It happened in 2008. It's happening again.
Gas prices are rising. Rapidly. Inexplicably. In an election year, coincidentally.
Unless you are an heir to an oil fortune, an executive at a multinational oil company, or a Wall Street speculator, this is probably not good news for you. It likely falls somewhere between monkey wrench and economic catastrophe.
When this last happened four years ago, there was a nationwide shortage of 27 X 1 1/4" bicycle tires.
For the 99% not familiar with bike tire sizes, 27" tires were last popular in the 1980's. Back in '08, people were dragging old ten-speeds out of sheds, down from attics, up basement stairs, out of garages and into bike shops in record numbers. The bike boom of the 1970's had been accurately recreated without terry cloth shorts and striped tube socks...
As any student of economics knows, prices are elastic and sooner or later every rubber band has to snap. Gas prices exceeding $4 per gallon were high enough to cause many Americans to substitute a trip by car with one by bike. It caused others to stay closer to home, relying on bicycles for their summer recreation. Staycations were all the rage.
For a brief moment in time, we were all bicyclists, sharing the road, cursing the man, and anxiously anticipating hope and change.
Ok, that last statement was a bit of an exaggeration, but there really were more people riding bikes four years ago. It was a good year for the bike business, but very short lived as gas prices came crashing down with the rest of the economy in early fall. But I digress...
This summer will be the perfect time to rediscover bicycling.
Reclaim your health while you relive your youth. Hop on a bike and explore your neighborhood. Run your errands on two wheels. Cruise to the public swimming pool. Pack a lunch and head out on an all-day adventure. Challenge your neighbor to a race.
Just like in your earlier days, your only limitation is your imagination.
Stop worrying about the rising price of gas. It's all out of your control. What is in your control is how much you choose to drive when you could just as easily get there by bike.
This summer, you can return to a simpler time. Before you could drive. Back when your bike was your only mode of transportation. In an era when bicycling defined freedom and liberty. The days when it was both the catalyst and conveyance of your spontaneous adventures.
It really is as easy as riding a bike...
Follow me here and I'll show you just how easy it can be to rediscover bicycling in 2012.
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Keep riding and be safe!