low-cost, high-yield proposition. Adventure Cycling Association has documented the efforts made by many small communities to develop special facilities for visiting cyclists.
Bike Tourism-Related Sales Take Off in the U.S.: In October, the influential trade journal, Bicycle Retailer and Industry News, reported on the substantial increase in sales of gear and bikes for touring in its story, “Touring market racks up mileage at retail.” The same article also noted that bicycle travel is becoming especially popular with a younger demographic.
Non-Profits Set New Records: Cycling non-profits with a stake in tourism have enjoyed remarkable success in membership and activity in 2012, from the re-branded Bicycle Tour Network to the International Mountain Bike Association (IMBA) to Adventure Cycling Association. "