Friday, July 18, 2008

The Bike Trend

Did you know that bicycle riding is one of the fastest growing trends nationwide? I have been watching this trend - adults bicycle riding - for over a year now. I am not talking about the Lance Armstrong types, I am talking about the average adult dusting off their old 10-speeds, or better yet buying a new one with all the bells and whistles so they could get out their and do their body some good. I have a 10-speed. I have been on it a number of times over the past seven years that I've owned it. That's not very much. Maybe I'll get trendy and take a ride......

When I first took notice of the bike trend was when I was flipping through my Women's Wear Daily back in November of 2007. There was an article - Going Green, Schwinn-Style - about celeb's like Uma Thurman, Leonardo DeCaprio, Kate Hudson and Owen Wilson who "these days seem to prefer two wheels to four. One would think stars of such stature could afford cabs, not to mention want to avoid any overexcited fans they might slowly cycle past. Choosing to pedal is healthy for the body and the environment." I clipped that article and started watching to see how this trend would play out. After all, people like to mimic celebrities, plus mainstream society was starting to pay greater attention to the global warming issue.
My next big 'lightbulb' moment in the burgeoning bike trend came when I found this website, also in WWD a few months later - - a cycling accessory and clothing label for the urban female cyclist allowing them to look good, both on and off the street, without compromising their safety. The bike helmets come decorated with trendy motifs in various colors for a chic ride. Of course, it's in the UK and I am in America. Maybe I should order a fashionable helmet to get me started on my biking venture.......

Here in America, where it is estimated over 1 million people ride their bikes to work, we have plenty of great reasons to leave our cars behind and get on a bike. Gas prices are still averaging $4 per gallon - here in Fresno, CA, we are averaging about $4.59-$4.79 per gallon - childhood obesity is a hot topic in the medical field and in schools, and of course, global warming.

This morning on the TODAY show there was a story called, TRAINING WHEELS - Learning to Bike Later in Life. In Boston - where even the mayor rides his bike to work - there is a school, Boston's Bicycle Riding School, where they teach bike riding to baby boomers who never learned to ride. Seems cities all across America are racing to accommodate the bike crowd. In New York there is a bike shop - Bicycle Habitat - that claims their sales of bikes has risen 24% from last year. That's 250 more bikes this year from last. And in Portland, Oregon, 67% of all commuting is done by bicycle.

The burning question is, am I going to get back on my bike? Maybe. I just wish my backside looked better, perched on such a tiny seat. Of course, if I want that view to change I really should get out there and ride my bike. It's a vicious circle!

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