Cycling is an immensely popular sport worldwide. In many countries in the world, cycling is used not only as a sporting activity but also as a legitimate means of transport. This is not so much the case in the United States, where more people drive. But even in this country, cycling is a sport that millions of people love. An estimated fifty-seven million people take part in this exhilarating physical activity. That’s a staggering 27.3 percent of the United States population aged 16 or older. Another statistic that supports the popularity of bicycles is the number of bicycles sold. Figures for 2012 indicate that $6.1 billion was spent on bicycles and bicycle-related products.

Top Cycling Destinations in the U.S.

Those numbers clearly indicate that cycling is a very lucrative business and also a very passionate sporting activity. Some of those who consider themselves cyclists are what we might call “recreational ridersassionate sporting activity. Some of those who consider themselves cyclists are what we might call “recreational riders.” They like to put on their trendy cycling shirts and regularly ride their bicycles, but they do not participate in competitions. Their reward may be the thrill of pushing themselves to longer distances or trying out new trails, paths, or roads. They like to ride alone or with partners and also in groups, but are not particularly competitive in their sport. The benefits are significant. Being outside in the fresh air instead of being cooped up in a sweaty gym is certainly appealing. The benefits to the body, such as building endurance, strengthening muscles, improving circulation, and so on, are also very appealing.

Adventure Cycling Association

There are far fewer people who cycle professionally, and that number continues to grow. With more and more races taking place in different places around the country, the opportunities to excel have increased significantly, as has the number of people involved in cycling. Unfortunately, the events of recent years with acclaimed riders polluting the sport have left professional cycling with a black eye. The widespread reports of Lance Armstrong’s use of banned substances during races and his lying under oath about such activities leave many people with a bad taste for professional cyclists. That’s unfortunate and unfair to the many cyclists who work hard to perfect their talents and abide by the rules. Unfortunately, things can be ruined by a few people who can influence so much.