Virginians Trade Road for Bike Path

By: Lindsay Puccio
By: Lindsay Puccio

October 3, 2005

High gas prices are keeping some Virginians off the roads and on the sidewalks. Biking is the new trendiest alternative form of transportation.

According to AAA's latest survey 70 percent of people said they're driving less due to astronomical gas prices. High gas prices are forcing many Virginians to change their driving habits. Almost 12 percent say they're driving a more fuel-efficient vehicle, like a bike.

"This year we've seen a significant growth in business and I'm sure the gas prices had something to do with it," said Mark Gordon, of the Bike Factory.

With more people opting for two wheels rather than four, more bikes have been sold in the United States this year than cars.

"Lately we've had a lot of people coming in [and saying] 'I need a commuter style bike...because I only live a mile from work' and we've also done a lot more in terms of repairs of bikes," said Gordon.

The cost of repairing a bike pales in comparison to higher prices you'd pay at the pump. With Bike Factory's business skyrocketing 30 percent for the year, Gordon knows people are using them for a lot more than recreation.

"I've noticed a lot of people are outfitting their bikes more for commuting that what they were really meant for," said Gordon.

In a country where most of the population still relies heavily on cars, about 87 million people have already jumped on the bike bandwagon.

The government has also done its part to promote a more bicycle-friendly environment. They have set aside $3.5 million to create more cycling trails over the next 4 years.

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