Higher gas prices lead to more cycling commuters, business for local bike shops
Paramount Sports and Great Northern Bicycle Company have noticed an increase in business amid high gas prices.
FARGO — Gas prices are surpassing records across the country, and prices in the metro area are hovering over $4 per gallon.
The prices have people looking for alternatives to driving. Craig Benson owns Paramount Bike shop, and he says it's something he's been hearing from more and more customers.
"(There are)people who are interested in the commuting aspect of cycling, riding from home to work, work to home," Benson said.
It's a busy time of year for his business, especially with the warmer weather. He says some customers have mentioned higher gas prices as a reason for their purchases.
They also don't just sell regular bicycles. One option for those looking to save a little bit of money on gas are electric bikes. They're electric bicycles that come with a pedal-assist feature, allowing riders to get a little extra speed.
He said more and more people are seeking them out as commuting option.
"Definitely an increase in e-bike interest over the past few years," Benson said.
Tom Smith, a Manager over at Great Northern Bicycle company, is also seeing the same increase.
"We get a little spring fever, and then the high gas prices even add to that and more and more people are coming in," Smith said.
He also says cycling surged in popularity during the pandemic.
"We're hoping a lot of those folks who got into biking through COVID now are continuing to bike to help offset the high cost of gasoline," Smith said.
Cycling enthusiasts like Julie, who declined to give her last name, say the higher prices are hard to ignore.
"I just gassed up my car yesterday for $4.19 a gallon, which was very, very disturbing," Julie said.
She says she's looking for ways to save money anyway she can, especially with inflation raising so many costs.
"Everything's gone up, groceries, everything how to save somewhere and what better way to save them on a bike," she said.
For now, some in the area will continue to fight rising gas prices by swapping their steeling wheels for handlebars.