Most of those miles are via commuting back and forth to my office, take a round about way so it ends up being 40 miles a day. Been commuting for some 20+ years now and started commuting through the winter back in the early nineties. On top of that I am involved in a local cycling club, Blue Hills Cycling, based out of Milton, one of the suburbs of Boston doing rides with them and an occasional race here and there.
In those 20 years of commuting I have seen a steady, albeit slow increase in the number of commuters on the mean streets of Boston, after all, this was labeled as one of the least friendly bike towns in America (though the Mayor has found a new love for cycling so things are improving). With more bike commuters, it will only get better.
The dramatic increase rise in gas prices is leading to a huge bump-up in the number of commuters. Stopped into my local bike shop and they stated they have seen a big increase in both bike sales (commuter bikes) and lots of people dragging bikes out of their basements to be tuned-up so they can begin commuting.
This is truly great news for not only are these new commuters contributing to lowering the output of noxious green house gases produce by their gas guzzling SUVs, they are also contributing to their health. Spoke to one new commuter this week, who got started after her car was stolen. Guess what, she is loving the freedom of riding a bike and told me she never realized there were so many interesting things to see that she just missed when commuting within the cocoon of her car.
We talked about the health of Americans on this blog and elsewhere; the epidemic of obesity, the continual rise in type two diabetes, hypertension, etc. but guess what, a little exercise can ameliorate many of these ills. Maybe the rise in gasoline prices has a silver lining to it after all.
And speaking of riding, tomorrow I’m off on an epic, 146mile ride called the B2B (Brewery to Brewery), sponsored byt he local brewery, Harpoon (BTW, they make a great IPA). It starts at their brewery in Boston and ends at their satellite brewery in South Windsor VT. Will end up being 7+ hours in the saddle, but it really is a great time with great people and finishes with that great Harpoon beer and barbecue in Windsor.