Is this a sign of things to come?
High gas prices are causing spot shortages of bikes in New York City, as commuters turn to pedal power.
Many of these new cyclists are from areas not commonly associated with the "Bike Belt" -- neighborhoods such as the Upper West Side and Williamsburg in Brooklyn -- but are instead from Queens and other places where driving to work has long been common and affordable. With gas costing nearly $4 a gallon, these commuters are switching to bikes, leaving some stores short on fashionable brands and preferred colors.
The owner of Dixon's Bicycle Shop in Park Slope, Brooklyn, David Dixon, said that over Memorial Day weekend, his store sold all 25 of its Jamis hybrid bikes -- a cross between a racing bike and a mountain bike that sells for between $285 and $335 and is favored among commuters. Early this week, Mr. Dixon called Jamis to order about 50 more bikes and was told that a shipment wouldn't arrive until the end of the week. "They're all gone. It's wicked," Mr. Dixon said. "This isn't usual at all. The price of gas is affecting everyone."
"We ended up selling very heavily," the owner of Bicycle Habitat in SoHo, Charles McCorkell, said. "I thought there would be a shortage."
OK, I don't actually think that Houstonians are going to make a run on the local bike shops. But if gas prices are leading to an increase in transit usage, it's not crazy to think that more people will consider even cheaper alternatives. Link via Yglesias.Posted by Charles Kuffner on June 05, 2008 to Planes, Trains, and Automobiles