Chris left a comment that deserves a posting:
Commuting by bicycle is really just a matter of how much motivation you have to do it, or what life position you are in. I live in a college town and tons of students have their bikes out all year round. Of course they are in a life position where they have a very low income. So, the bike makes sense for them. Then we have a fair amount of homeless peoples and low income peoples using bikes to get around. And there are those that have lost their driving license for what ever reason.
I would agree that there are very few people commuting by bicycle that live in a two income home with multiple cars. I live in a two income home, with one child and two cars. We have a loan against one of the cars, and our mortgage is not nearly as high as many other people my age (31). But I commute almost year round on my Redline single speed because it makes me feel good about myself due to the exercise, the money I am saving, and I guess the fact that I am putting less CO2 into the environment.
Now, I am pretty lucky that the town where I live, Lincoln Nebraska has 120 mi of paved and rock surfaced trails to ride. And my round trip commute to work, and or school is only about 6-10mi. The only days that I don’t commute are when there is ice and snow on the streets just after a big snow storm, or when the rain is pissing down to the point that no rain gear would save me from getting drenched. I commuted all the way through December last year. I did sit out most of January and Feb as there was a fair amount of snow storms. Some mornings when I left the house in December it was easily only 10F outside.
Now, I’m not looking for a medal here or anything. Just saying that I really think it is all up to your willingness to commute by bicycle. There are a million reasons you can think of why you should not commute by bicycle. Each of us just needs to decide how valid those reasons are to us.
I would really love to see a national push for bicycle commuting that involves folks driving their car to a large parking area just outside of the large city they work in, then getting on their bike and riding the 3-10mi to thier office. But, again that will only happen with a big social shift, or fuel prices escalating to levels of say twice what they are now. Can you imagine spending 120 dollars to fill up your SUV every week because gas is 5-6 bucks per gallon. That would sure make the partial bike commute much more inviting. Us Americans need to quite looking at the bike as a toy for the young and physically active, and start seeing it as a valid commuting tool.
But this is just all my opinion. Feel free to agree or disagree!
Thanks Chris for your inspiring thoughts.