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People turn pedals to save money on commute

The rising cost of gas is fueling a boom in bicycle sales as more Triangle commuters look to pedal away from the pump.

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RALEIGH, N.C. — At the pump, gas prices rose Wednesday for the first time in a week. The average price for a gallon of regular gasoline is about $3.62.

“Takes a chunk out of your check,” Mark Tull said about spending more than $50 to fill up his truck's tank.

The rising cost of gas is fueling a boom in bicycle sales.

“It's a plus for us,” said Chuck Nelson, of All-Star Bike Shops. “It seems to be partially related to people riding their bikes more to get around and not just for pleasure."

Mark Tull is among Triangle commuters looking to pedal away from the pump.

“I work locally. I live locally. So, I can get around (by bike) to most places, grocery store, my job, within 15 minutes,” Tull said.

The average commute to work is about four to six miles.

“Two and a half miles one way,” Richard Mowat said of his commute.

Mowat is ahead of the bike boom. He has commuted to work by bicycle for more than 30 years.

“The goal was to find a house that was in commuting distance,” he added.

As for Tull, he just relocated back to Raleigh. Making his paycheck stretch is a priority, he said, and riding his bike helps with that.

“The way gas prices are, anytime I can get around (by bike), weather permitting, it's a much better way,” Tull said.

Industry figures show 19 million bikes were sold over the past 12 months in the U.S. That is close to the 20 million sold during the oil embargo in the early 1970s.

Bike To Work Week is May 12-16. Smart Commute has several events planned in the Triangle for cyclists.


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