U.S. Bicycling Participation Benchmarking Report

How many Americans ride a bike? How often do they ride? Why do they ride?

Accurate information on bicycling participation is essential in evaluating our overall work and the effectiveness of our programs and key projects. Existing research on bicycling participation has been been limited to either recreational riding or transportation riding of certain types. This new participation research, commissioned by PeopleForBikes and conducted by Breakaway Research Group, is designed to address these limitations by standardizing how participation is bicycling of any kind, by any type of rider, is measured and tracked over time.

Topline results:

  • Thirty-two percent of Americans ages 3+ rode a bicycle at least one day in the past year.
  • Of those who rode a bicycle, 29% rode five days or fewer.
  • Those who rode for transportation are much more likely to have done so to get to and from social, recreation, or leisure activities (73%) than to have commuted to and from work or school (51%).
  • Half of adults in the U.S. don’t have access to an operational bicycle at home.
  • Fifty-four percent of adults in the U.S. perceive bicycling as a convenient way to get from one place to another and 51% would like to ride more often. However, 53% worry about being hit by a car and 47% say they would be more likely to ride a bicycle if motor vehicles and bicycles were physically separated.

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When people ride bikes, great things happen.

At PeopleForBikes, we believe in the power of a bike ride to turn your day around. The next time you are having a bad day—or even an average day—hop on a bike and improve your mood. Ride a bike. Shed the monster.

Video: Vulnerable on the Open Road

Video: Vulnerable on the Open Road

While safe roads matter to everyone on a bike, professional cyclists spend more time on them than almost anyone. It's how they make a living. These talented, world-class athletes may seem super-human at times, but they are humans like any of us—vulnerable on the open road.

In this video, five professional U.S. cyclists reflect on their experiences with bicycle safety. Some riders, like Lucas Euser and Craig Lewis, have seen their careers nearly end after severe crashes with people driving cars. Others, like current National Road Race Champion Timmy Duggan, haven't faced such extreme incidents, but still have a vision for better bicycling conditions and motorist-bicyclist interactions. All riders share their lessons and ideas for how our communities can become more bike-friendly and safer for all road users.

Even though these riders are the top 1% of bicyclists, their advice—slow down, be aware, don't blow through red lights, build more infrastructure, get more people riding—applies to anyone who likes to enjoy the simple pleasure of a bike ride.

Filmed by Jamie Kripke. Edited by Buck Ross.


Video: Tim Johnson’s Ride on Washington

Video: Tim Johnson’s Ride on Washington

Cyclocross superstar Tim Johnson first imagined the Ride on Washington after attending the National Bike Summit in 2010. Johnson could not believe that there were no pro racers among the nearly 1,000 bicyclists present. Intent on raising funds and awareness for PeopleForBikes, this world-championship medalist recruited a handful of stalwart riders to pedal from Boston to Washington over five days to attend the 2012 National Bike Summit. 

Filmed by Jamie Kripke. Edited by Buck Ross.

2013 Annual Report

If you want to know more about what PeopleForBikes does to make bicycling better and how you have supported our work, click here to scroll through our Annual Report.


When cars and bikes come together, it doesn't have to be a wild west standoff. PeopleForBikes is uniting riders and drivers to make the roads safer for everyone. Join us in promising to travel with compassion.

Video: Bikes Make Life Better

Video: Bikes Make Life Better

We all know that when people ride bikes, life is better. In this short video, we bring this idea to life as riders trigger projectors throughout a city, transforming an urban environment into a vibrant, colorful world. A world made better, by bikes.

Video: If I Ride

"If I Ride" is a bicycle rider's poem to biking. Simply put, we believe that life is far more enjoyable when its experienced on two wheels. We believe that by coming together, we can make our world a better place to ride. We all ride for our own reasons, but we all want the same thing: a better future for bicycling.