The sale of bicycles in Spain shot up last year to exceed one and a half million units, a spectacular increase over the previous year. Specifically, 1,565,233 units were sold, 300,000 more than in 2019, which represented a business volume of 2,607 million euros. This unprecedented takeoff has taken place all over the world and caused stock outs during de-escalation.
Cycling is the most buoyant segment within the sporting goods category, according to the figures presented today by the Association of Bicycle Brands of Spain: it accounts for a third of sales, above other popular sports disciplines such as soccer. There are 339 companies and 168 national manufacturers in our country. The bicycle sector as a whole, with almost 3,000 stores included, employs 22,572 workers.
“2020 was the year of the bicycle. And in 2021 we are going to consolidate these holdings,” says Javier López, president of AMBE. “We believe that it is only possible with a great alliance of the industry, the startups working on mobility solutions and administrations “.
The comparison with car sales is striking this year, because although it is not the first time that more bikes have been sold than cars (it happened in the previous crisis, when registrations fell), such a brutal difference is novel. Almost twice as many bicycles as cars were sold in 2020, that have been debacle for months.
The event was attended by representatives of the DGT and the Ministry of Transport, Mobility and Urban Agenda (MITMA). In MITMA, in fact, they have created a Bicycle Office. Its coordinator, Antonio Pérez Peña, acknowledges that during the pandemic “we had the feeling that something was happening. Two words became very fashionable: tactical urbanism. And the guidelines for building temporary bike lanes were successful. Now we are in the consolidation phase. of all this, although the objective of promoting active mobility, both for pedestrians and cyclists, has not been brought about by the pandemic. It was there before. ”
Mountain biking still reigns supreme
By category, mountain bikes and children’s bikes continue to be the best sellers. “There is a very consolidated tradition of cycling as a sport,” says López. “But it is good news that urban and road bikes are growing. In this sector we have always been waiting for the boom of urban mobility by bicycle. “Thus, the cycling employers consider it” historic “that last April Salvador Illa – then Minister of Health – came out to recommend cycling to work.
Although some Spanish cities have been promoting cycling mobility for years and creating infrastructures for it —Valencia, Seville, Barcelona and Palma de Mallorca are the most valued by cyclists, according to the OCU, and Murcia, Madrid and Bilbao the least— the “great challenge is the consolidation of a city model in which there are a large number of quiet streets,” said the director of the National Road Safety Observatory of the DGT, Álvaro Gomez. “Lowering the speed limit to 30 km / h is important, but it should be an umbrella to consolidate other mobility management.”
From MITMA they have assumed this “task of coordination”, although the competence of urban infrastructures is held by the municipalities. The Ministry has included an item of 2.9 billion euros of European funds to create low-emission zones in municipalities with more than 50,000 inhabitants. Among the measures for which councils can apply for subsidies is the creation of bike lanes, safe bicycle parking and, in general, projects that promote healthy mobility. According to a comparative analysis of the European Federation of Cyclists, the cycling content of the Spanish Recovery Plan falls into the category of “good”, which places us next to Belgium, Denmark, Hungary, Italy, Latvia, Romania and Slovakia.