Thursday, May 29, 2008

Salad Days

The last month or six weeks have been awesome times for bike riders, at least in these parts. The bike racks at the office have been packed, and it seems you can't go anywhere without seeing other cyclists. (I'm happy to say that as a general rule, I haven't encountered too many of 'em riding down the wrong side of the road!)

No doubt the pump price has been one of the motivating factors.

(I heard a guy on the radio - an "expert" - declaring confidently that gas would be back around $2.50, most likely by July. And I breathed a sigh of relief that he isn't managing my retirement fund! I'll be surprised if the price is ever again south of $3.50.)

In years gone by, the spring bicycle-burst usually comes to an end around the middle of June, when temperatures start getting above 90 on a routine basis. Folks who can't ride when the temperature is below 60 or so typically can't tolerate heat, either. It will be interesting this year to see which is the stronger motivator - the wallet or the thermometer.

5 comments:

db said...

Salad days, indeed! I'm pulling up behind another rider or two at every traffic light now. But I also suspect that the summer heat will "thin the herd" a bit. Still, it's great to see that we're progressing.

bob t said...

The summer heat will probably reduce the numbers but the true test will come when the weather turns cold. Hopefully gas prices will motivate some to keep going anyway.

Josh said...

Hopefully the mild discomfort of a little exrta heat doesn't push them back into their cars. The more they drive those cars the hotter it's gonna get!

bob t said...

Bikeboy, check out this editorial from yesterday's New York Times. I think that you would give it a hearty AMEN.

Bikeboy said...

Hey, bob t, that's an interesting editorial, allright.

I like the fact that he criticizes the current "tip-toeing" around the real issue by politicians, and his well-founded criticism of artifial perks like Chrysler's 2.99-per-gallon promotion.

But I wouldn't support an artificial minimum price. Let the market decide. Suppose gas dropped back to $2.50 - would anybody with common sense go out and buy a big ol' Hummer or Escalade? If somebody buys one of those pigs, maybe they deserve it! Operating cost should be a major factor in a vehicle purchase decision, whether gas is 80 cents or 8 dollars!

(And if Detroit doesn't have any more sense than to keep rolling 'em off the assembly line, perhaps they deserve to follow DeSoto and Studebaker into oblivion.)