Expert say bicycling growing in popularity - WXOW News 19 La Crosse, WI – News, Weather and Sports |

Expert say bicycling growing in popularity

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LA CROSSE, Wisconsin (WXOW)-  Bicycling is growing in popularity.

Experts say bicycling is a 1.5 billion dollar industry in Wisconsin and it employs 15 thousand people.

On nice days, you're likely to find La Crosse resident Kraig Brownell getting to and from work on his recumbent bike.

Brownell says, "For me it's convenient because I go through the marsh and then I have just a short jaunt on the road and most of my commute is through the marsh."

You're also likely to see more bicyclists in general on the roads, trails, and paths these days.

Marvin Wanders says, "Commuter biking is growing, to and from work, trail biking such as in the bluffs is growing and road biking in general is growing."

Wanders says the popularity of bicycling has grown by leaps and bounds and that we're on path for the popularity to continue.

Wanders says, "People are understanding health benefits of bicycling.  They are understanding it helps save money in their pocketbook by riding instead of driving, so it is really growing. "

Money prompted UW-La Crosse Student Abigail Kelley to put her foot to the bike pedal.

Kelley says, "I started biking when gas was like four dollars a gallon and I'd bike from Sparta and back because I worked there."

Whether it's financial reasons or health ones, bicycling can be a good alternative to driving.

Kraig Brownell believes by making bicycling more convenient, even more people would hop on their bikes.

Brownell says, "There could be more commuting lanes created when roads are redone, make it more convenient."

Wanders says the beauty of our area is a big draw for bicyclist.

He says bicycling can also be a good family outing.

Wanders is a proponent of the Safe Routes Program, so that kids can bike to and from school.

He also says that it is cheaper to build bicycling infrastructure than vehicle infrastructure, so biking can save tax payers money.

If you are interested in getting involved in biking, just go to Driftless Region Bicycle Coalition's website  http://driftlessbicycle.org/ for more information.

You can also check out local bicycle shops for information.

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