bikes. People also are bringing out their old bikes from the garage, dusting them off and having
People may be hesitant to put money down on a bike, but if a few trips to the pump are considered, the cost may seem more appealing.
Crown-Weber says it's bad that gas prices are soaring but good that the weather is pleasant enough for more commuters to switch to two wheels.
John Dixon, a member of the Kentucky Bicycle and Bikeway Commission, agrees with Crown-Weber that interest in riding as transportation is growing. People who are active riders see more people out riding, and it's clear that a lot of those people are out running errands or using their bike to go from point A to point B.
Dixon says there is greater interest in biking across the board, mainly in metropolitan areas, as cities strive to become more bicycle and pedestrian friendly.
Like Crown-Weber, Dixon sees biking as a good alternative to driving since many trips by car are short.
In line with Dixon's belief is a statistic from the group One World, Two Wheels. A pamphlet produced by the organization says 25 percent of all trips are made within a mile of the home, 40 percent of all trips are made within two miles of the home, and 50 percent of the working population commutes five miles or less to work.
Dixon says commuting via bike not only saves money, it's great for becoming more healthy.
Getting healthy is something everyone says they need to do, he says, and biking is a great wayto get that exercise. Biking to work could provide enough exercise for the average person to notice a difference in their general health.
Mark DeCoteau is an example of someone who is using his morning commute to get some exercise and save money. DeCoteau is the factory manager at Philips Lighting in Danville, and like Crown-Weber and many others, he converted to occasionally commuting to work on his bike about a year ago.
DeCoteau bikes 2.2 miles to work occasionally from April to October. He started last July and has ridden more than 500 miles back and forth from work since then.
Saving gas money
He guesses by biking he's saved $80 over the course of a year. The savings would be greater if he didn't drive a Nissan Sentra that gets about 28 miles per gallon and will go for 300 or 400 miles on a single tank of gas.
DeCoteau said he didn't start biking to save money on gas anyway. He regularly works out and just decided one day he'd start biking to work.
As of Tuesday, DeCoteau had made the commute via bike 33 times. He likes to ride when the weather is warm. His route goes through Millennium Park, and he only has to cross a main road once. His bike commute is roughly nine minutes.
Crown-Weber has been commuting for more than 15 years off and on. His commute is 10 minutes by car and 20 minutes by bike. Crown-Weber says his decision on mode of transportation is sometimes a logistical one, depending on if he has to take his kids to school or not.
He encourages people to consider bikes as a means of transportation. Small trips can be done easily by bike. And DeCoteau will atest to the health benefits of biking.
Commuting from work on a bike is a huge stress reliever, he says. Coming home by car doesn't allow stress to be pedaled off, he added.
Mark de Araujo, technical director at Centre College, also is an avid bicycle commuter. For the last three years he's been trying to commute at least three days a week from Chrisman Lane.
It's a seven-mile trip that takes him 35 minutes by bike or 15 minutes by car.
This summer, de Araujo and his daughter Megan are working together at the Norton Center for the Arts. They have been commuting to work together - on a tandem bike.
De Araujo says on days when they don't ride together he tries to ride separately. On other days, they'll take the motorcycle to work. Either way, he says they're saving gas money.
Over the course of a year, he bikes about 3,000 miles. That includes commuting and riding for fun. To rack up all those miles, de Araujo can't be scared of inclimate weather. He has clothes that will keep him comfortable down to 40 degrees.
Commuting, he says, is a great way to start out the day.