Cruiser Republic -
While gas prices across the United States have dropped dramatically in recent months, anyone who drives a car knows that what goes down eventually goes back up. And that includes the price of gas.
We in North America would do well to learn from our European cousins. With consistently high gas prices, pollution and smaller urban roadways, many on the continent ride bicycles to work every day. Europeans are not typically dramatic about it. It's just something people in the Netherlands, Spain, Italy, France, Germany and other countries have been doing for many years. On the streets in Amsterdam, men and women, in chic, business attire ride grown-up bicycles fitted with higher handlebars, not pursuit bars that allow riders to sit-up, with more dignity and sophistication, as they glide to work.
They’ve been commuting like this for years. It’s not dramatic. It’s just a lifestyle choice that reflects greater practicality about traveling costs, and the expense of maintaining a car.
Here in the U.S. and Canada, commuting to work on bicycles is a more recent phenomena. When people used to talk about “bike friendly” cities in the U.S., they were really referring to college towns. Check out Chicago, New York, San Francisco, Seattle, Vancouver, Toronto and you quickly realize that more and more people have adopted the European model.
While many North Americans view cycling as exercise, the European model suggests a larger world view – that riding a bicycle is not just good for you – it’s a serious form of mass transportation.
Bicycle commuting is officially a lifestyle with more and more people adopting it at least 5 days a week in every kind of weather. North America is slowly catching up with the rest of the world – pedaling is not only good for you, it saves money and often that most valuable of commodities: time.