— Reprinted from Fox Charlotte —
CHARLOTTE, N.C. – These days, it costs $80 worth of premium gas to fill up Devin Voss’ Jeep. Today, he’s only putting in $30. Next week, it may only cost him calories to get to work. He’s going to bike. He says, “It’s just getting ridiculous. I can’t wait for it to go down. That’s all I can say.”
“Charlotte has a lot of great back streets that if planned out right, you could commute on and avoid all your major thoroughfares,” says Dan Reymann. He works at Bicycle Sport in Myers Park. He says when gas prices go up, so do sales of commuter bikes.
Commuter bikes have mountain bike style handles and gears and wider tires to handle urban surfaces. You can also add on brackets and baskets to hold your bags. For about $500, customers can make a one time investment in the bike instead of constantly dipping into bank accounts for gasoline. Reymann says, “The main frame of the bike, if properly maintained will last pretty much indefinitely.”
Of course, nothing’s perfect. “That’s sort of the major drawback, especially if you have a longer commute or more strenuous commute. You can get a little bit hot and sweaty by the time you get to work,” says Reymann.
We asked our friends on Facebook, “how much is too much when it comes to gas prices?” One guy says, “When it hits $5 per gallon, I’ll entertain two wheel transportation.” Another man says simply, “$7.00” But a third man says “It’s in our blood as Americans to drive…we will buy gas no matter the cost.”
SouthPark resident Krystle Luciano knows her threshhold. “Probably five dollars, even. Yeah. I wouldn’t drive anymore if it was five dollars a gallon,” she says.
For now, she’ll cough it up at the pump, but the idea of alternate transportation to work is looking more attractive. “I could probably even walk to work because it’s getting so expensive. It’s like, $65 to fill this up so it’s kinda ridiculous,” she says.
Reymann says Charlotte is becoming more bike-friendly by adding more bike lanes and greenways.