In San Francisco, the number of people biking has increased by 96% since 2006, and communities across the country are seeing similar increases. Nationwide, the number of people using a bike as their primary way to get to work has increased by 60% in the last ten years.
So, who is riding more? Well, just about everyone. Ridership in every age group has dramatically increased between 1995 and 2009, according to the latest US Census data. But it’s the older age groups that saw the biggest jump in ridership. Over a third of the increase in bicycling nation-wide came from people between the ages of 60 and 79!
As more and more baby boomers become worried about driving, look for ways to spend time with their grandchildren, or simply want low-impact, enjoyable ways to be physically active, they’re realizing that riding a bike is a great option.
Here in San Francisco, we’re working to support older residents in biking for everyday transportation and fun. Our Gals with Gears member-led group for women 50+ years old continues to grow in size every month. At a recent Gals ride, Anna, an 83-year-old woman joined the ride. And longtime member Cathy Kora, in her mid seventies, pictured above, bikes regularly from the East Bay to San Francisco, combining BART and bikes to get around the Bay Area.
More people biking is good for our city. It makes our residents healthier, more engaged, our city less congested and reduces pollution. It also means that we need to continue to connect the city with protected bikeways that are comfortable for people ages 8-to-80 — and beyond.
(graph taken from People for Bikes)