Biking is good for Minnesota's economy, recent study says

Minnesota's bicycling industry contributed about $780 million in 2014.

Biking continues to grow in popularity in Minnesota, and a recent study shows how bicycling has impacted the state's economy.

According to the study by the University of Minnesota, the bicycling industry contributed about $780 million worth of economic activity in 2014. It also supported 5,519 jobs that paid an estimated $209 million in wages, salaries and benefits to Minnesota workers.

The study, which was funded by the Minnesota Department of Transportation, was the first of its kind nationwide.

“This will help us understand how biking contributes to the health and vitality of communities,” Sara Dunlap, a MnDOT planner, told the Star Tribune.

More about the study

Researchers looked at the state's bike manufacturers and wholesalers, retail stores, and nonprofit and advocacy groups to understand the economic impact and health effects of bicycling in Minnesota.

Bike manufacturers and wholesalers contributed the most economic value, generating over $600 million in 2014. The study found 288 bicycle-related businesses throughout the state, including two major global manufacturers – Quality Bicycle Products in Bloomington and Park Tool in St. Paul.

Events like organized rides, races, and tours also brought in significant amounts of tourism and recreational spending, producing over $14 million in 2014. Visiting bikers reported spending an average of $121 dollars per day at these type of events.

Researchers also studied how often we ride our bikes, estimating that Minnesotans take between 87 and 96 million bicycle trips each year. And more than 13 percent of Twin Cities residents commute by bike, at least once in a while.

The study also analyzed the health effects of bicycling. Bicycle commuting in the Twin Cities metro prevents 12 to 61 deaths per year, the study says, and riding a bike to work at least three times per week is also linked to lower odds of metabolic syndrome, obesity, and hypertension – all of which lowers medical costs.

The findings show that people all over the state enjoy bicycling – with creates a larger demand for more infrastructure, facilities and networks to support the industry, the study concludes.

Next Up

Willmar Police Department

'Errant bullet' goes through garage wall, kills Willmar man

The man was working in his garage when he was shot, witnesses said.

Screen Shot 2021-01-16 at 10.59.00 PM

Wild tie Kings with 2 seconds left, win in overtime

Another incredible finish for the Wild.

Screen Shot 2021-01-16 at 6.53.17 PM

Mike Lindell's MyPillow offering discounts using the code 'Qanon'

The Shakopee-based company is under the microscope because of the recent actions of its owner.

Surly Brewing

Facing aluminum can shortage, Surly unveils solution: 'Cantyhose'

The brewery came up with a creative way to repurpose unused cans.

Liam Robbins

Gophers stay perfect at home by crushing 7th-ranked Michigan

Liam Robbins and Marcus Carr were too much for the previously undefeated Wolverines.

police lights

Four teens arrested over robberies in Minneapolis

They teens were found in a vehicle that was taken during an earlier carjacking.

Boundary Waters/BWCA

All BWCA visitors will now have to watch three 'Leave No Trace' videos

Visitors left an "unacceptably high amount" of damage last year.


Ten fatal overdoses in past 6 weeks reported in region of northern MN

Law enforcement agencies have issued a plea to the general public.

u.s. district court minnesota - federal court minneapolis

Bracing for security threats, federal courthouses closing in Minnesota

Security is also being ramped up at the state capitol.

N95 mask

3M sues Florida company that sold 10K counterfeit N95 masks to HCMC

The Maplewood company has obtained a temporary injunction against the firm.


'Here to There' is a new podcast about getting around the Twin Cities

It's a peek into the ways that mobility options impact our finances, health, and quality of life.

Ride your bike all the way to Canada on the new North Star Route

It would take the average cyclist more than 21 hours to bike the entire thing.

Ride your bike all the way to Canada on the new North Star Route

It would take the average cyclist more than 21 hours to bike the entire thing.

Minnesota's medical marijuana can be rubbed into your skin

Leafline Labs is launching a topical medicated cream.

Minnesota is the best-run state in America, study says

After years of climbing steadily in the rankings, MN grabbed the no. 1 spot.

Minnesota's a fantastic place for millennials to live, study says

The study says Minnesota's millennials are employed, engaged with their community, and even have their own homes.