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arben

Bicycle sales boom in US amid rising gas pric

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arben

WASHINGTON (AFP) - More bicycles than cars have been sold in the United States over the past 12 months, with rising gas prices prompting commuters to opt for two wheels instead of four.

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Not since the oil crisis of 1973 have bicycles sold in such big numbers, according to Tim Blumenthal, executive director of Bikes Belong, an industry association.

"Bicycle sales are near an all-time high with 19 million sold last year -- close to the 20 million sold during the oil embargo in the early 1970s," said Blumenthal, whose association is based in Boulder in the western state of Colorado.

The US Chamber of Commerce says more bicycles have been sold than cars over the past 12 months.

In a country where most of the population still relies heavily on cars, some 87 million people have climbed on a bike in the past 12 months, Blumenthal said.

While less than car sales, bike sales generate about five to six billion dollars of business a year, he said.

Bicycles are back mainly because the sharp increase in gas prices has made them a practical alternative, said Paul Gaiser, owner of Scooter Commuter in Bethesda, Maryland.

"Above all it's the higher price of gas, but also it's concern for the environment and the cost of another car," Gaiser told AFP.

The average price of gas in the United States has increased 47.3 percent in a year, according to figures published last week by the American Automobile Association.

Gaiser believes the bicycle trend is no passing fad.

"Our sales have quadrupled in the last two months," he said. "I think it's a major paradigm shift. It's here to stay."

Cyclists on the streets of the US capital agreed.

"I bought my first bike six months ago to go to college. I could not do without it. It's faster in traffic and less expensive," said Erik Lubell, a student at George Washington University wearing a multi-colored helmet.

Near the affluent district of Georgetown, Stella Hardwood said she had a different motivation.

"I don't want to put on weight and my bike forces me to exercise," Hardwood said.

The superstar status of cycling champion Lance Armstrong, who has won the Tour de France seven times, has also helped spark interest in the sport.

The US government has also done its part to promote a more bicycle-friendly environment. Some 3.5 million dollars in federal money has been set aside to create cycling trails over the next four years.

Source

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Mekorig

Well, at least this is beneficial to the public health :P

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__Kratos__

Well, at least this is beneficial to the public health :P

:lol: Yeah.

Not owning a car will mean less trips to the fast food joint just a couple miles away to. :)

Some how I would think more mountain bikes are being sold then BMX. :P

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Dando Kast

I think i'm gonna be buying a new bike too.. just got my CC so i gotta splurge on something... might as well be for health and the enviroment...

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AztecInca

Well the exact same thing is happening down under and I already ride or walk, or use public transport to get just about everywhere. So to see more people doing that is just great. Although our public transport system is struggling to cope with all the extra passengers.

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4dplane

Sounds great, but in my world, five months out of the year there is no way I am riding a bike in a foot of snow and -15 degree wind chills. As long as of course, gas prices do not hit $15 dollars a gallon. :P

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ROGER
:( I wish they made like a peddle car for Adults , with two seats side by side , peddles connected , and a place for groceries or small loads. Grandma and I are not to steady on our feet , but could use this for around town. We live in a small (2000) town. But I have not seen anything like that around here!

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nativechick1989

I have to agree with 4dplane, I too live in a world where the weather dictates our every day lives. We're just moving into that time of year where the temps are starting to drop and the winds are starting to blow. The wind chill factor can be very harsh and factor that in with the blowing snow hitting your face . . . . Ouch! So it's just like 4dplane said "As long as of course, gas prices do not hit $15 dollars a gallon.", it'll continue to drive my car.

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leo_lunar_tick

I have a reg'd design for something like this ....with a 200w (1/3rd hp) motor ..rated to carry 170kg at avg 25mph for 90mins ..... lots of engineering for lateral loads and ackerman zero scrub steering etc etc ...the area between the front wheels on mine will hold a 400mm wide "seat for a passenger or luggage)

The additional weight (not incl motor/battery) is less than 2 lbs :D

Anybody interested

user posted image

Here's a plan view of my one (just a rough out) .... i keep the CAD stuff elsewhere ;)

user posted image

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