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Biker Chic

By: Tifinie Capehart

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To get around any U.S. city, you typically have three choices; walking, driving/riding, or biking. The third option, biking, typically becomes less ideal past the age of thirteen as many Americans equate bicycling with recreational fun.  But for a growing minority, its a viable transportation option that is less expensive than a car, more efficient than walking, and more autonomous than bus or rail transit.

In the city of Copenhagen, Denmark bicycling is a way of life. In Copenhagen, 36 percent of the population (roughly 163,000 people) use bikes to commute. In the U.S., bicycling is beginning to grow in popularity as well. According to the League of American Bicyclists, bicycling as a way of commuting has increased by as much as 235 percent in large cities like San Francisco, California and 435 percent in smaller cities like Lexington, Kentucky.

The daily commute in Copenhagen, Denmark.

Among those riding bikes more often are minorities.  Between 2001 and 2009, trips taken by African – Americans, Hispanics, and Asian Americans on bikes increased from 16 percent to 23 percent across the nation.  The increase in popularity of biking may be attributed to more attention being paid to bike infrastructure (e.g. dedicated bike lanes, greenways) and bike facilities (e.g. bike parking, bike showers) in U.S. cities.

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Whatever the cause, bicycling is growing as a viable way to travel from point-A to point-B.  It fosters physical activity, doesn’t require costly gasoline, and can still bring out the thirteen year old in you. Now that’s chic.

Would you trade in your car for a bike?

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