West Texans Trading Cars for Bikes

By Sarah Snyder
NewsWest 9

As the cost of fuel continues to rise, More and more people are giving up their gas guzzlers and taking a bike to work.

"There are cheaper ways to get around than driving your car everywhere," David Ham, Owner, Peyton's Bikes store in Midland, said.

In the Permian Basin, bicycles aren't just for recreation. They're becoming a primary means of transportation.

"Pretty well a cross section of everybody in town is interested in bicycles right now it seems like," Ham said.

Dr. Steven Rea is an E.R. doctor at Medical Memorial Hospital in Midland.

"I ride 16 miles to work each day," Dr. Rea, the E.R. Co-Director for Midland Memorial Hospital said, "That's 8 miles to and 8 miles home."

Dr. Rea says those 2,000 miles he spent on a bike over the past year have helped him stay in shape, reduce pollution, and save money on gas.

"I think you're going to see more and more people hit the roads here recently with the cost of gas going up and up," Rae said. "You'll only see more bikers on the road."

"It amounts up pretty quickly especially when it costs 70-80 dollars or more to fill up cars now or more," Ham said.

Some are even dusting off their bikes instead of taking a summer vacation.

"More people are considering that with the price of gas right now," Ham said.

Some even pedal to the store.

"We are seeing a lot of repairs on bicycles, people bringing bicycles out of their garage and getting them fixed up, putting accessories on it where they can carry, at least go to the grocery store and pick up a loaf of bread or a gallon of milk, that type of thing, so we're seeing baskets and bags," Ham said.

But there's still a lot of traffic and local bikers are hoping for a safer place to ride.

"Hopefully in the near future the City Council will begin to add some new bike trails onto the roads as they resurface them and think about the bikers and the cost of gas and really, what it takes for these people to get to work," Dr. Rae said.