Bikes Are Big Winners Post-Sandy

With gasoline increasingly hard to find in New York and many subway lines still down, biking has surged in popularity in the aftermath of Sandy. Bikes are selling briskly and new adherents are jumping in the saddle.
November 2, 2012, 1pm PDT | Jonathan Nettler | @nettsj
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Natalie Erlich reports on the boom in bicycle sales as New York begins to look more like Amsterdam in the aftermath of superstorm Sandy. "'Yesterday we outsold our busiest summer Saturday,' said Emily Samstag, manager of Bicycle Habitat in Brooklyn, speaking to a surge in bike-related sales just one day after Hurricane Sandy ravaged the East Coast. 'Our first customer walked in and said: 'The subways are down so I have to buy a bike'. That was standard all morning.'"

"All told the shop sold 15 bikes Wednesday," notes Erlich. "In October it usually sells a bike every two weeks."

Bike enthusiasts are hoping the increased interest in bicycle commuting will endure once the transportation crisis subsides. ""Maybe this can be the window into the life of a cyclist," mused Jake Fleischmann, a salesman at Ride Brooklyn. "Maybe all these people who had a bike for leisure will see that riding a bike can be your mode of transportation, especially a city like New York. We are pretty level ground, you can ride anywhere within a few minutes."

That seems to be the case with Thomas Jarrels, who was a bike messenger in the 1980s but hadn't ridden to work since. "Though it took slightly longer than the train, he said, he thought he would keep biking even after the subway started running again," writes Kate Taylor in The New York Times

"It saves money, and it's less of a headache," he said. "It gives you time to think, meditate and get your exercise on."

 

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Published on Thursday, November 1, 2012 in CNBC
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