Wisconsin Bicycling Has A $1.5 Billion Impact

February 4, 2010 at 2:22 pm 2 comments

Even though it’s February and my mind should be on heart-shaped chocolates, I still every once and a while remember that I made a few New Year’s resolutions.   One of them is:  “Get the courage to bike in Madison more often, and maybe even on streets.”  Maria, as you may have seen, needs encouragement when it comes to getting on the city bus.  I need encouragement to bicycle in Madison.  Sure, I’ve ridden on the Lakeshore Path on campus and have ridden way early in the morning to avoid cars, but 2010 is the year that I will become brave.  I will do my best to bike more often, and even during the daytime!

It’s not news that biking in Madison is the thing to do, but I found it shocking that Wisconsin bicycling has an annual economic impact of $1.5 billion! According to a recent Wisconsin State Journal article, UW-Madison Nelson Institute graduate students put together this report, and have said that bicycling has as much of an impact on Wisconsin as deer hunting. Wow! This report also revealed that 49% of Wisconsin residents enjoy bicycling for recreation, and that $924 million in tourism and resident spending comes from bicycle recreation annually.

I guess practice makes perfect. Maybe I’ll start riding on non-busy, non-icy streets until I feel more comfortable. I’ll look for tips and rules of the road from the Bicycle Federation of Wisconsin, in addition to the article on BikeSafe.com about “How Not to Get Hit by Cars.” It seems like that might be good to read…

I’m sure you will all conquer some sort of fear this year, as it seems to be the theme of our blog so far. Make sure to check out our website for more resources on how to abolish your green fears.

Wishing you well,

Melissa

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2 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Isabella  |  February 9, 2010 at 10:25 am

    Best time to start is when it’s both warm and dry. Personally, I’ve never found it appealing (or had the money to invest in winterizing my biking experience!) to bike in the winter. However, I bike plenty during the summer, and as long as you obey the same road rules as cars, and take the extra caution to be *more* aware of your surrounds, *more* watchful than car drivers, and *more* courteous of rights-of-way, then you’ll be just fine. I’ve seen bikers speed past yellow-red lights or stop signs WITHOUT helmets on and I just shake my head and think they’re almost asking to be hit by a car. Don’t be a stupid biker. Wear a helmet, obey road rules, and you’ll live.

    Reply
  • 2. Isabella  |  February 9, 2010 at 10:32 am

    Cool Bike Safety site by the way. Lots of good tips. I tend to ride my bike like no one can see me; that way I don’t just assume.

    Reply

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