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Bike Production Beats Out Cars!

Here's a bit of news that will please all of you bike-riding, eco-minded types: bicycle production is on the rise. According to the Earth Policy Institute's Eco-Economy Indicators, 130 million bicycles were produced last year, versus 52 million automobiles. What's even cooler is that bike production is increasing at a faster pace than car manufacturing: it's nearly quadrupled since 1970, while car production has only grown twofold.

Of course, most of the credit for increased bike riding goes to Europe, where cities pour money into bicycle infrastructure projects that encourage people to commute on two wheels instead of four. Colombia, South Korea, and Australia also boast great bike-friendly track records. In the US, bicycling has actually declined 32 percent since the early 1990s, and the number of people who commute via bike is especially low. But American cities are working to change that with increased bike lanes and programs like Bike to Work Day.

What do you think about these stats? Do you ride a bike either for transportation or for exercise? Do you wish that the US would follow the lead of Europe and do more to encourage bicycling?


ElectroPopTart ElectroPopTart 9 years
I'm 30 miles away from work in traffic ridden southern California, so a bike to work is just no option. =( I work in Orange County and I eventually want to live there, so I will commute by bike when I move closer to work. I need a better job though. This entry level thing is just not working! haha.
kia kia 9 years
I love the idea of more folks on bikes for commuting... but communities need to encourage safe riding environments with proper bike etiquette and educating drivers about bikes on the road.
gigill gigill 9 years
If you go to Holland it's really funny to see people biking around in posh suits/dresses etc. but that's the way it is. The winters aren't super harsh, so I can see why biking everywhere works...dunno how it would work in really snowy places like Canada.
nikodarling nikodarling 9 years
I have the same problem - how do you bike to work in office attire? Not very practical when you have a strict dress code. As well my city is bike friendly in some neighbourhoods but in the part of town I work in. I wish more North American cities would get on board and promote walking and cycling. Some parts of this city are really only accessable by car. Its like nobody ever stopped to think about people who might like to use alternative means of transportation. Working where I do I really feel like I have no option but to drive. - makes me sad:(
garveygirl garveygirl 9 years
I have been contemplating purchasing a new bike to use for recreation and possibly occasional rides to work. I work about 3-4 miles from home, and can very easily get there on a bike. There are some steep hills but I think I can handle it. :) My only concern is that I work in an office with a rather strict dress code, and I'm not sure exactly how I'd ride in in dress pants and a blouse! Maybe I'll just do it on Casual Fridays.
7kimba7 7kimba7 9 years
My commute is not too bad.. it would probably save me time from traffic crunch if I rode a bike instead. however, no one in the city knows how to drive, so I'd probably get killed. Sadly, that happened to my friend's boyfriend last year here so I'm not sure I'll ever ride on the street. :(
jdeprima jdeprima 9 years
I really wish the US would get on board more with cycling infrastructure and, as sundaygreen said, driver and cyclist etiquette. Here in NYC, the city is establishing more bike lanes, but they don't do much good when drivers use them as passing lanes or loading zones. Likewise, many cyclists zip in and out of traffic, run red lights, ride on sidewalks, etc., which endangers drivers and pedestrians.
sundaygreen sundaygreen 9 years
And another thing, those cities are so bike friendly - they have numerous bike lanes and no car would ever cross over into one. Plus the cyclists adhere to strict road laws, too.
sundaygreen sundaygreen 9 years
I'd love to have one of those vintage bikes, they are super rad! And I dig the idea of cycling to work or anywhere else for that matter. Places like Copenhagen (I have never seen as many cyclists in one city as I have there) and anywhere in Holland are great examples. But they have one thing on their side - everywhere is flat! I live in a very hilly area and it's a b*tch going from my place to work and back everyday, especially if I was riding a bike with only one gear (like the city cruisers) - but I guess that's kind of the point, huh? Great exercise. If I lived in a European city I would get a bike in a heartbeat (even some Londoners find it easier to bike 16 miles a day than sit on the tube!)
imLissy imLissy 9 years
good point lauren, I wear skirts :-/ though I don't know how to ride a bike anyway and even if I did, it would be impossible to bike to work.
LaurenG22 LaurenG22 9 years
do you wear your work clothes while you bike? I just don't understand how some people do this. My hubby is in the army and we live on post so he can obviously ride in his ACUs but what if you have an office job!?
secrethoughts secrethoughts 9 years
I love the idea of more people walking or biking to work in the US; however, I think that it's tough to drastically increase the number of walkers or bikers given that the US is all about suburban sprawl and given that most people have to drive at least 20 minutes or more in a car to get to they probably wouldn't have the time it would take to bike or walk. That being said, I'm glad for my wallet and my waistline that I walk to and from work every day!
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