My local paper ran an interesting article on the new autoshifting bikes now hitting stores:
Note some of the numbers, like the number of people who are 7 & up who ride at least 6 times a year has fallen from 56.3 million in 1995 to just 43.1 million in 2005.
There is some hope that these new, easier to use bikes, will attract more people to riding bikes again. Although it will be a slow process. Note that Trek expects to sell just 26,000 of these bikes in the next year, out of their total world-wide sales of 1.4M bikes/yr. I find it interesting that Trek is going so far as to retrain their sales staff a bit in order to make them more effective at pitching this kind of bike.
I like the lead paragraph's focus on how a 50+'er found the bike to his liking, so he bought one for him and another for his wife. I think l will have my wife take a look at them. Thus far I have been unable to persuade her to ride at all. I'd like her to go out with me at least once a month.