Sunday, August 31, 2008

Cycle commuting around the world

Sent to me by my friend Donald in Mexico City, this Washington Post piece looks at where in the world people ride and why. Turns out that a few not-so expensive bikeway improvements can get people out of their cars...but not everywhere....


jthurber80 said...

Our German rider saves $35 a week in gasoline? I suspect many Americans would save much more, given that we tend to drive much bigger cars and commute further. Throw in parking prices, tire wear and other incidentals and you'll save enough money to buy a really, really nice bicycle.

This doesn't begin to address the question of the health benefits gleaned by bike riders everywhere.

Most of us still need a car at some point -- vacation road trips, hauling heavy products, etc. But with a little planning one can rent whatever one needs -- truck, van, SUV.

in the meantime, ride and enjoy it.

bikinginjapan said...

When I first moved to Japan, I was amazed about how many people ride bikes. I had no idea, though, about the high tech bike storage in Tokyo. What an amazing video. Leave it to the Japanese to come up with such a creative, high-tech solution. There is a similar system for cars, minus the robotic arm.
Another recent development here is the improvement of bikes with electrical motors that are recharged while coasting / braking. They are becoming popular among housewives who need help riding up hills with a load of groceries / children, and the elderly. Thanks Maynard for pointing out this article and speedy recovery.

Patrick O'Grady said...

Hey, Maynard,

Long time no talk to — sorry to hear of your misfortune, and here's to a quick recovery (sip of red wine for the stomach's sake).

A nice companion to increased bicycle use is the often-overlooked fuel-saving measure of telecommuting. I haven't had an actual "job" since 1991, so my cyclo-commuting is minimal, but I telecommute to two magazine jobs and a website gig. What driving I do is mostly to grocery stores and grog shops, and I try to do as much of that as I can on foot, on a bicycle, or on my new Vespa LX50. But the telecommuting is the real gas-saver.

My wife recently began working largely out of the house, too, using videoconferencing software and instant messaging to keep in touch with the folks at the office.

There are alternatives to the daily drive — if workers and employers are willing to be flexible and experiment with new technology as well as the old.