The Irish Cycling Show is getting set for its second edition in Citywest just off the M50 on March 9th and 10th and the event couldn’t come at a better time for the burgeoning cycling industry.
With global sales totalling almost €33 billion in 2010 reflecting a four percent rise in sales on the previous year, research by multinational market research company NPD Group indicates that the annual market for bikes is now almost 140 million bikes.
The Ireland and UK market including accessories, footwear and clothing combined is calculated at €2.2 billion euro making it more than twice as big as the €1billion soccer market.
And far from the utilitarian device that it was, the once humble bike is now the vehicle of expression for an aspirant consumer with disposable income.
According to research carried out by Mintel, cyclists in Britain who use their bike at least once a week are more likely to shop at posh supermarkets and have a household income in excess of €65,000 a year.
In Ireland, the trend continues with a positively alpine upward graph.
Cycling Ireland are reporting that membership numbers are once again at record year-on-year levels in 2013, a total of 15,500 members and those numbers can be multiplied by the countless tens of thousands of non CI members who make their way into the countryside on leisure spins each week.
As popular economist David McWilliams pointed out in a recent Sunday Business Post article, the cycling boom was part ignited by the government’s Cycle to Work scheme which has boosted all facets of the industry.
“The ‘cycle-to-work’ scheme rekindled cycling interest in the chopper generation, but the commuting cyclist has morphed into the serious, weekend sports enthusiast, and he has provided a bigger opportunity for retailers,” said McWilliams
Of course the popularity of cycling is far from confined to leisure riders.
With commuter numbers also rising at a dramatic rate, central and local government are moving fast to meet the demand with infrastructure, and by extension make cycle commuting more attractive.
The National Transport Authority (NTA) has just announced a package of nearly €44 million in grant-aid to improve facilities for cyclists, pedestrians and public transport users in the Greater Dublin area.
This will include a new cycle route from Phoenix Park to The Point and new cycle routes to be established across the city centre and surrounding counties as well as the Marlborough Street bridge, which the NTA confirmed would be for the exclusive use of buses, trams, cyclists and pedestrians.
An average of 8,000 commuters use bikes in Dublin in 2013, compared to 5,000 in 2006.
The Irish Cycling Show is the perfect showcase for an industry on the rise and, having moved to a new venue this year, the event is set to spread its wings.
Building on the success of last year’s inaugural event, Mara Media have attracted more trade stands and feature exhibits to Citywest in what is set to be a season highlight for trade exhibitors and consumers alike.
With an earlier calendar slot this year, the event will capture consumer attention at the perfect time as cyclists look forward to the summer months and contemplate their spending choices for the year ahead.
Tickets are available online or at the door.
See www.irishcyclingshow.ie for a full list of exhibitors and news updates on facebook page.