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Gas Prices Still Too High? Ride a Bike!

Gas Prices Still Too High? Ride a Bike!

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?

Read more: Life, Shades of Green, Transportation, , ,

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Jana Ballinger

Jana Ballinger has more than 15 years of experience as a writer and copy editor for daily newspapers. She lives in a vintage house in Northern California with her husband and an orange cat.


+ add your own
7:46AM PDT on May 1, 2013

Biking is good for the environment.

8:53AM PST on Nov 17, 2012

Thank you for sharing.

2:59PM PDT on Apr 10, 2012

I already do it

7:50AM PDT on Apr 10, 2012

That depends on the distance.

12:01PM PST on Feb 16, 2012

gas should be $700,000/gallon

12:14AM PDT on May 6, 2011


8:10AM PST on Jan 12, 2011

Go vegan!

4:32AM PST on Jan 12, 2011

Thanks for the article.

11:30AM PST on Jan 26, 2010

I don't believe those people are all stupid, James, but the technology of the car dumbs them down. When you sit enclosed in a climate controlled module that moves without effort on your part, you are much less aware than when you bicycle. It's true that perfectly nice people use their cars to accidentally kill others every day.

That said, there are ways to enhance your safety as a bicyclist or pedestrian. Be visible and predictable, hold your line, and remain prepared to respond to cars that make stupid moves. Stay clear of opening doors. Don't ride across a vehicle's path until you see the eyes of the driver. Maintain enough momentum to provide maneuverability.

I've bicycled 10,000 miles through 28 states and commuted at least as many miles in Western Washington & Oregon without ever being hit by a car (knock on wood). I never intend to own a car again. I'm certainly no superman. You could do it, too.

6:55PM PST on Jan 25, 2010

I envy a lot of these people that can live sustainably and ride their bikes everywhere. I would love to be able to live sustainably and be able to ride a bike everywhere like I did when I was a kid all year round. But as I got older and drove a car, I realized just how many stupid people there are behind the wheel and realized that by riding a bike, I am vulnerable to being killed by said stupid people, so I only ride when it is nice out now.

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Disclaimer: The views expressed above are solely those of the author and may not reflect those of
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Excellent advice. Thank you.

Thank you, very helpful indeed!!

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