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What made the last big bike boom? The next?



 
 
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  #1  
Old September 17th 03, 06:44 PM
Jeff Potter
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Default What made the last big bike boom? The next?

I think the last big bike boom was in the mid-70's. It happened because
of:

*cheap light 10speeds hit US shores for 1st time
*US bicentennial, with its urge to 'ride across the country'
*high gas prices
*low-traffic backroads
*plentiful public cultu living downtowns, nonlitigious property
owners, generous campsite finding, cheap tentsites

What will inspire the next boom?

*I don't know!

--

Jeff Potter
****
*Out Your Backdoor * http://www.outyourbackdoor.com
publisher of outdoor/indoor do-it-yourself culture...
...offering "small world" views on bikes, bows, books, movies...
...rare books on ski, bike, boat culture, plus a Gulf Coast thriller
about smalltown smuggling ... more radical novels coming up!
...original downloadable music ... and articles galore!
plus national "Off the Beaten Path" travel forums! HOLY SMOKES!


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  #2  
Old September 17th 03, 09:09 PM
David L. Johnson
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Default What made the last big bike boom? The next?

On Wed, 17 Sep 2003 13:44:20 +0000, Jeff Potter wrote:

*cheap light 10speeds hit US shores for 1st time


Actually much of that boom -- depending on how you define it -- was
populated by people riding Schwinn Continentals.

*US bicentennial, with
its urge to 'ride across the country'


I was there during the bicentennial, and do not recall such an urge being
suggested.

*high gas prices


That was the big difference. This happened in 1973-74, and probably had a
huge impact.

*low-traffic backroads


Not really. Most riding, then or now, is on city streets.

*plentiful public cultu living downtowns, nonlitigious property owners,
generous campsite finding, cheap tentsites


What country are you talking about? Downtowns NOW are much more vibrant
than they were in the '70s in the US. Look at Boston. In the '70s it was a pit.
Same for Philadelphia (still....) and Baltimore. Many cities have made
huge progress in terms of livability and ridability. Property owners were
just as litigious then as now; the acronym NIMBY came from the '70s.
There were no multi-use paths then. I also question your idealized
version of campsites and campgrounds from that time, but that really isn't
anything beyond the noise in terms of general riding popularlty.

What will inspire the next boom?


$4/gallon gas would go a long way. That would quickly empty the streets
of all the big ego-boosting trucks, making it easier to ride -- and would
give people an incentive. But if our general health, pollution, and the
sheer hassle of trying to park downtown is not enough to get people to
ride more and drive less, I have no real idea what _would_ be enough.

--

David L. Johnson

__o | The lottery is a tax on those who fail to understand
_`\(,_ | mathematics.
(_)/ (_) |


  #3  
Old September 17th 03, 09:28 PM
Michael Dart
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Default What made the last big bike boom? The next?


"Jeff Potter" wrote in message
.. .
I think the last big bike boom was in the mid-70's. It happened because
of:

*cheap light 10speeds hit US shores for 1st time
*US bicentennial, with its urge to 'ride across the country'
*high gas prices
*low-traffic backroads
*plentiful public cultu living downtowns, nonlitigious property
owners, generous campsite finding, cheap tentsites

What will inspire the next boom?


When gas goes to 4 dollars a gallon.

Mike


  #4  
Old September 17th 03, 09:30 PM
Mark Weaver
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Default What made the last big bike boom? The next?


"Jeff Potter" wrote in message
.. .
I think the last big bike boom was in the mid-70's.


Ten-speeds in the mid-70's? I'd say the last spike in interest was when
MTBs came into vogue.



  #5  
Old September 17th 03, 10:00 PM
Mike Jacoubowsky/Chain Reaction Bicycles
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Default What made the last big bike boom? The next?

When gas goes to 4 dollars a gallon.

I doubt it. The pricing of gas is not nearly as important as its
availability. It's possible that $4/gallon gas might bring on much greater
demand for fuel-efficient cars (which would be a good thing!) but until
people have to wait in long lines, they'll still drive.

The love affair with the auto is all about convenience, not expense. When
it becomes less convenient to drive than to ride (as happens when gas is
rationed), then they'll look to alternatives.

--Mike--
Chain Reaction Bicycles
www.ChainReaction.com

"Michael Dart" wrote in message
...

"Jeff Potter" wrote in message
.. .
I think the last big bike boom was in the mid-70's. It happened because
of:

*cheap light 10speeds hit US shores for 1st time
*US bicentennial, with its urge to 'ride across the country'
*high gas prices
*low-traffic backroads
*plentiful public cultu living downtowns, nonlitigious property
owners, generous campsite finding, cheap tentsites

What will inspire the next boom?


