Gas prices and rising environmental concerns are driving Americans to reconsider their ongoing love affair with the automobile. The car was once a symbol of individualism and freedom, but with gas expected to hit somewhere close to 5.00 a gallon this summer and the economy faltering, a car may feel more like a lead weight pulling you into an economic abyss. That is why across the U.S and Canada that old rusty Schwinn that has been sitting in the garage since your college years is once again coming out into the light of day. Canadian publication Globe and Mail, recently ran an article detailing the upsurge of business that bicycle shops have seen this season. Spurred on by a transit strike, desperate citizens in Toronto, Canada rushed their old rusty bicycles to the local mechanic only to find a three-week wait! "The TTC strike just blew our minds. That was the busiest day of my life," said Eric Kamphof, a manager of Toronto’s Curbside Cycle near Bloor and Bathurst Streets. Curbside Cycles was forced to stop accepting new repairs and had to work 11-hour days for three weeks in order to catch up "It was ridiculous," Mr. Kamphof said. Indeed, with this renewed interest in bicycles it might be easier to get yourself in for a checkup than your bike. Treehugger proclaims that, “Bike Mechanics are the New Doctors,” All the sudden a profession that nobody cared about a year ago is becoming a title of distinction? Will gold diggers be exiting the Clubhouse of the local country club and heading for the local Bike Shop? We decided to do a little research of our own, and we found that this trend is not limited to progressive urban areas. Miles Hamilton owns and operates Queen City Cycles, located in the midwestern town of Springfield, Missouri. We asked him if he had noticed any change in business this year, he replied, “ Oh, Yeah! (Chuckles) Double Oh Yeah!!!… We’re definitely way busier than usual,” he continues,” We are seeing business that we usually don’t see until the season is in full swing, the rain isn’t even slowing them down…. Rather than just being seasonal, it’s (cycling) is becoming a year ‘round thing.”  The reason for this; the two things that Miles hears from his customers the most are, “ Gas prices and being more green,” that sentiment was echoed in numerous stories recently published across the country. Gas prices are not going down anytime soon and we are predicting that this trend will continue to grow right along with them. By the way, our interview with Mr. Hamiton was his second of the day.

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