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Old 05-27-09, 07:11 PM   #1
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Bikes outselling cars?

Bikes Outsold Cars First Quarter 2009: Does it matter?
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Old 05-27-09, 07:30 PM   #2
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I guess it matters to the car manufacturers.
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Old 05-27-09, 07:39 PM   #3
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It matters to me. Once I get in shape, I can see myself commuting to work occasionally. 30 miles one way ;-)
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Old 05-27-09, 11:27 PM   #4
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But the question might be asked how many of those bikes had bigger than 20 inch wheels? Last year there was a 5.1 million unit difference between 20 inch wheel sales and total sales.

From what I understand China finally bought more cars in the first quarter than the US for the first time in history.

But all in all the best year for Adult Bicycle sales to date was 1973. They sold almost 2 million more bikes than were sold to adults in 2008.

http://nbda.com/page.cfm?pageID=34

Still it is a good start or sign for cyclists.
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Old 05-28-09, 07:22 AM   #5
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If I were a GM employee I might have some thoughts on the matter.
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Old 05-28-09, 09:33 AM   #6
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Motor bikes outsold cars 7 to 1 in India. What does this mean to the car mfgs? I doubt motor bikes are taking over as I doubt bicycles will displace cars soon.
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Old 05-28-09, 12:37 PM   #7
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Does it matter/?ya here in Maine a State with barely a million folks im seeing3 times as many bikes.What does that mean;/Ihavent a clue./Kenneth
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Old 05-28-09, 12:44 PM   #8
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I've never been able to resolve the bike sales figures with the lack of bikes that are visible on the streets except to conclude that most wind up as garage queens. They are not visible on the mountain bike trails either. Almost every body I know has a bike, but I know very few who ride bikes. If anything, I believe ridership is down over the last several years.

It's like exercise equipment sales. A store owner who sold used exercise equipment told me years ago that her sales took off in January and by May/June she was buying most of it back.

Al

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Old 05-28-09, 05:57 PM   #9
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In Boulder, Colorado, after a slow winter, we're doing a healthy volume of sales and service. Granted, we're like ground-zero, but the results are palpable--people riding bikes all over the place.
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Old 05-28-09, 07:19 PM   #10
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I work at a Chevy dealer and I don't know if bike sales has anything to do with how slow we are, but our store isn't on the chopping block, at least not yet.
Another one of our mechanics quit yesterday to try and work at home. He already lost his house to foreclosure. Two other guys have had foreclosures, one has filed BK, and several have had cars repossesed.
Sucks when you start making less than half of your normal pay.
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Old 05-28-09, 08:00 PM   #11
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Buy a bike and your warranty will still be good at the end of the year.
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Old 05-29-09, 04:49 AM   #12
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But didn't just about everything outsell cars in the first quarter?
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Old 05-29-09, 10:23 AM   #13
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Very, very tough economic times. I don't think bikes outselling cars is anything to brag about right now, given so many of today's bikes are made overseas. Auto workers (and related industries) are really taking a hit, given the US society has had such a dependance on cars for so many years.

On another note, the last line of the article was a joke, right? I mean do they really think you can "force" anyone to give another respect? While I'd like to see MANY more bikes on the roads, I know that respect will not be forced upon those who don't already have basic respect for his or her fellow human being. It might increase awareness and result in those who already have basic respect in being more careful, but force respect.... not gonna happen.
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Old 05-29-09, 09:56 PM   #14
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Nobody's bragging, we're just observing. And while it's sad that US manufacturing is taking a hit, it's a positive development for public health and the environment. And with more riders on the road, the chances are better that the next motorist we encounter is also a cyclist or knows someone who is.
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Old 05-30-09, 07:47 AM   #15
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Very, very tough economic times. I don't think bikes outselling cars is anything to brag about right now, given so many of today's bikes are made overseas. Auto workers (and related industries) are really taking a hit, given the US society has had such a dependence on cars for so many years.

