https://www.theguardian.com/environment ... y-strategy
the UK cycle industry is no pipsqueak: it is actually worth three times more than the UK steel industry, and employs twice as many people.Cycling-related businesses generate at least £5.4bn for the UK economy each year, and they sustain 64,000 jobs – some in bike shops, but most in cycle tourism of one sort or the other.
https://www.bicycling.com/rides/a226520 ... n-america/
When the Dirty Kanza gravel race began in Emporia, Kansas, in 2006, with 34 participants, it departed from a hotel parking lot with little fanfare and almost no knowledge from townspeople that it was even going on. Now, it’s grown exponentially—1,000 participants signed up for the 200-mile race this year, with an additional 1,350 people riding the 25, 50, 100, and 350-mile versions of the ride. That growth has been a huge boon for Emporia. The racers who stay in town spend money on hotels, food, gas, and last-minute ride supplies and repairs. “We have merchants that tell us Dirty Kanza weekend is worth more to them than Christmas,” says Jim Cummins, race director and founder of the event. The total economic benefit for the area? Nearly 2.2 million dollars, says Susan Rathke, Executive Director of the Emporia Convention and Visitors Bureau.
Small towns and gravel events go well together. After all, the things that draw riders to a gravel ride or race—quiet roads with few cars, and natural scenery—are usually found outside of major metropolises.
Scott TenCate organizes the Barry-Roubaix gravel road race in Hastings, Michigan. He says that residents were initially skeptical about the benefit of the race. Several people in the town of 7,000 complained that it made it tough to get from one side of town to another. But with focused community outreach—and some firsthand experience with what the race did for local businesses financially, including one local five and dime that did four months’ worth of business on race day—the overall attitude changed. Now, it’s a staple community event that involves many of the volunteer groups in town, and brings in up to $750,000 to the surrounding community, TenCate says. Plus, locals were impressed with the attitudes of the cyclists they encountered. “Obviously, when you’re a part of the cycling community you know how great it is,” TenCate says. “But when you heard outsiders talking about how good cyclists are and how polite, and kind, and generous...that was cool to hear.”
https://www.adventure-journal.com/2018/ ... economies/
That impact goes both ways. According to a 2014 study by the University of Montana, cycling tourism has a substantial impact on the state.
The study, conducted by the University of Montana Institute for Tourism and Recreation Research looked at the effect of bicycle tourism statewide. It found that the industry contributed nearly $377 million annually to Montana’s economy. Of the nearly half million bicycle tourists who visited the state, the average cyclist spent around $75 a day and stayed for at least a week.
For rural communities, that kind of expenditure can greatly increase viability, and towns are learning how to capitalize on it. A hundred and fifty miles south of Ovando, another small Montana town shows up on cycling maps, at the intersection of the Lewis & Clark and the TransAmerica Trails.
After spending two years watching cyclists passing through, resident Bill White decided the time and need was right to do something to engage the Lycra-clad tourists. “All the bike riders passing through were like gold going by in a river,” he said in an interview for Montana Quarterly. “I started thinking about how to make Twin Bridges more than just a place to get a cup of coffee.”
White developed a proposal for Bike Camp, got a building permit, and raised $9,000 for materials. The town broke ground in April of 2009 and the camp was ready by June.
In the first year, around 300 riders used the camp. White said that by July of the second year, the number of visitors was already up by more than 50.
Those early cyclists left feedback for Twin Bridges (and enough donations to cover the cost of building Bike Camp), and the town found that the average expenditure per night per visitor was $24.92. In a small community like Twin Bridges, the economy is a closed loop, amplifying any expenditures. Overall it was determined that the cyclists brought at least $10,000 into the local economy
That figure is lower than the UM study estimate, but regardless, “it’s good for the local economy,” White said. “Especially the grocery store, the ice cream shop, the restaurant, and the laundromats.”
It’s personal interactions and community attitudes like those in Twin Bridges and Ovando, more than any university study, that excite proponents of cycling tourism. “There’s increasingly more stories coming out about how bike touring and bike travel can benefit rural communities,” said Laura Crawford of Missoula-based Adventure Cycling. “There’s maybe not an attraction that would pull people off the freeway, but if you’re going through by bike, you kind of rely on those communities as a place to stop for the night, stock up on food or grab coffee.”
And ofc, we have the success story of TAS
https://www.abc.net.au/news/2017-12-26/ ... by/9276384
Inside, locals who work in the logging industry sit beneath photos of mountain bikers riding through fern filled forests. Tourism operators come in for dinner and to sip craft beers that some locals describe as "newfangled grog". People who are known as the local greenies also come in. No-one is screaming in anyone's face about forestry.
This is the new Derby. The people living here have discovered a new way of negotiating the forest debate in Tasmania. They seem to have found the peaceful solution decades of political fighting couldn't bring.
and then we have this :
https://thediplomat.com/2016/04/the-pro ... -industry/
Last week, Arrium, one of the two dominant steel manufacturers in Australia went into voluntary administration with debts of over $AU 3 billion ($US 2.3 billion).
With the failing of the company having the potential to affect up to 8,000 jobs nationwide, there have been calls for the federal government to bail out Arrium. The opposition Labor Party wants to instigate a national steel plan to try and prevent future occurrences of this nature.
The most significant impact would be on the state of South Australia, where the company employs 3,000 people. This is further concentrated in the city of Whyalla, where almost one in five people are directly employed in the metal manufacturing industry
https://www.dailytelegraph.com.au/news/ ... bbb399f89b
Many of the state’s smallest towns are slowly dying.
Villages and hamlets dotted across NSW are shedding people who are moving to larger regional centres to be closer to better health, education and transport facilities.
Towns like Wagga Wagga and Dubbo have been described as “sponge cities” by demographer Bernard Salt, because they soak up people from nearby dwindling smaller towns.
https://junctionjournalism.com/2018/08/ ... own-dying/
“Ardlethan is an ageing population,” Pauline says. “We’ve got a lot of older people here. It’s going to die. It’ll be here but it’ll die. There’s nothing for people to come here. There’s no jobs. And what jobs there are, people will stay in them forever. So, the kids have to go away to get a job.”
Ardlethan – population 350 – is symptomatic of many similar-sized towns that, one day, might cease to exist as Australians who were born in the country are increasingly gravitating to the major cities.
Can we get a more positive message of cycling as an industry, either manufacturing and tourism? Reviving the dead industry, reviving small towns, and showing a more environmentally friendly activity that brings much more money and also spread it across australia (no, no mining and land clearing required), not just concentrated on the big cities.
As many people here are so crazy int sports that it becomes a lifestyle, I'm sure many will love touring australia or visit these dying towns if it can be proven to be safe for cycling, especially gravel roads doesn't need to be maintained that much (if at all).
Somehow, I think if it's about money, reviving small towns, and economic/environmental impact, I think people would start to change their minds.