"Bicycles are the new SUV"

Every year around the time of the Tour de France, I expect to read smarmy comments from U.S. sports commentators that cycling isn’t a “real” sport compared to American football or NASCAR. I was expecting some of the same when I read ESPN senior writer Jim Caple’s column on 10 reasons you’ll want to watch this year’s Tour de France. I was pleasantly surprised to see this instead:

Bicycles are the new SUV. I’m way ahead of the curve on this one, but bicycles are poised for a quantum leap in popularity. Continuing concerns about global warming, rising obesity, diabetes and traffic snarls will prompt more people to ride bicycles in the coming years.

Which is the biggest reason I love the Tour. Most of America’s most popular sports are enjoyed only from the couch. Not biking. No matter your age or weight, everyone can bike — and should. It’s fun, and a good way to get around — the extra time it takes to bike somewhere is easily made up by the time you save not looking for a parking space or going to the club for a workout.

More importantly, it’s good for you, good for the environment and good for the country. Who is more patriotic, the person who commutes to work on a bike, or the guy who slaps a U.S. flag decal on his SUV that gets 12 miles per gallon?

Is that cool or what?

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0 thoughts on “"Bicycles are the new SUV"”

  1. Jill says:

    Too cool.

    Thanks for posting this.

  2. RocBike.com says:

    Links Of The Day: 8 July 2007…

    Here are today’s cycling links. Enjoy!

    Massachusetts: Bike Commuting’s Myriad Benefits
    Paris: Bike Sharing And Safety
    Bicycles Are The New SUV
    Iowa Monthly Carnage
    Historic Bicycle Tour Through Binghampton, NY (with video)
    Biking For A Goo…

  3. Alberto says:

    A pleasant surprise!

  4. TooManyTacos says:

    Can’t say I’m very comfortable of the bicycle being associated with the SUV. I understand that he’s referring to the future popularity of bikes, but the comparison is still a little scary.

  5. Jez says:

    I agree. Compare bikes with the i-Pod or something – don’t compare it with those climate wrecker SUVs? BTW I saw the Tour de France in London at the weekend (where I live). We’ve had an 80 percent boost in people cycling to work in this city over the last five years – and the tour is going to give the numbers an even bigger boost. 3 million, yes THREE MILLION turned out to watch the first stage after the prologue. Awesome!! If the ghost of Henri Desgrange (who invented the tour) appeared in front of me, I’d like to shake him by the hand and share a bottle or two of Chateau Mouton Rothschild with him. Thanks to him and thanks to the Mayor of London for bringing the tour here, but no thanks to the Mayor of London for introducing deadly 60ft(!) ‘bendy buses’ which are killing London’s cyclists. Oh yes, and while I’m thanking everyone and their dog, thanks to the U.S. for Greg Lemond – or I’d never be the proud owner of a Lemond Poprad disc 2007. And I’d like to thank… (oh dear. I’ll stop now)

  6. Anne says:

    Hmmm… Sport, Utility vehicle. Sounds like my bicycle exactly. I say we reclaim the term and stop using it to describe massive, inefficient pollution-spewing boxes of metal that are more often used to get a cellphone-yapping single occupant to Starbucks than for either sport or utility.

  7. Joe says:

    I concur with Anne. My bike is an SUV. It is a hybrid/commuter with wide tires for whatever terrain, a suspension shock, aero bars for getting down and getting out of the wind, a rack for hauling stuff. It is an SUV, the gas guzzlers just grabbed the name first. Sort of like how copiers were all called “xerox” machines, regardless of the brand. A generalization……

  8. Charity says:

    Yea, Bikes are the SUV. Too many SUV’s out there being used to show the size of someones bank account instead of going off road. Thanks for the article.

  9. Jez says:

    Love this website…
    ‘The Bigger the SUV, the smaller the man.’ Yes, indeed.

  10. RL says:

    Here’s my SUB (sports utility bicycle)

    I love my Xtracycle. I use it when ever I run errands that need me to carry some sort of big load.

  11. RL says:

    whoops, I guess the image didn’t show. but its right here.




  12. Steve says:

    Anne and Joe are on the right path, but I’d go further.
    I’ve long called my touring/commuting bicycle “my tank.”

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