Brace yourself for busy bike trails this spring. I read a report this week that said gasoline is averaging $3.15 per gallon, which is near the record price set last May. And this is only February. With oil over $100 per barrel, experts are saying a gallon of gas could cost $4 by summer.
Except for my plans to drive to Canada in June, I'm ready for another season of pedaling by gas stations with a smirk on my face. I can already imagine the scene on the bike trail I ride to work—every time gas prices take a steep jump, the number of bike commuters goes up, if only for a few weeks.
I like seeing the newbies out there. It gives me hope that a few of them might find that they actually like riding a bike to work.
It gives me hope that a few of them might realize that maybe the big-ass SUVs in their driveways weren't such a good idea. That maybe bikes, buses and carpools are viable alternatives.
Hey, I drive, too. I don't like dumping money into my gas tank any more than the next guy. But the way I figure it, it's time to get used to it. Gas ain't gettin' cheaper from here on, folks. The supply's runnin' out, and there's about a billion people in China who can't wait to dump their Flying Pigeons so they can kick the tires and light the fires when they finally "modernize" and buy their first cars.
So bring on the new bike-commuting converts. I want to see them swerving across the trails as they get reacquainted with their long-neglected bikes and try to comprehend a route to work that doesn't involve smelly traffic and idling at red lights. I won't even mind being extra careful so they won't run into me while they're distracted and confused. Better to dodge their bikes than their Ford Excursions.
I often ride bikes for the peace and solitude.
But I'd love to see the bike paths get crowded at rush hour.