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Old 02-21-10, 08:25 AM   #1
acorn54 
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recession equals more bikes on the road

just curious have any of you seen more bike riders on the road due to the recession. i would figure if times are hard, cash strapped people would take to the roads with bicycles. personally i have seen a slight increase in people on utility bikes in my area of long island,n.y.
read a story that there were two million less cars on the road in the past year , so i figure people can't afford cars and are switching to bikes.
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Old 02-21-10, 08:40 AM   #2
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I haven't. I did notice it when gas was over $4, but not because of the recession.
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Old 02-21-10, 10:46 AM   #3
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you would think that there would be more bikes on the road with bad economic times. well like they say the french buy cheap cars and eat expensive food and americans buy expensive cars and eat cheap food
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Old 02-21-10, 10:50 AM   #4
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We have more bikes here, the Maine economy is dreadful.

However, winter riders fall into two categories... the people that have to
(and often ride with no gloves on a bike two sizes small in jeans) and
the guys who are making some sort of statement.

While there are a few more guys in jeans... most of the increase
during the winter has been from the other guys (and one gal).
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Old 02-21-10, 11:16 AM   #5
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I see more and more cyclists around who are usually immigrants trying to get to/from work. On occasion I see the kids cruising around on pink/purple and black single speeds as if they are the coolest folks in town. I think that will be over in a year or so and they will go back to playing video games or playing hanging out at the malls.
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Old 02-21-10, 01:54 PM   #6
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So many unemployed over here-I think cyclists have stayed about the same number. Those in work are looking for cheap transport and those just put out of work have nowhere to go so stay at home.

My LBS sold a lot of bikes early in 2009 but that has stopped. People just can't afford bikes now so replacements are not going ahead. Repairs on old bikes though are booming.
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Old 02-22-10, 11:30 AM   #7
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hard to say. The main demographics you see riding bikes around here are overprivileged college students riding crappy mountain bikes into traffic, and overprivileged hipsters riding neon-colored tarck bikes into traffic, both of which can rely on their parents even if their part time coffee shop income dries up. Other than that you see the occasional serious cyclist with panniers and all, and then the crackheads pedaling up 2% inclines in their lowest gear with the seatpost as low as possible. I feel like neither of those demographics would be all that affected by the recession either, in their biking habits.
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Old 02-22-10, 11:45 AM   #8
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well just had a talk with a neighbor who co-signed for her son on a car that her son can't pay for because he is not working.
seems for some people thinking about using a bicycle never enters their head.
i guess the kid would rather rob a bank for money for a car,rather than economize and ride a bicycle.
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Old 02-23-10, 04:46 PM   #9
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There doesn't seem to be any more bikes in Chicago suburbia as far as I can tell. Driving here is seen as essential, and it's definitely one of the absolute last things most people will cut back on. Paying more for gas when it was $4 a gallon meant a whole lot of other businesses ended up seeing less revenue. That's what I believe started the whole recession.
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Old 02-23-10, 05:15 PM   #10
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hard to say. The main demographics you see riding bikes around here are overprivileged college students riding crappy mountain bikes into traffic, and overprivileged hipsters riding neon-colored tarck bikes into traffic, both of which can rely on their parents even if their part time coffee shop income dries up. Other than that you see the occasional serious cyclist with panniers and all, and then the crackheads pedaling up 2% inclines in their lowest gear with the seatpost as low as possible. I feel like neither of those demographics would be all that affected by the recession either, in their biking habits.
Those "overprivileged" folks are just trying to become "overeducated."
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Old 02-23-10, 06:17 PM   #11
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I doubt riding bicycle and recession are related much if any. But a rise in gas prices did see an increase in transit and biking though.
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Old 02-23-10, 06:23 PM   #12
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Haven't seen a noticeable difference, in my sea of suburbs. The rider profiles in my area remain largely families on the sidewalks in good weather, kids riding to school, a handful of roadies, a few scattered transportation cyclists (often immigrants) and a few long distance commuters. The ratios haven't seemed to change. There was a noticeable burst of commuter riders when gas prices spiked, but that didn't last.
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Old 02-23-10, 06:33 PM   #13
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Those "overprivileged" folks are just trying to become "overeducated."
Well, I'm thinking more of the hipsters who aren't contributing a whole lot to society besides comedy fodder, although the college students tend to be even worse road users, and that's a tall order
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Old 02-23-10, 09:43 PM   #14
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Here in Australia, the "recession" was almost non-existent. Unemployment 'peaked' at around 6% (this after being told 10 years ago that going below 7% would be impossible), and the GDP figures suggest that we didn't even have a technical recession. That said, I haven't seen any more people on bikes than I have at any other time, and nor did I see them in the last decent recession we actually had back in 1990. The majority of those that are around are still riding ultra-lightweight road bikes up and down the flat coastal strip decked out in lycra and determinedly avoiding anything that could be remotely described as a 'hill'.

I guess it goes to show what I've said about this topic all along -- that people will only consider using a bicycle for transport if it's something they really want to do, and that if economic factors force them to make sacrifices, they'll make other sacrifices before they'll give up the car.
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Old 02-24-10, 02:34 PM   #15
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Not around here, but this area isn't exactly bike friendly
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