Bike sales spike as more commuters pedal to work

Glenn Gamponia
Glenn Gamponia
Bruce Lenkeit
Bruce Lenkeit

By Leland Kim - bio | email

MOILI'ILI (KHNL) -  Rising gas prices have hit all of us in the pocketbook and forced us to change our habits. But it is actually having a positive impact in one local industry and our environment.

The wheels are turning faster these days at The Bike Shop in Moili'ili. These days, they are selling a lot more bikes.

"We'll have customers come in and like, I kind of need to look for a bike so I can kind of get to work,"said bicycle store manager Glenn Gamponia.

The Bike Shop has experienced a 30% jump in sales from just a year ago.  Rising gas prices have forced Hawaii commuters to look for alternative ways to get around.

"Now we have weekend riders, everyday riders, commuters, which is actually nice," said Gamponia.

There are bikes specifically designed to get you to and from work. A Specialized 8-speed is considered a good commuter bike. You sit upright and for stopping power, advanced hydraulic disk brakes kick in.

Bruce Lenkeit has been on the bicycle bandwagon for awhile. He has been riding for more than fifty years.

"I enjoy the exercise and why pay the gas price," he said while shopping for bike gear.

For some cyclists, though, it's tough riding around town.

"Hawaii needs to improve their bike lanes if they're serious about people using bicycles as transportation," said Lenkeit.

Most cyclists agree that there are not enough bike lanes.

"Like here on King Street, and on Dillingham would be a good idea," said Gamponia. "Dillingham and Beretania would be a good place to have bike lanes."

These bicycle enthusiasts hope more people start riding because it is good for your pocketbook and good for your waistline.

"I rode my bike to work and I feel good just because even though it was a fifteen minute ride, I got fifteen minutes of fitness at that point in time versus sitting in my car for half an hour to forty five minutes," Gamponia said.

A different way to get to work that saves time, money and the environment.

The City and County of Honolulu's Transportation Department is working on updating its island-wide "Bike Master Plan."  The goal is to put in more bike paths and make the city more bike friendly.