Gas prices are up, and you know what that means... so are stories about how high gas prices are getting more people to bike. [Here is the last article when gas got to $3.50 a gallon].
Capital Bikeshare, a program that provides quick-trip bikes for use in the District and Arlington County, reported that its bikes were used 48,215 times in February, almost matching the 48,217 trips in November, when the weather was warmer.
John Lisle, a spokesman for the District Department of Transportation, said some of the use might be attributed to a Winter Weather Warrior contest that promoted biking during the frigid months.
"I can't say how much of the use might be because of high gas prices," Lisle said. "We really were amazed at how many people rode this winter."
Sherrie Lawson, who rode her bike Friday from her Deanwood home to work at her church, said expensive gas has her pondering whether to replace her ailing Jeep or give up driving.
"I started biking last year, and I'm getting much more into it," Lawson said. "Do I buy another car with gas so high, or do I just stay focused on the bike?"
A couple of days of dreary weather kept bike commuting down, but Gonzalo Escobar at CycleLife USA in Georgetown said that's about to change.
"We're a pit stop along the way for bike commuters coming in from Bethesda," said Escobar, whose bike center includes a coffee shop. "As soon as the nice days come, things will skyrocket."
Anne Mader, who owns the Bike Lane shops in Reston and Burke, said gas prices have brought business through her doors.
"We have definitely seen more people coming in talking about the higher gas prices and looking at bikes for commuting," Mader said. "We have also had an increase in customers bringing out their old bikes and getting them fixed up and putting racks, bags and lights on them. We saw this a couple of years ago with the increase in gas prices, and we are seeing it again."
Let's all remember what Patrick McHenry told us
"The..answer to our fuel crisis, the crisis at the pump: Ride a bike. 'Save energy, ride a bike.' Some might argue that depending on bicycles to solve our energy crisis is naive, perhaps ridiculous. Some might even say Congress should use this energy legislation to create new energy, bring new nuclear power plants on line, use clean coal technology, energy exploration, but no, no... The miracle on two wheels that we know as a bicycle will end our dependence on foreign oil."
And clearly the American people have listened. Wise man.