The Bike Boom

 In Boston
Bay Area Bike Share Station

Bay Area Bike Share Station

Although bicycles have been around for as long as we can remember, their increasing popularity, leading to the bike boom we are witnessing now, is a result of many factors colliding. Urban traffic congestion, the recessions and high cost of fuel, destructive carbon emissions from cars, the quest for physical fitness all led to the bike boom. 2012 is cited as the beginning of the bike boom period, when 3 million bikes were sold compared to 2 million passenger cars in the United Kingdom. Bikes outsold cars in Italy for the first time since World War II.  Indeed, bicycle sales in 2012 overtook cars for the first time ever in 23 European member countries, with only Belgium and Romania not going with the bike boom flow.

Whatever the reasons, the bike boom is evident in the major cities across the world, is spreading rapidly and is here to stay.  One of the offshoots of the bike boom is the bicycle sharing schemes in cities and high-density areas. Cities with established bike-share include those where TALK International is located- San Francisco, Boston and Fort Lauderdale. In traffic-clogged urban areas, cyclists have organised themselves to support “green” traveling. Cyclists in more than 500 cities worldwide have access to rentals thanks to the growing popularity of city bike share services that provide convenient and affordable access to bicycles, according to the environmental group Earth Policy Institute. And as the bike boom shows no sign of receding, apps such as  iPhone’s Spinlister connects bicycle owners with people who want to rent different types of bicycles and for longer periods of time.  Spotcycle, for iPhone, Blackberry and Android phones, aggregates listings from bike sharing services across the world.

“Cars run on money and make you fat.”

That’s one of the advantages of bikes over cars, according to this website, a keen advocate of the bike boom.  Other perks listed:

  1. Bikes run on fat and save you money.
  2. Don’t like the gym? Tired of looking out through the windshield? Exercise on your way to work by getting there by bike and feel the wind through your hair.
  3.  25 per cent of all car trips in the US are less than one mile (1,5 km). Cancel some of those, or even better, all of them. You will be part of a global movement that will create change.
  4. Running late to an important meeting, stressed and locked-up in a car? By bike you can often find shortcuts when traffic is massive.
  5. Endorphins that makes us happy are produced by exercising, so you can look forward to arriving to work on time with a clearer mind.

We could add other distinct advantages of course, like bikes are CHEAPER to buy and to maintain.  Lastly, it’s becoming all about biker chic, with hipsters taking a lot of pride in what their bikes look like by customizing frames, colors, baskets and other accessories.  Let’s hope the bike boom heralds the shape and speed of the future.





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