A study by the Task Force on Outdoor Recreation in Washington State showed that bicyclists spend $3.1 billion (yes, that’s a Billion) a year in our state. Of that total, 96% is spent by touring bicyclists – money that they spend on lodging, food, and other shopping. Most of the money spent by touring bicyclists is spent in rural areas, where it has a much greater impact on those local economies that it would in a large urban areas.
Bicycling is also the 4th most popular recreational activity in the state, as measured by days participated.
If you’re wondering where those touring dollars are spent, or are considering a bike tour, here is a link to the Washington Department of Transportation Bicycle Maps: http://www.wsdot.wa.gov/bike/statemap.htm.
For example, if you you are planning a bike trip and wanted to see where the traffic was lowest and what the width of the shoulders in Southeastern Washington, you should look here: http://www.wsdot.wa.gov/NR/rdonlyres/D2FE8873-50D4-4EAF-A93A-6C19AB372A2D/0/WAStateSegSE.pdf
This $3.1 billion dollar benefit doesn’t take into account the health benefits to those who cycle, and the lower health costs for all concerned.