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Recent Industry Research Report Says San Diego is North America's Cycling Capital

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  • Renne Catalano Gussman, Program Director, SD Sport Innovators

Thousands of San Diegans witnessed the Amgen Tour of California racing through the streets, mountains and byways of San Diego County on May 15. Today, the San Diego Sport Innovators (SDSI), the non-profit business development organization for the Sports and Active Lifestyle (SAL) industry, is out with more good news for San Diego’s cycling world. It’s a comprehensive report on San Diego’s Cycling Industry, and the numbers are impressive — $527 million total estimated annual revenue per year from the wholesale and retail sectors of San Diego’s bicycling industry.

In the wholesale cycling and related manufacturing, there are currently more than 50 companies with annual revenues of $97.4 million. The retail sector — bikes and related cycling gear — total $220 million per year generated by 227 independent bicycle dealers, with those IBDs employing an estimated 1,226 workers. Other bike related retail activity totals $230 million with $56 million in retail salaries and wages.

The report also focused on San Diego’s Cycling Consumer — One-third of San Diego County residents or 1.1 million people currently participate in cycling — that’s a cycling population that dwarfs the entire population of top cycling cities like Austin, TX (885,400), Portland, OR (609,500) and Boulder, CO (102,200).  Additionally, 37 percent of San Diego cyclists or 470,000 identify themselves as “frequent/avid” cyclists; San Diego cyclists are 29 percent more likely to purchase a new bike in the next year than US cyclists overall; and San Diego has experienced an 84 percent increase in the number of bicycle commuters since 2000.

The report pointed to San Diego demographics that support both cycling participation and industry growth — San Diego’s median household and per capita income is $63,996 and $31,043, respectively, versus the US totals of $$53,482 and $28,555. An important statistic to cycling growth is that San Diego’s 18-34 age group totals 27.4 percent of the population or number one in the country.

San Diego continues to be a pioneering leader nationally with an emphasis on high-performance fitness; leading engineering of high performance machines; the birthplace and hotbed of Triathlon training, and a political will to get the population out of cars and onto bicycles. As of 2015, San Diego County has approximately 1,340 miles of bikeway faculties, with the City of San Diego planning to more than double that number by 2030.



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