Teacher Joyce McCusker of Herndon, Va., owns a bicycle for the first time in years. She bought it last month and uses it to make the eight-mile trip home from work.Read more in this Associated Press article.
Bicycle shops across the country are reporting strong sales so far this year, and more people are bringing in bikes that have been idled for years, said Fred Clements, executive director the National Bicycle Dealers Association.
Mark Krenz, 48, is giving it a try. The Bismarck auto-parts store manager recently spent $750 on the 24-speed bike and is building up his mileage to prepare for his hilly commute.
"In this business, everybody is constantly talking about how to save gas," Krenz said. "I bought a bike because I figure it's a good way to save money, get in shape and save wear and tear on my pickup."
Rocky Schell, owner of Val's Cycle in Minot, said this may be one of the best years in the history of the shop, started by his father in 1960.
It's seeing a spike in the number of tuneups and repairs, which had been declining for the past 15 years. Schell said he's also selling lots of bike trailers designed to haul children — customers are using them for groceries instead.
Dahl, the Bismarck bike shop owner, said he's worked several on "dusty and rusty" bicycles that hadn't been ridden in at least 25 years. He said many families have told him that that they intend to go on a bicycle tour this summer instead of driving somewhere for vacation.
"Millions of people have bicycles hanging in the garage and they're getting them down and riding them," said Rebecca Anderson, advocacy director for Trek Bicycle Corp. "People are looking at the bicycle as more than just a toy."