Surprise: The Wall Street Journal doesn't understand that bikes are transportation

Public
CC BY 2.0 The first public bike i've seen in Canada / Lloyd Alter

Rachel Berman of the Wall Street Journal appears to be surprised that people actually ride bikes for other than mad racing in spandex. She speaks to one Austin rider who says:

“I ride my bike purely to get from one place to another—not, ‘I’m going to take this out for exercise for like 20 miles,’ ” says Cassie Rae DuBay, a 28-year-old law librarian in Dallas. She says she aims to “add a little exercise to my day by riding 2 miles, as opposed to driving.”

© Wall Street Journal

She goes on to compare the growth of running as a sport to that of cycling, and finds that cycling is lagging running, showing a graph that compares "people in the US ages 6 and up who bicycled on pavement or went running at least once during the calendar year." She then compares running events to cycling, and speaks to a bike dealer:

“When you look at a marathon or half-marathon, you will see people walking, and they’re not ashamed,” says Fred Clements, executive director of the National Bicycle Dealers Association. “They’re not made to feel embarrassed. And that’s something that you won’t really see at a bicycling event. I don’t think we’re as far along as running is in making events that appeal to everyone.”

I wonder what planet these people are on. There's been an explosion in the use of bikes as transportation in cities across North America, with a 61.6 percent increase in bicycle commuting since 2000. It's growing at about 10 percent per year.

© Electra Townie

There are many kinds of cyclists; the racers, the weekend recreational riders, and then there are those who have come to treat the bicycle as transportation. And in fact when you get further into the article you read that sales of regular bikes, (they call them "leisure bikes") increased 19 percent last year, while road bike sales were down. The best selling bike in the country was an Electra women's Townie.

© Momentum

This spring, Giant Bicycles launched a separate brand for casual bikes called Momentum. Its Street model, as seen on Momentum’s stand-alone website, retails for $425 and comes with a cupholder, U-lock carrier and light-load rack over the rear wheel.

They are not getting cyclists out for bike events because bikes are not a weekend leisure activity for the new riders; it has become part of the transportation system. That's where the growth is; that's where the real revolution is happening.

Tags: Bike-Friendly World | Bikes | Biking

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