Be Part of the 0.6%. Bike Commute.

November 21, 2013

It’s an exclusive, but rapidly growing, group. Nationwide in 2012, an average of 0.6 percent of journeys to work were done by bicycle—a percentage that has increased dramatically over the past two decades.

The League of American Bicyclists has released Where We Ride: Analysis of bicycling in American cities, which takes a deep dive into the bike commuting data captured in the 2012 American Community Survey by the Census Bureau.

The full 40-page report is chock-a-block with chart after chart that covers everything from cities with the most cyclists to bike commuting habits by age group and location.

Scrolling through the walls of a numbers, a few interesting findings jumped out:

  • The number of bike commuters has markedly increased over the past 8 years, including every state in the Northeast. From 2005-2012, the number of bike commuters in Massachusetts increased 103.8%, Rhode Island 90.2%, Vermont 88.9%, New York 73.1%, Pennsylvania 84.1%, and Maine 56.2%.
  • Top Northeast cities by percentage of bike commuters: Washington, D.C. (4.1%, #3 nationally); Philadelphia (2.3%, #11); Boston (2.0%, #13), Buffalo (1.6%, #14), Pittsburgh (1.4%, #19). Top two cities nationwide: Portland, OR (6.1%) and Minneapolis (4.5%)
  • Northeast cities by estimated total number of bike commuters: New York City (36,496, #1 nationally); Philadelphia (13,726, #7); Washington, D.C. (13,493, #8); Boston (6,536, #15).   
  • Top cities by population size for percentage of bike commuters: Philadelphia, PA (2.3%); Portland, OR (6.1%); Madison, WI (6.2%); and Davis, CA (19.1%).

As this recent New York Times article points out, the world will be a much happier, healthier place if these trends continue. Ride on!

Equipped” is an AMC Outdoors blog, written by Matt Heid.

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Matt Heid

Equipped blogger Matt Heid is AMC's gear guru: He loves gear and he loves using it in the field. While researching several guidebooks, including AMC's Best Backpacking in New England, he has hiked thousands of miles across New England, California, and Alaska, among other wilderness destinations. He also cycles, climbs, and surfs.