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Bike commuting all around

by Richard Masoner

We’ve all read about how bike commuting is on the rise in areas where bicycling is already popular such as Portland, OR; San Francisco; New York; and Boulder, CO. But what about where you live? Are rising gas prices making bike commuting more acceptable and visible?

I did a quick survey of news on bike commuting and here’s what I’ve found.

Here’s some interesting news from the Republic of Korea — the city of Changwon offers up to W30,000 (about US$30) per month for those who commute by bike at least 15 days of the month. Read more.

 
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20 Responses to “Bike commuting all around”

  1. xcskimt (robert) says:

    As a commuter in Green Bay WI, I have seen an increase of people commuting by bike. If I had the time it would be interesting to see if they are commuting due to the gases prices or health or environmental resons. I have attached a URL of a Department of Transportation plan for Green Bay. It is interesting to see some of the transportation issues that go on in my area.
    http://www.dot.state.wi.us/projects/state/docs/2030city-greenbay.pdf

  2. matthew booth says:

    From San Diego –

    Today was my first day commuting to work via bicycle. I have been in a bike shop the past week converting my mountain bike into a more suitable road bike. I asked the owner of the shop and they say business has been higher than usual.

    On my particular route I see around 5-6 other bike commuters. Alot of times I see the serious cyclist (the one that has a hundred ‘sponsors’ on a tight fitting uniform). They seem to be all over San Diego.

    Personally I commute by bike for a lot of reason. It seems to kill numerous birds(sorry PETA) with one stone. I cut down on my gas consumption (+environment and +wallet), I get my exercise in during times I’d be in traffic (+health). Today I felt awesome when I got to work. Its the first time I can remember in the last two years where I felt the most awake that early in the morning (+health and +mental health).

    I’d love to stick with bike commuting, but also see legislature that makes bike commuting safer and give us some sort of monetary reward for doing so. Until I see that, it seems most this fluff about alternate fuel is just new technologies to make more money off of us.

  3. jt says:

    I’ve been full-time bike commuting for six weeks here in Phoenix. I saw the “bike interest on the rise” article in the local paper. I can testify to a 300% increase in bike commuters along my personal route, over the past week alone. Of course, that translates into seeing two other people riding, since I’ve been the only one up until now…

  4. DLuke says:

    I started commuting about 2 1/2 months ago. Since then I have been seeing more and more bicycles around here (Virginia Beach). Unfortunately, I only see two or three others who bother to follow the rules of the road (i.e., obey traffic laws and ride safely). That really gets my goat because I do not want to be lumped in with a bunch of morons on bikes who piss off everyone around them.

    Now onto the good news, I have not filled up my car in 2 months. It helps pay for all the gear on my commuter bike. Somehow I cannot make it past the LBS without finding something I just gotta have.

    Ride Safe!

  5. aidan says:

    Besides an early summer after a long winter (not much of a spring) here in Toronto, and the same higher gas as the US, we had a one day transit strike with threat of longer. It’s been a banner year for bike shops! I can’t get my road bike overhualed for love or money, and the fixed gear I want is sold out.

  6. Juan says:

    I’ve been commuting since gas was about $1 a gallon, so it’s not the money that motivates me (although it doesn’t hurt). I like it for the eco-reasons and health benefits. It’s funny that Boulder (my area) was mentioned above, because it seemed there were more people riding the summer gas went over $2 a gallon, than this summer now that it’s about to hit $4. Maybe bike month here in Colorado will get more people riding. Get on your bikes people!!

  7. Cafiend says:

    I commute to work at a bike shop in Wolfeboro, NH. We’ve definitely seen a big jump in cycling interest, with commuting mentioned frequently. I don’t think the local paper cares to notice, so it’s under the media radar.

    One customer is a restaurant chef who was going to commute 34 miles round trip to his grueling kitchen shift. Hats off! I’m glad he opted to move closer to work, but still plans to bike it.

    I don’t know if it’s my habitual tardiness or my particular commuting route, but I have yet to see anyone but the handful of regulars on my morning and evening rides. That still leaves a lot of other roads.

  8. Mike Myers says:

    I have commuted off and on for 10 years or so. I have only seen one other bike commuter on a regular basis. Well, other than the DUI guys.

    Today I saw another commuter headed the opposite way on my route. He was riding a road bike and looked to be fairly new to riding. I’m guessing that by the white cotton T-shirt(a bad idea in Florida), but he was there! I hope it’s a sign of things to come.

    I live in Citrus County, Florida.

  9. N. Apes says:

    I currently live in San Diego CA, but I grew up in Ohio and commuted there year-round for over ten years before moving here. What blows my mind (given the weather here) is that I usually see 1-2 other commuters max on my daily commute of 10-20 miles round trip. I work with guys that drive their full-size trucks to work (from where I live) with their $7000 road bikes and then take off at lunch for 30-mile wanna-be pro athlete rides. There are plenty of people that commute in San Diego county, but for lots of people it doesn’t matter if gas is $20/gallon they’ll still sit in the Escalade with the A/C on while napping or eating lunch and talking on the phone. Just sit back and watch the human race destroy the earth.

