Orange County (OC), California is known for planned communities and homeowners' associations. The area glitters with shiny new BMWs and SUVs. So, it is somewhat surprising to hear that OC residents are turning to bicycles as a means save money in this time of spiking gasoline prices. It is even more surprising to learn that they are taking their old bicycles to shops to have them overhauled or tuned up rather than buying the most stylish new bicycles they can find.
Katherine Nguyen of the OC Register reports on this phenomenon in a recent article. In this article, one shop owner reports that, "So many people are bringing their bikes in that it now takes roughly 10 days for repair work to be done at Bicycle Discovery, up from what used to be a 24-hour turnaround."
Are OC folks fixing up their old rides because they appreciate the beauty and functionality of an older bicycle? Do they understand that refurbishing and reusing old bicycles is the "greenest" transportation option available to most people? Are they hoping that gas prices will come back down and looking to cyclo-commuting as a temporary plan until they can afford to drive again? Whatever the reason, I hope the trend continues!
Thursday, July 31, 2008
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I work at an independent bike shop in Northern California and we're experience something very similar here. Alongside more people buying new bikes to start commuting on, there has also been an uptick in the number of people refurbishing their old unused bikes or looking for used bikes as a way to drive less.
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