USA TODAY — As gas prices surge beyond $4 a gallon, more Americans are cycling as a way to stay fit, save money, or both. Sales of new bikes rose 9% in the first quarter of this year, compared with the same period in 2010, and sales of road bikes – commonly used in commuting – jumped 29%, says Scott Jaeger, senior retail analyst with Leisure Trends Group, a Boulder, Colo.-based retail tracking firm.
Sales of gas-powered scooters are up even more: nearly 50% in the first quarter compared with a year ago, says the Motorcycle Industry Council, a trade group. “We see spikes when fuel prices rise,” says Ty van Hooydonk, the group’s spokesman, noting many scooters average 60 to 80 miles per gallon.
When gas prices last peaked in the summer of 2008, Census data show bike commuting rose 15% nationwide from 2007. [Full story…]