With High Gas Prices, Driving Less May Mean Biking More

By Melissa Daniels
Messenger Post
April 27, 2011

Canandaigua, N.Y. — With gas prices hitting $4 a gallon, joyrides and frequent trips are costing Americans more than they may be able to justify. For those looking to save at the gas pump, but still get around easily, hopping on a bike might be just the right alternative.

Tim Blumenthal, president of the Bikes Belong Coalition, a biking advocacy group, said the last time gas prices went above $4 a gallon, in the summer of 2008, bike sales soared.

“Just about every bicycle retailer in the United States said they attracted new customers,” Blumenthal said. “From new customers coming in saying they wanted to replace some of the trips they make by car with bike trips, and a lot of people brought in old, cobwebbed bikes that had been hanging in the garage for years, saying, ‘Can I get this fixed for not a lot of money, I want to try to use it.’”

Already in 2011, bike sales are up 10 percent from last year, Blumenthal said, with the bike boom expected to be greater this year than in 2008.

“We think this year, the trend may be even stronger, and the bike industry and bike stores are better equipped now than they were in 2008 to provide what people need,” Blumenthal said.

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