  10. jason (sd) says:

    Brookings, South Dakota here. This is a college town and it is not unusual to see people riding their bikes. However, I have seen a lot more people this year than last year, that seem to be headed somewhere (commuting) in the mornings.
    It is interesting to watch the ones new to the sport. I am not sure if I should give them advice or let them figure stuff out on their own. As I hate getting advice from motorists I usually keep my mouth shut. But it is hard to watch people hugging the curb, or riding on the side walk, especially the wrong way.

  11. Stevep says:

    Bikers are everywhere, and it’s great!
    My office has a couple of bike racks in back where there were always a few bikes parked. In the last year, the racks have started to overflow. There are clearly more people riding to work. Some people ride regularly and some just once in a while, but it’s more. I’m even seeing people riding who I never thought would do anything but drive to work.
    Why? Hard to say. In addition to gas prices, I think a greener way of thinking is becoming a part of mainstream thinking – it’s not weird to ride a bike for transportation anymore. Ironic, right? Maybe some people will never get it, but most people I talk to think riding to work is a great idea even if they don’t actually bike – future converts I think.

  12. Cafn8 says:

    Chiming in from New Jersey: in the past few years of bike commuting, I can remember seeing (maybe) a handful of people on bikes during my commute, and most of them appeared to be “just out for a ride” and not necessarily riding for transportation. Within the past two or three weeks, however, I’ve begun to see people with backpacks, and even some people on bikes wearing dress shirts and pants. Not a lot, but some, which seems like a big relative change. Maybe we’ve reached a breaking point. It’s encouraging to see.

  13. Meghank says:

    Here in Memphis, Tn, there hasn’t been much of an increase in people who commute by bike, although there’s been a little. I see a lot more people bicycling for fun, though. And maybe I’m imagining it, but I think drivers are nicer to me than they were when gas was cheap (or at least when it wasn’t on everyone’s mind all the time).

  14. derrick says:

    I live in Lexington, KY. I’ve been commuting for a couple years now and have never seen anyone else on the road… until now. There’s about three others out there on their bikes every morning. One on a recumbent packed with panniers. 3 may not sound like many. But for having never seen anyone before, it’s like Lexington’s commuting numbers have grown by 300%! We have way too much sprawl and way too few roadways that work for cyclists. So I’m pretty pleased to see more friendly faces out there.

  15. locus says:

    I’ve been a DC bike commuter for over four years. I’m blessed with a relatively easy 2 mile ride into the office at the U.S. Dept. of Health. It doesn’t hurt to have an office that supports my efforts with showers and a garage where I can safely park my wheels.
    It all started because I don’t have convenient access to Metro and the numerous buses that criss-cross my neighborhood drop me off pretty far from work. It literally is the fastest way to get in. I’ve kept it up and now ride yearlong (subfreezing temps) and other inclimate weather (rain). I just found over time that I had fewer and fewer excuses not to get on my bike and ride.
    There are a number of fellow commuters that share the bike lanes in my neighborhood who become much more frequent in the spring and fall. It’s not uncommon to see cyclists in dress shirts and/or suits (myself included). Some use their bikes to ferry their kids to daycare before heading into the office (again, myself included).
    I guess we’re lucky here in DC. We’ve got a relatively flat city, numerous bike lanes, and an active bike community (go WABA). The Mayor and Council support our efforts. It probably doesn’t hurt to have a large group of bike messengers either.

  16. Paul says:

    I’ve been doing the bike/ rail commute for about 4 months now and here in Los Angeles there is definitely an increase in bike commuting. I have about a 5 mile ride to the Redline (subway) station, and about a 2.5 mile ride from there to my job at the University of Southern California (USC). The campus is located in downtown Los Angeles, so the ride can be pretty hairy, but the streets are fairly wide and flat, so the ride itself is not that difficult.

    Subway and bus ridership in general is way up here, and its customary to see at least 2-3 regular bikers in each car of the train I ride in on. There was an interesting article in Bicycling Magazine last month about the most bike friendly cities in the US, and I was surprised that Los Angeles was on the list of “five to watch” in the coming years. There is supposedly some type of master plan to integrate the 350 + miles of bike paths, bike lanes and bike trails in the city next year – it will be interesting to see what becomes of it.

  17. mtbman1 says:

    Albany, NY chiming in. I’m definitely seeing lots more commuters on the streets especially from my middle/upper middle class burb to downtown where the primary “industry” is the state government. It’s about a 7 mile ride from where I live to downtown.

  18. Joe says:

    That friggin POS Kulongowski riding his bike to work. What a joke. He rolls around to meetings all day in big fat SUV’s. He’s a total hypocrite.

    Ok. NUff about that. I’ve been seeing a few more bikers here in the less populated areas of the state of Oregon. We are 300 miles from Portland.

  19. I’ve been commuting in Madison, WI since 1989, and the last 3 years have seen a steady increase in the number of bike commuters. But this year… this year has been something else altogether… the bike facilities have been downright crowded. Personally, I’d like to see gas go back down to 99 cents/gallon so I can have my bike paths back! ;-)

  20. aullman says:

    There are alot of people who would ride their bikes work if they could. In some cases it is just too far. For others, there is no safe route. The way to solve both of these problems is to work in a remote office. Remote Office Centers lease individual offices, internet and phone systems to workers from multiple companies in shared centers that are located near where people live. Remote Office Center allow people to work in an office down the street. Imagine how many more people could bike to work if they could their office to a more convenient location. ROCs make this possible. The concept is new, but there are already 350 centers posted on: http://www.remoteofficecenters.com

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