Sunday, May 11, 2008

"As fuel prices surge, bike business rolls along"

"BISMARCK, N.D. - Four-dollar-a-gallon gas is good for business — if you run a bike shop.

Commuters around the country are dusting off their old two-wheelers — or buying new ones — to cope with rising fuel prices, bicycle dealers say.

"Everyone that comes in the shop is talking about the gas prices," said Barry Dahl, who opened Barry's Bikes in Bismarck in April. He sold more than 50 bicycles in the first month, double the projections in his business plan.

...The League of American Bicyclists is promoting Bike-to-Work Week this week and Bike-to-Work Day on May 16. Nesper said he expects a record number of people will be pedaling this year.

There's almost nowhere for the numbers to go but up: The group says less than one-half of 1 percent of Americans ride a bike to work."

Portland leads the nation with 3.5% of the workforce riding a bike to work. The highest number on earth, according to the current Bicycling Magazine (no links yet), is in Groningen, Holland where fully 64%* of all workers ride a bike to work. When asked how to get more workers to ride to work in the US, Groningen's mayor replied, "Charge for parking, charge A LOT."