Motorcyclists Make the Best of High Gas Prices

By: Lauren Zakalik Email
By: Lauren Zakalik Email

For road-trip enthusiasts, nothing looks better than spring weather and the open road. But this season, soaring gas prices may keep some drivers parked. Others, however, will drive as planned.

"I don't even think about it," says motorcyclist Dennis Ring. "I pull up to the pump and I'm on my way with six bucks gone. And I can ride for a week."

Saturday begins the official motorcycle season, and this year, riding a hog isn't just a hobby-- it's economical.

"We ride 150, 160 miles, and it's $10 or $12 to fill up a tank," says biker Jerry Royston.

"You get 40 miles per gallon on average for a Harley [Davidson motorcycle]," says fellow biker Kevin Rose.

Rose is a member of the Mid-Michigan Motorcyclists. He says riding is transforming from a pasttime to an "all-the-time."

"People if they get a chance are using it as their every-day vehicle," he says.

Ring agrees: "You see more and more people on their bikes going to work at 7 a.m. than you've ever seen before."

AAA reports gas in mid-Michigan has jumped nearly 30 cents since Monday to $2.75 a gallon. The bikers say it's not hurting them unless they have cars.

"I have two other vehicles," says Ring. "We suffer because of that."

According to Royston, who specializes in motorcycle statistics, sales of Harley-Davidsons in the U.S. have gone up 10 percent in the past year. Many bikers say as long as gas prices stay high, those sales will keep going up.

"You'll see more bikes, if anything, and less cars," Ring says.

Spring typically brings more motorcycles to the roads anyway, but if petroleum remains pricey, more people may find themselves turning to the two-wheeled transportation.


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