On another note, the last line of the article was a joke, right? I mean do they really think you can "force" anyone to give another respect? While I'd like to see MANY more bikes on the roads, I know that respect will not be forced upon those who don't already have basic respect for his or her fellow human being. It might increase awareness and result in those who already have basic respect in being more careful, but force respect.... not gonna happen.
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Nobody's bragging, we're just observing. And while it's sad that US manufacturing is taking a hit, it's a positive development for public health and the environment. And with more riders on the road, the chances are better that the next motorist we encounter is also a cyclist or knows someone who is.
Not suggesting you are bragging, just observing that now would not be a good time for it. People losing their jobs and homes might not care too much about the quality of life for a cyclist on the road. In terms of knowing another cyclist, I wish it did have a positive impact on most drivers. I'm not sure it does. It seems to me, at least in the U.S., that many people lose a few IQ points while their sense of entitlement sky rockets as soon as they start their engines. For some people even being a cyclist themselves seems to have little positive impact on their driving behavior. I know I'm making some assumptions with this, but a week or so ago I saw a guy driving an SUV with a bike rack on the trailer hitch, and "Speedplay" decals on the rear window (I assume he was a cyclist). He was talking on his cell phone while passing a group of three cyclist. His passenger side mirror came within inches of clipping those riders. So, for at least the foreseeable future I don't see an increase in bike sales as having much of a positive impact on the safety of cyclists on the road. Rather, I see the potential for more angry, frustrated drivers. And here's the thing that really worries me. Lately, when I talk with new adult cyclist, many think that the appropriate place for riders is on bike paths only.
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Old 05-30-09, 01:52 PM   #16
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I work for a Truck (Part of the Paccar concern) and Van (LDV) dealership in the UK and we are in trouble. No trucks sales of any note and due to concerns about the Viability of the Van manufacturer- we ain't selling vans either.

I work in the parts division and the thoughts are that if new trucks are not being sold- then the older ones will stay on the road and be repaired. That is not happening either. So fewer repairs in our workshops- and due to the recession- about 40% of trucks are laid up in the Owners yards.

But if we are in trouble- The car dealerships within our group are deeper in the Doo Da. Anyone want to buy a GM dealership? It's going cheap.

And I went to my LBS today- Bikes are being built up as they are bought and they cannot keep up with the building of them. It is only a small shop and they had a slack week this week. Only 8 bikes sold. That is more than the number of trucks our group have sold since Christmas.
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Old 05-30-09, 05:48 PM   #17
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In our area of Atlanta there are many more riders out there than I have ever seen before. The REI and Performance Bike store nearby were packed the last few weekends with bikes flying out the doors. Granted there were sales going on but this has been a banner year in our area for bikes.
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Old 06-01-09, 12:20 PM   #18
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I stopped in at my LBS this week (showing off my newly-broken knee!). They had formerly been in rented space, and just moved down the street into a building that they purchased and renovated this past winter. Frankly, I was concerned that, considering the economy, they may have had bad timing in making the move. I was surprised when one of the co-owners said that their business was booming, with many, many new customers.
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Old 06-01-09, 01:59 PM   #19
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Saturday was the first day for summer employees at my LBS. The total staff was at least 10, which is impressive for a shop its size. Business is good at the shop and in the industry in general.
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Old 06-01-09, 02:09 PM   #20
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maybe the gov't won't have to bail out Trek
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Old 06-01-09, 08:18 PM   #21
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As a happily carfree starving grad student, I worked at a bike shop during the 1973 gasoline "crisis," and I gave lots of advice to folks who wanted to take up bicycle commuting. I am disgusted that the American public so quickly forgot the vivid lessons of 1973 and 1979. I didn't -- I walk/jog, bike, or ride public transit whenever I can reasonably do so, and I drive a bit less than 4000 miles/year, which works out to 10 mi/day on average. All but one of the cars I have purchased has had a 4-cylinder engine. When gasoline prices spiked last year, the American public got precisely what it had coming and what it could so easily have avoided.

If people are keeping their cars for longer periods of time, I don't see that as a bad thing at all. Herman Cook VW occasionally tries to entice me to replace the Passat wagon with a new one, but it still has only 46,000 miles on the clock and 1.5 years left on the 10-year powertrain warranty and looks much better and has a tighter turning circle than the new model, which is built on a stretched Jetta platform instead of a stretched Audi A4 platform.

Somewhere along the line, Americans swore off their proud tradition of Yankee thrift and unlearned the valuable lessons of Great Depression 1.0, including mortgage reform. I see encouraging signs that some people are learning what Great Depression 2.0 is currently teaching us, but I wonder how long that will last.
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