Bicyclists boon to Minnesota's economy, health

Wheel assembly
Jen Wenmark and Nick Faircloth assemble wheels in the QBP Wheelhouse in Bloomington, Minn.
Molly Bloom | MPR News 2013

It's a good time to be in the bicycling business in Minnesota, with the industry supporting approximately $780 million worth of economic activity statewide.

Including an estimated $208.8 million in wages, salaries and benefits paid to industry employees — all 5,519 of them.

That's according to a new study by the University of Minnesota.

The study, commissioned by the state Department of Transportation, also looked at how often Minnesotans use their bikes, finding that somewhere between 87 and 96 million cycling trips are made in the state annually.

According to a Twin Cities Commuter Survey, bicycle commuting at least three times a week is linked to lower odds of metabolic syndrome, obesity and hypertension — which also means lower medical costs.

The findings show that Minnesotans have a deep interest in bicycling statewide, and the demand exists for more infrastructure, facilities and networks to support the industry, the study concludes.

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