88 Percent Nation

Consumer Communities In The U.S. Bicycle Market .

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According to The National Sporting Goods Association (NSGA) Sports Participation Study from 2008 12 percent of the American adult population rode a bicycle at least 6 days. The study drills down the numbers for a target consumer market called the upper end and other consumer communities. Read the study and make your own opinion of the stats because there are some surprises for women riders, educated women head all three categories of riders. And the frequency of riders, 50 percent of all riders bicycle less than 24 days a year. What I’d like to do here is address the 88 percent of our adult nation who did not put a bike between their legs, the Non-Rider beliefs or impediments to outdoor activity.

Forget about what you have heard about riding a bike. There just are too many elitist beliefs to intimidate you from keeping an open mind. What is key to your beginning to ride? I believe the answer starts by caring about yourself, the hardest human trait. Caring about the place you live in. Another iffy task. Caring about something personal that comes from your heart is another way to begin riding. There, I’ve said it, “do something that is all for you” and do it outdoors.

The 88 percent of the adult population sitting out this dance mirrors the adult car commuter use at 87 percent. Could there be a correlation? I believe there is and that is why my mantra has been to leave the car behind and ride your bike more. Could this simple act be significant to impact your behavior towards fulfilling “something that is all for you?” Take a quick look again at the riders in the slideshow. Can you picture yourself now? What do you see? Of the 88 percent watching life years pass through the windshield of a car, SUV, truck or bus what are you gaining? What are you missing?

Recently, it came to my attention that 88 percent meat makes up Taco Bell products. Besides what the corporation claims this figure is being disputed in a lawsuit that tested product at less than 40 percent meat. It’s actually the 12 percent filler and spices which sell the product. Those customers that buy will keep coming back but it’s doubtful many customers will be lost. Our food habits are but one of many habits that are difficult to change.

88 percent meat and 12 percent filler and spices is like the biking statistics from the study. Does 12 percent biking in the place you live add spice to your life even when you are part of the 88 percent? Does filling that place with bicyclist seem essential to your idea of a whole community? Do you love living and taking part in some place that is anything other than “Anywhere USA?”  Non-riders taking to bikes are essential as our cities and towns need solutions from de-stabilizing energy and economic changes.  The message to the 88 percent is to start seeing the impact one more rider has when you do “something that is all for you.”

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