From the Sacramento Bee, 05.01.08:
Soaring fuel prices nudge more commuters to pump bike pedals, not gasLast year's Bike Commute Month in Sacramento attracted more than 4,500 bicyclists, who reported pedaling nearly 927,000 miles as part of the region's challenge event. Sacramento is an under-estimated bicycling city. It has a great network of shaded bike routes in the central city; bicycle-friendly multimodal transit; bike-friendly intercity passenger rail service; and one of the country's premier bicycling facilities, the American River Bike Path.
Talk all you want about carbon footprints. Save the planet? A noble sentiment, indeed, but saving hard-earned cash was the bigger concern for Raymond McCarty when he ditched his diesel-guzzling truck and a month ago began pedaling his bike to and from work.
The price of diesel fuel is reaching new heights, and any day now, regular grade gasoline also could surpass $4 a gallon. For McCarty and others, that's a persuasive incentive to abandon the modern convenience of driving an automobile in favor of pedaling a bicycle.
"Maybe I'm doing a little to save the planet when I recycle a few aluminum cans. But if you think I'm bicycling to save the planet--no, I'm not that kind of person," said McCarty who pedals nearly nine miles from his Orangevale home to his employer's warehouse in Rancho Cordova. When he saw that he could be saving about $150 a month by cutting down on fuel for his truck, that's when he decided it was time to start biking.
"I'm primarily doing it for my wallet. Secondarily, I'm doing it for my health (his legs are more toned and stronger). Thirdly, I could say I'm doing it for my planet."
On the first day of this year's "May is Bike Month" campaign, bicycle advocates hope to exploit the high cost at the pump – any reason, really – to get more folks pumping on their bicycle pedals.
"When there are large disincentives to drive, like high gas prices, people make decisions based on their pocketbooks," said Walt Seifert, executive director of Sacramento Area Bicycle Advocates. "I do hope the higher gas prices change the behavior of people so they will use public transit, use bicycles or choose to walk. If they do that, not only will the environment benefit, but people will be fitter and healthier." (Read more.)
Image: Sacramento Bee.
Visit: Editorial: A Timely Bike Month, Sacramento Bee
Visit: Sacramento celebrates bicycling, Bike Commute Tips Blog
Visit: Sacramento: Cycle City?, Bike Commute Tips Blog
Visit: Biking Journalist: Interview with Blair Robertson, Bike Commute Tips Blog
Visit: Paul Dorn's Bike Commuting Tips Site
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