There are different kinds of cyclists. There are the fashionable urbanites and their $1,000 Dutch cycles, the fixie radicals who blaze dangerously through city intersections, and the adrenaline junkies who seem to relish screaming warnings at joggers who dare intrude on their paths.
In the eyes of the thousands of Americans who use the bicycle (any bicycle) as a good, old-fashioned, primary mode of commuting, those cyclists are mere fashionistas, hobbyists and weekend warriors.
Driving remains the dominant mode of transport in the Unites States and will likely remain that way for a very long time. However, in recent years bike lane growth has expanded in many American cities and with it a growing awareness of the country’s widening girth (the U.S. ranks No. 1 in obesity, according to this OECD report from 2010), ravenous appetite for fossil fuels, the rising costs of maintaining a vehicle and the fact young Americans just aren’t into cars as much their parents were.
While the human-powered pedal machine is highly unlikely to ever take over as a dominant mode of transport, it does have its loyal following in certain parts of the country. Here’s a rundown, from Bolt Insurance Agency, on the state of bicycle commuting in the United States. (And, yes, New York City doesn't even make it to the list.)
Oregon, thanks largely to Portland’s hippie culture, still remains the state with the highest number of people who use a bicycle as a primary mode of transport for commuting to and from work. Minneapolis comes in second as the only other state where bike commuters make up more than 4 percent of the total.
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Meanwhile, as the use of the cycle has more than doubled in the past decade, fatalities have dropped about 20 percent in the same period.