Don’t hate me for saying this, but I think the ungodly high prices of gasoline this summer just may have had a positive side-effect. I know, I know. It was hard, painful even, to pay upwards of $5 a gallon. Maybe you even canceled a vacation, a weekend road trip, or a drive to the coast because it was just too dang expensive. So you stayed home and sulked. Or, maybe instead of sulking, you pulled that old bicycle out of the garage–out from behind the boxes of Christmas decorations and underneath the cat carrier–and went for a ride.
Which brings us back to the positive: People are riding their bikes more. Not only have I noticed this phenomenon myself, but I have read several articles online that say interest in bicycles is on the rise–as a result of the high gas prices! Now I admit that much of the evidence for this is anecdotal. Like the articles quoting bike shop owners in small towns saying, “Yep. They come in here for bikes because they can’t afford to drive their Hummers.”
But it makes sense, right? So there you go–an unintended consequence of high gas prices, a perk on wheels if you will. And now that fuel prices seem to be heading down again, and people are under the impression that the worst is over, I for one hope this is a trend that continues.
Now I have to admit that I don’t commute to work on my bike–trust me, it is too far. But on weekends and the days I work at home, I am very diligent about using my bike to run errands. And since my husband is something of a bike nut, I don’t ever have to worry about the two-wheel vehicles getting relegated to the back of the garage. It’s an easy pedal to the nearby Whole Foods, the post office, even my favorite restaurant. Plus riding your bike is just so dang fun. Even when you’re doing something boring like cruising down to the bank, there’s just something about the wind on your face that makes you feel like a kid again.
So yeah, high gas prices arenít much fun. But if you are one of the people who rediscovered the undeniable joy of riding a bike this summer, is that so bad?