This week I’ve noticed a lot more people biking along my regular bike commute route through the Duke campus. I’ve been riding the 3 miles from our house to class at Fuqua pretty regularly for the past year and just a couple weeks ago I hardly ever saw anyone on the road.
Last night on my way home around 6 I saw at least 5 bike commuters, all genders and ages. I guess gas prices are finally high enough for people to consider biking a reasonable option to driving. Perhaps it is the weather, too, since it seems to have finally cooled off to a decent temperature here in North Carolina. But based on my own (informal) observations and comparing the number of commuters I saw to the numbers I saw last year at this time, I would definitely say there is more at play than simply the weather.
There’s even a guy that does the commute on a Segway! He looks like an older guy, probably a professor, but he rides the Segway on the sidewalk like it’s no big deal with his book satchel attached to the side of the machine. The police at Duke also have at least one Segway and I see them riding it on my route from time to time as well. Seems to me these high gas prices may actually be having a positive effect if it gets more people into the fresh air!