It's time to go a bit off topic again. Oil prices topped $92 per barrel yesterday. By Spring we may have $4/gal gas prices, which is still ridiculously low by European standards. I guess more people will be commuting by bike.
What amazes me about this is not the prices, but the press stories. Over and over we are told the this is due only to speculation. But the fact is that it is a function of supply and demand. Here is an excellent post that explains how demand is just now starting to outstrip oil production. Some of the best and easiest to digest information on oil can be found in posts by Jerome Guillet, who writes under the name "Jerome a Paris". Jerome is a Parisian banker who specializes in energy related finance. He posts to Daily Kos and European Tribune. His series about the lead-up to $100/barrel oil is fascinating. Another super site about energy issues is The Oil Drum blog.
Basically, we are about to reach, or have passed, what is called peak oil. This does not mean that we will suddenly run out, but that production capacity, even assuming continued new oil field discoveries, can't be maintained. Unfortunately demand is being not only maintained, but is rising rapidly. That means prices are likely rise much faster in the future.
If this post is not gloomy enough you should read this article about a major new UN report. Actually, please read it anyway.
What does this have to do with bikes? Well it is good news for the commuter and city bike business.
I'll leave you with one last thought:
"Did you know that the bicycle is the most energy efficient transportation mode? It is 3 times more efficient than walking, 5 times more efficient than using the train and 15 to 20 times more efficient than driving a car."