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Bike boom drives racing boom: USA Cycling says participation numbers are up

Published August 6, 2021

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (BRAIN) — USA Cycling reports race participation in national championship events mirrors the current cycling boom with mountain bike nationals participation up nearly 11% over 2019, the last full-event year before the COVID-19 pandemic.

USAC also said the number of junior athletes participating in racing and events is ahead of 2019 and overall membership will exceed two years ago by more than 25%.

“When we saw the boom in cycling in 2020, we hoped that also meant an increase in racing and general increased participation in the programs USA Cycling offers to make cycling more accessible,” said USA Cycling president and CEO Rob DeMartini. “We’re thrilled to see those numbers are in line with overall growth of the sport."

USA Cycling added programs this year, including the Let's Ride that matches coaches and kids for skills camps and the High School Festival for youth riders. In addition to the Let's Ride program, the USAC's Free Bikes 4 Kidz and Wish 4 Wheels has donated more than 600 bikes to kids in need. Also, the We Champion initiative began in June with the goal of improving access for cyclists of all levels and backgrounds.

“We set out to truly champion cycling among youth this year,” DeMartini said. “It is clear that it is working. Events and programs like what we held at mountain bike nationals are helping to engage and include youth riders, setting them up to be cyclists for life.”

As for the upcoming USAC cyclocross season, the organization is hopeful for full participation despite the rise in COVID-19 cases among the unvaccinated.

USAC press photo from the 2020 BMX National Championships.

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