I took a few days off this week to extend the weekend and go camping, hiking, and mountain biking with my family in western North Carolina. It was a great time but now I am super busy playing catch up at work. I received quite a few messages pertaining to the blog while I was gone. Bear with me, as it will take a while to respond to many of them.
I recently posted links to a few Scandinavian bike companies that a reader, Paul, sent me. While I was gone, he sent me more links that I think are worth passing along. Here they are with a short description of each by Paul:
Recykel– Danish manufacturer that lets you configure your own bike.
Sogreni– Danish ultra cool city bikes.
MBK-cykler– Danish single speed bike with coaster brakes.
Yet another single speed bike with coaster brakes.
In addition to passing along the links, Paul wrote this: “After browsing American bicycle sites I realized that most of the bikes are related to some sport activity. There are not that many practical comfort bikes. Is this something that is changing in the US?”
Good question. Though more commuter oriented bikes are finally appearing on the U.S. market, we still have a long way to go before the majority of Americans view bicycles as anything more than just toys. Even at around 3 dollars a gallon, gas is relatively cheap in the United States and the majority of people here really do seem to love their cars. Still, as fuel prices continue to rise, we are starting to see more and more interest in transportational cycling. I wouldn’t say that bicycle commuting is mainstream in most American cities just yet, but it is certainly more common than it was when I first started doing it 15+ years ago. It will be a while before we see bicycle traffic like this or this here in the States, but I am optimistic that the average number of trips taken by bicycle will increase based on the small changes I have seen in attitudes toward transportational cycling lately. With this blog, I have pointed out many of the new practical bike designs from American companies that have come out in recent years (Just look at some of the commuter oriented offerings from Interbike last month to see a few). It is great to see that, in the last year or so, many of those designs are getting press coverage that reaches the general non-cycling population. One example I saw yesterday is a Cyclelicious post pointing out a Newsweek article about the latest comfort bikes on the market. Articles like that one are becoming commonplace and I couldn’t be happier to see them. Maybe the group of consumers who are interested in commuter oriented bicycles is still a niche market in the United States, but it is a market segment that is growing fast and will continue to grow even faster.
Photo from the Recykel.dk website