Think of it as the "bicycle economy," writes Elly Blue in Grist. Ditching your car for a bike not only saves you thousands of dollars every year, it boosts local businesses. "It's amazing how much money can stay in your community when it isn't being pumped into the gas tank, big insurance, and the auto market," she writes. It's not about bike shops—it's about all those other businesses and restaurants that a thriving community of bicyclists supports within about a 5-mile radius.
This is assuming, of course, that your city is bike-friendly or at least trying to get there, and more local governments need to embrace the idea, writes Blue: "There aren't very many economic scenarios in this country where everyone wins. But if you had to choose one single thing that could pull our neighborhoods, towns, and cities out of this murky pit of a recession, you'd do well to bet on the humble bicycle." (Read more bicycles stories.)