On this Bike to Work Day, US President George W. Bush is taking the theme to heart. This photo was snapped yesterday while he was taking a spin on an Israeli-made bicycle presented to him by Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert. Despite his new wheels, Bush was in Saudi Arabia this morning asking for more gas from King Abdullah.
It was Bush's second attempt at persuading the oil-rich nation to pump out more fuel and drive down huge gas prices sucking US consumers dry. The first attempt in January was met with a wintry response. The kingdom said it would increase production only when the market justified it, and that production levels appeared normal. Some economists attribute the high prices to increased demand, rather than stingy supply.
In the effort to curtail the pump-crunch the National Sporting Goods Association is hoping to combat the shrinking numbers of bikers — the number of Americans who bike frequently dwindled almost 10 percent in 2007 to 3.7 million people — and encourage pedal-powered commutes. One Wisconsin man has made the big plunge — to see his story and some fuel-saving tips,
A Wisconsin man said his "goal is to not use one drop of gas for 31 days." He says it's his personal stand against the oil companies. He's going cold-turkey — from a 300-mile a week truck habit, to all bike, all the time. He's even doing his 9-mile work commute on his bike. It's shocking him to shape, for sure. He's keeping track of miles biked and money saved and he'll compute his savings and donate that amount to a charity that provides food to children in Africa.
He sums his mission up like this:
"I think just with the gas prices being so high, everybody complains about it but no one ever really does anything about it. People continue to drive nonstop and not think about it, but I just wanted to take a stand and say, `I'm not gonna pay this much money for gas.'"
If hopping out of your car isn't in the cards, here's a list of gas-saving myths — filling your tank in the morning, for instance, doesn't do you much good. Are you hopping out of your car this morning? Does the idea of riding a bike on the road make you nervous? Should more people follow the Wisconsin man's lead? Should Saudi Arabia increase fuel production — or is the fuel pinch a blessing in disguise?