The Big Bike Boom, Mark Two [Video]

Opinions expressed in this video and commentary may or may not represent the opinions of Singletracks.com.

My good friend and longtime Singletracks contributor, Jim Hodgson, recently produced this entertaining and thought-provoking video about the need for cycling infrastructure as it relates to the current bike boom. I asked Jim to share a bit more about the video, and to get his take on how cycling infrastructure relates to trails.

Singletracks: What inspired you to create this video?

Jim: When I was a freshman in college, my school’s basketball team won the national championship. It was an unbelievable, out-of-nowhere, moon shot of an achievement. I went to every game I could. Each game was more packed than the last. People were paying top dollar to sit in each other’s laps. It was nuts. 

I was talking to one of the players after the season about how wild it was. He said, kinda sadly, “Yeah, well, they were only there because we were winning.” That really struck me. So the next year, when the team wasn’t doing very well at all, I made the personal choice … not to go to the games. It wasn’t as fun to lose. 

I think cycling is like that right now. Bars are closed, movies are closed, cycling is winning. There’s a boom in sales, multi-use paths are all slammed, trails are slammed. But my feeling is once COVID is over all those bikes are gonna get leaned against the garage wall for good. 

I predict a huge year for used bike sales in 2022. 

How to trails fit into the conversation?

Well, as you know from Matt Miller’s article the other day on Singletracks about the JCOS trails out near Denver, rangers in some spots are having to turn people away. That’s just bonkers. 

I’ve definitely been known to hike a bike when the trail goes up, but I never thought I’d have to hike-a-bike downhill because of traffic. 

I think we’re learning a lot about what powers, or doesn’t power, cycling. If you asked me a year ago what was keeping people from riding, I’d have said, well, maybe they don’t feel fit enough, maybe they don’t want to spend thousands on bikes, maybe they don’t know where to go.  

I think we’ve learned from the pandemic that cycling was never competing with any of that. It was competing with bars and sports. 

So what happens when bars and sports come back? Nobody knows for sure. But if anyone out there bought a large titanium hardtail with modern geometry during the pandemic and you want to unload it for a crazy deal I’m your huckleberry. 

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