This entry was posted on Thursday, June 12th, 2008 at 10:15 am and is filed under Bicycle advocacy. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.
The mainstream media can’t get enough of the “bike boom” caused by higher petrol prices. Go to Google News and type in ‘gas’ and ‘cycling’: you get 768 current news stories on the subject of folks ditching cars for bikes.
Here are some of the top results right now:
Cycling converts praise benefits of biking
MyFox Tampa Bay, FL
High gas prices drive movement toward bicycling
Cycling surges in Mass., fueled by high gas prices
Gas Prices Lead To Biking Boom
NBC 4.com, DC
This last story starts “With gas prices above the $4 mark, more cash-strapped commuters are turning to bikes.”
Reporters tend to lead with the economics angle, but the best pieces - for the image of cycling - are those that interview converts to cycling. And, with the zeal common among converts, they recount how they may have started cycling because of the spiralling price of fuel but they have discovered how much faster cycling is in towns and how much weight they’ve lost and - the knock-out punch - how much fun it is.
Driving to work may be dry, convenient, cocooned and with music on tap, but is it ever described as fun?
Over on the influential green blog EcoTech Daily, owner Chris Baskind responds to my comment that cycling should not be portrayed as ‘poor man’s transport’:
“Economics will get a lot of people on bikes. I’m already hearing total non-cyclists talking about it, and my local shop is slammed with dusty fix-er-uppers dragged out of garages. But I agree: bikes are *not* second rate transportation. I live in a small city, but when I’m in a dense area — downtown, for instance — I move a lot faster than cars. It’s not even close. Nor do I pay for parking. Bicycles rule.”
We’re the converted, the committed, we all know this. Others may not. Let’s spell it out: cycling to work is an alternative which is less expensive - a growing motivation for many - but it’s also an alternative which is superior. Cheaper yet better: I don’t know of a single word that can describe that notion.
Here’s a few suggestions. I’d love to hear some of yours.
Cheaperior: a blend of cheaper and superior
Cycleicious: er, no, that’s taken!