Wired Magazine goes to Interbike and reports that
“The gas prices are the best thing that ever happened to cycling,” says Kevin Menard, whose year-old custom bike business, Traitor Cycles, is thriving. “I hope they go up even more.”
Cycling enjoyed a “huge spike” in interest in June when gas topped four bucks a gallon, Blumenthal says. Much of the bike industry has enjoyed double digit growth since then. Some manufacturers have seen 50 percent growth in the last quarter, and dealers can’t keep up with demand. The service sector (“tubes and lube” in industry jargon) also is booming as old bikes are hauled out of sheds and garages and dragged into shops for tune-ups and tires. A growing number of people are ditching cars in favor of bikes for commuting to work or running to the supermarket, Blumenthal says.
“Cycling for recreation in America has always been big,” he says. “Now we’re starting to see cycling for transport.”