Daily Dirt: News and Views from Around the Blue Ridge and Beyond

Study Says Urban Cyclists a Potent Force

Local specialty retailers may be wise to take note, metro-urban bicyclists are more diverse, affluent and better educated than the average adult U.S. cyclist — and more inclined to buy their bikes from independent bike dealers than from mass merchants — according to the third annual American Bicyclist Study released at the 2014 National Bike Summit, held by The League of American Bicyclists in Washington DC each spring.

A summary of the 84-page report shows that almost half of city dwellers surveyed made their most recent bicycle purchase at a bike shop (49 percent). Urban cyclists also indicated they planned to spend 38 to 60 percent more on cycling products compared with the typical adult cyclist.

The summit draws hundreds of bicycling advocates for three days of lobbying on behalf of increased federal spending on bicycling infrastructure.

The Outdoor Foundation Releases 2013 Paddlesports Report

The Outdoor Foundation and The Coleman Company released their Special Report on Paddlesports, providing a detailed look at participation in kayaking, canoeing, rafting – and for the first time – stand up paddle boarding.

The report says that more than 19 million Americans participated in paddling in 2012 on rivers, lakes, streams and other waterways in their communities. The Outdoor Foundation’s Special Report on Paddlesports helps the outdoor industry, public agencies, and community organizations understand the trends in paddling. The report uses participation data collected annually by The Outdoor Foundation to present detailed information by gender, age, ethnicity, income, education, geographic region and more.

Other key findings from the report include:

-10.3 million Americans participated in kayaking in 2012; 9.8 million Americans participated in canoeing; 3.7 million in rafting; and 1.5 million in stand up paddling.

-Paddling participants made 202 million outings in 2012, averaging seven days per participant.

Download the full report here.

2014 Brooks Inspiring Coaches Program

Brooks Running is now accepting nominations for the 2014 Inspiring Coach of the Year Award, calling athletes and the running community to recognize and thank coaches who have created lasting differences in their lives. You can find more information and view the nomination form here.

The winner of the award receives $10,000 in Brooks performance running gear and $2,500 in cash to help pay for team expenses. Finalists for the award receive $5,000 in gear and $500 cash. Brooks will select 25 finalists for the award in June and invite the running community to vote via social media for which coach they think deserves to be the Brooks 2014 Inspiring Coach of the Year.

Rider Sandals Spring Foosball Tour

Rider Sandals launched its Spring Foosball Tour, visiting 15 college campuses across the Southeast before it sets up shop in Panama City Beach, Fla., for spring break. This is the third installment of its nationwide search for the best collegiate foosball players (previous tours included stops in Florida and the Northeast). Founded in Brazil in 1986, Rider’s goal is to incorporate Brazilian freedom and culture into every product — and Rider sandals and thongs are also 100 percent recyclable and produced in Brazil in some of the most eco-friendly manufacturing plants in the world. To learn more visit ridersandals.com.

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