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The 1% Solution - Can Bike Commuting Save The World?

By spokesman | April 22, 2009

Since it is Earth Day, I thought that I would focus on the environmental aspects of cycling.  On a recent post on the economic stimulus, I include a some statistics from Representative Blumenauer of Oregon on bicycling.  One statistic in particular caught my attention.  Only 1% of all trips in the U.S. are done by bicycle.  If we were to double it to 2% we would save an additional 693 million gallons of gas. 

Although this sounds like a large number, it is small related to the total amount of gasoline used.  Nevertheless, I believe that it can make a difference and should be pursued.  There won’t be one initiative that will change energy consumption in the country but rather many initiatives and changes in lifestyle that will combine to address our global warming and energy problems.   Increased bicycle commuting can be one of those initiatives.  The additional commutes can be done with little or no investment.  There are hundreds of thousands of bikes sitting in basements and garages, that can be used for these extra commutes. 

There are several websites on initiatives related to bike commuting including Trek’s One World Two Wheel initiative, Bikes Belong and the Cliff Bar 2 mile challenge.  The Fixed Gear Gallery is currently holding a contest for the building a bike for getting groceries.

I ride for sport, but very little for practical purposes  On many rides, I put my bike in my car to drive my bike to the starting point.   Despite the thousands of miles that I ride on my bike, none of those miles are commuting miles.  One person in my club who actually commutes to work via bike told me that her longest drives are to the starting points of our club rides.

My bike is not practical for commuting and errands.  It is too nice to leave locked up.  It also doesn’t have the necessary racks or lights.  To address this, I plan to get a beater bike for errands/commuting and configure it for that purpose.  I will keep you posted on my progress.

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Topics: Bike Commuting |

3 Responses to “The 1% Solution - Can Bike Commuting Save The World?”

  1. vinni-w Says:
    March 8th, 2011 at 5:53 pm

    You make some very good points in this post. However until gas hits $8 a gallon, biking will not be taken seriously.
    The National Bike Summit is taking place this week in Washington DC, their advocacy helps but not as much as expensive oil

  2. Archie Rider Says:
    March 12th, 2011 at 7:17 am

    Right on with your observations, just a small increase in bicycle commuting could make a big difference.

  3. Bevin Says:
    March 14th, 2011 at 8:53 am

    My company provides a room where commuters can store their bikes. There are also lockers to store some clothes. I can even leave my bike overnight if I go home on the Metro. This kind of support makes it easier to commute by bike. It would be great if more companies supported commuting in this way.

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