As predicted (a no-brainer, really), rising gas prices have affected people's driving habits. There is much grief througout the land. Here is a story at the local daily paper website. Ironically it portrays a guy whose lifestyle has deteriorated because of his more expensive 4-mile SUV drive to the gym. (What's wrong with this picture?!?)
And here is an eerily similar article from the Chicago Sun-Times. They focus on personal tales of woe; I s'pose that's understandable, because their readers can identify.
But just mention bicycle transportation as an alternative, and most people dismiss you as some sort of eccentric crackpot. And they love to point out the drawbacks of bicycling... "I live too far from work" ... "I have errands to run" ... "I have to drop off a child at daycare" ... "it's too hard" ... "it's dangerous." (Or they change the topic, and start the complaints about bad cyclist behavior. That's helpful to the conversation, huh?)
I like the ones who see everything through their Political Glasses. It's Obama's fault that gas prices are so high! (Of course, last time they were hovering around $4, and a Republican was in the White House, the blame was laid elsewhere. Or vice versa.) And driving a big gas-guzzling vehicle is either viewed as the ultimate act of patriotism, or overt treason, depending on one's politics.
No denying it. There's definitely some give and take with ANY form of transportation. Sometimes I'm cold, wet, and miserable on my bike ride. Sometimes I'm in a pickle because I have to haul something that pushes the limits, on the bicycle. I can't drop off a child (unless I have the Tag-A-Long bike - then it would work nicely!). I can't shop for groceries, for the month. But on the other hand, most of the time the fuel price isn't critical, whether it's $1.25 or $5.25.
Do motorists believe there is no downside to car transportation? If you drive, you are subject to the fickle nature of the fluctuating fuel market... that's the fact, Jack. Deal with it!