When gas goes to 4 dollars a gallon.

Mike




  #6  
Old September 17th 03, 11:26 PM
Tanya Quinn
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Default What made the last big bike boom? The next?

Ken Kifer's website has an excellent article on cycling in the 70's:
http://www.kenkifer.com/bikepages/lifestyle/70s.htm

Its sad we won't get to read more of his thoughts.

Jeff Potter wrote in message ...
I think the last big bike boom was in the mid-70's. It happened because
of:

*cheap light 10speeds hit US shores for 1st time
*US bicentennial, with its urge to 'ride across the country'
*high gas prices
*low-traffic backroads
*plentiful public cultu living downtowns, nonlitigious property
owners, generous campsite finding, cheap tentsites

What will inspire the next boom?

*I don't know!

--

Jeff Potter
****
*Out Your Backdoor * http://www.outyourbackdoor.com
publisher of outdoor/indoor do-it-yourself culture...
...offering "small world" views on bikes, bows, books, movies...
...rare books on ski, bike, boat culture, plus a Gulf Coast thriller
about smalltown smuggling ... more radical novels coming up!
...original downloadable music ... and articles galore!
plus national "Off the Beaten Path" travel forums! HOLY SMOKES!

  #7  
Old September 18th 03, 12:08 AM
David Damerell
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Posts: n/a
Default What made the last big bike boom? The next?

David L. Johnson wrote:
On Wed, 17 Sep 2003 13:44:20 +0000, Jeff Potter wrote:
What will inspire the next boom?

$4/gallon gas would go a long way. That would quickly empty the streets
of all the big ego-boosting trucks, making it easier to ride -- and would
give people an incentive.


Petrol is about $4 a gallon here and we have an ever-increasing number of
land barges. Admittedly, they're not as silly as American ones, but
they're still a lot sillier than cars.
--
David Damerell flcl?
  #8  
Old September 18th 03, 12:16 AM
Slider2699
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Default What made the last big bike boom? The next?


"Jeff Potter" wrote in message
.. .
I think the last big bike boom was in the mid-70's. It happened because
of:

*cheap light 10speeds hit US shores for 1st time
*US bicentennial, with its urge to 'ride across the country'
*high gas prices


That will do it, if anything will. If we ever see European style gas prices,
people will seek alternatives. Now, most people won't ride 20 miles one way,
but plenty of people in small towns and cities can surely ride to work.
Wishful thinking, I know...


  #9  
Old September 18th 03, 01:15 AM
Don DeMair
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Default What made the last big bike boom? The next?


"Tanya Quinn" wrote in message
om...
Ken Kifer's website has an excellent article on cycling in the 70's:
http://www.kenkifer.com/bikepages/lifestyle/70s.htm

Its sad we won't get to read more of his thoughts.


Why not?


  #10  
Old September 18th 03, 01:25 AM
rosco
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Default What made the last big bike boom? The next?


"David Damerell" wrote in message
...
David L. Johnson wrote:
On Wed, 17 Sep 2003 13:44:20 +0000, Jeff Potter wrote:
What will inspire the next boom?

$4/gallon gas would go a long way. That would quickly empty the streets
of all the big ego-boosting trucks, making it easier to ride -- and would
give people an incentive.


Petrol is about $4 a gallon here and we have an ever-increasing number of
land barges. Admittedly, they're not as silly as American ones, but
they're still a lot sillier than cars.
--
David Damerell flcl?



Based on the commonality of BIG SUVs here in the suburbs you would think we
had no paved roads. Without going down the anti-SUV rathole, I don't think
$4/gallon gas would be the end of this SUV/truck silliness. Lexus is
planning to release a hybrid SUV in a year that will probably get between 30
to 40 mpg. This show what can be done if a manufacturer applies some
relatively simple technology. The auto industry won't let high gas prices
get in the way of selling these very high profit margin vehicles.

In my mind, a better bicycle riding infrastructure could lead to the next
boom, or atleast keep the sport from dying. In our small town this summer
an elderly bicycle enthusiast was mowed over and killed on our narrow roads
where motor vehicles travel MUCH too fast. We have had a couple of fatal
car/SUV crashes on these back roads, and a pedestrian was also killed by a
car. Frankly, I'm afraid to ride a bicycle on many of our roads, and choose
my routes carefully (after the events of this summer, I decided to always
wear a high visibility night-time vest when riding on the roads regardless
of time of day). In my opinion, more bike lanes and trails would have a
huge impact on the popularity of the sport.


 




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