Cycling Soars After Japan Earthquake

Found this post that was really cool…

 

Millions of workers in Tokyo were stuck with no way to get home following last Friday’s devastating earthquake. With damaged roads, no power and limited public transit, workers stood in long lines for taxis and buses.  Tens of thousands of people, with no other choice, walked home. Given that the average commute distance in Tokyo is 16 miles, this option would be impossible come Monday morning. That’s when people turned to bicycles.

Bike shops throughout the city saw a dramatic increase in business. Many sold their entire inventories, including high-end bikes that run $3,700. One discount retailer in central Tokyo sold out its stock of 30-40 folding bikes within an hour of the quake.  Bikes are useful in disasters. After the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami, Sram and Trek created World Bicycle Relief and donated 24,400 bicycles to the people of Sri Lanka.

Now, here’s the coolest part: those bikes were used for years (88% were still in use two years later), saving residents 30% on transportation costs and enabling countless families to get back on their feet by getting to and from school and work.

Byon Kidd, author of the site Tokyo by Bike, is taking a break to focus on his family’s safety. However, he is tweeting cycling related things at @tokyobybike, and more general observations about the situation at @byronkidd.

We wish him, and every bike commuter in Tokyo, safe travels.

 

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