As car sales plummet, bike sales are soaring, reports the Los Angeles Times. To many Americans, there’s only one act more painful than breaking a sweat: spending money. Stingy drivers nationwide are ditching their cars to become road warriors of a different breed, which is spiking bike sales and changing the way we look at bicycles. Once for leisure and exercise, bikes are now viewed as a practical mode of transport—and a good reason to leave the car in the garage.
Industry sales for this year haven’t yet been published, but Tim Blumenthal, executive director of Bikes Belong Coalition, an advocacy group, told the Times, "Bicycles for transportation has not been a big thing until very recently… April and particularly May, and now June, have been phenomenal months. This is across the board and across the country."
The cycling trend is growing—and quickly. Jim Whitsett, owner of Cynergy Cycles in
Michael Hall, a television editor, has begun cycling a 25-mile round trip commute to work and saves $150 per month by doing so. The price however, is his compromised safety.
He told the Times:
"It’s definitely saving me money, but may be taking years off my life due to the fact that it’s a terrifying experience” …The problems, he said, include the cellphone-using, "coffee-drinking, shaving, makeup-putting-on person who’s not paying attention" and the furious motorists who swear at him if he slows them down "for a nanosecond."
For now, Hall and fellow bike commuters may not be entirely safe alongside absentee drivers, but they can take solace in knowing that they’re smarter than the driver applying lipstick while eating breakfast, conversing with a client, and checking e-mail on her iPhone. Steering a bike makes multi-tasking impossible—just one of its many awesomely simple side benefits.
Photo via flickr by chilcy
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