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Bike purchases in Detroit spiking once again amid rising gas prices

Posted at 6:21 AM, Mar 30, 2022
and last updated 2022-03-30 06:48:41-04

(WXYZ) — With gas prices still above average and the weather getting warmer, many people are turning to a new way of transportation – bicycles.

According to Bike Commuter Hero, on a 20-mile commute both ways, you can save roughly $1,800 annually on gas alone.

More and more metro Detroiters are choosing bikes over cars to get around. It may not be a viable option for everyone, but it can definitely save you money.

Historically speaking, bike sales always go up when the economy is rocky. It happened in the 70s during the gas crisis, and back when the market crashed in 2008.

One metro Detroit native says biking everywhere makes the city more accessible. Thomas Page said riding his bike around Downtown Detroit feels like pure freedom.

"Rarely there are those days where it's just like, stay home don't go out," Page said.

Even though it was a bit wet outside, we still caught up with Page. He said hopping on his red bike is the better alternative. His car takes premium gas, and at the moment, it's costing him nearly $5 per gallon.

"It is not just the price of gas. It is the price of parking, it's putting money into meters, it is all those other things that really come into play, so it really accelerated doing that," he said.

In some cases, Page splits his travel methods. He'll ride his bike over to the QLine and then take that the rest of the way.

If you plan to adopt the habit, you'll want to do a little research. Talk to your local bike shops, get advice from a person on what bikes work best for you, and what fits in your budget.

They can also help you ride safely because as a cyclist, you have as much right to the road as drivers do.

Shayne O'Keefe, the co-owner of Metropolis Cycles in Detroit's Corktown neighborhood, said the price of gas has more people considering bikes as their primary form of transportation. Metropolis saw their highest sales ever during the pandemic, but supply chain shortages are still a problem.

"Parts are really hard to get and I think I am going to be doing more of the same, looking to flee markets and bicycle hoarders to get parts and stuff," O'Keefe said.

He added that they've added overnight shifts to keep up with their repair business. They're one of the only bike shops left in the area.

"I think it is a really important factor in terms of the redevelopment of Detroit," Page said. "There is an old saying that biking makes the city your neighborhood and I think that's what happened."

O'Keefe said his story also started carrying electric bikes, which can go a lot faster.