Hell must have frozen over because this article from one of the bigger news magazines around looks like it belongs in Bicycling Magazine. The laundry list of evidence in the article about the increased use of bicycles almost feels like a critical mass of bicycling is occurring.
In a country where most grown-ups regard bicycles as kid stuff, there are plenty of signs that attitudes are beginning to shift. Bike stores and manufacturers across the nation are reporting significant upticks lately in sales. "They're selling out of all the commuting bikes—all bikes, by the way—that they can get their hands on," says Bill Fields, a consultant who has followed the bicycle industry for decades and anticipates a 20 percent bump in the "comfort bike" category, which includes commuting bikes, by year's end. Meantime, a bill that will allow employers to offer financial incentives to bicycle commuters is winding its way through the House and Senate. A recently unveiled bike-sharing program in Washington, D.C., which allows members to use bikes from 10 rental locations with the swipe of a card, has spurred interest in other cities. And, in Austin, Tour de France legend Lance Armstrong recently opened a cycling shop that caters not to racing enthusiasts but to commuters. Barack Obama recently met with bicycle advocates and promised that he would increase funding for bicycling projects, while potential Republican vice presidential candidate Mike Huckabee has taken to biking around Little Rock, Ark.