(Springfield, MO) — Are you dreading your next trip to the pump? Maybe it's time to switch gears.
More people are riding their bike to work and saving hundreds of dollars a month.
Springfield bike shops saw good sales numbers in 2010 and this year they're even better. And with shops clearing out last years inventory now may be the perfect time to invest a greener, cleaner and healthier commute.
"Oh yeah, I'm kind of addicted to it," says Caleb Foster who is now so addicted he bikes to work every day.
"I love the exercise, it saves money." Continues Caleb. "I drive an old F-150. It's been a drain in my pocket."
Caleb isn't alone. As more drivers try to skip the pump road bike sales have jumped in 2011.
"We began seeing the biggest increase in January," says Bo Laxton of Springfield Bicycle Company. "Now were about 30% up from the last couple years"
A new bike can easily reach into thousands of dollars but Caleb is already seeing that money paid back.
"Oh it's great," says Caleb. "I bought the bike and that was an investment but that has paid for itself already with just the gas prices.
If you don't have 4 figures to throw down on the newest, best and top of the line bikes. Specialists say they are seeing a lot of people bringing in their old bikes and getting them fixed up.
"A lot of tune-ups and a lot of new tires," says Laxton. "Definitely a lot of new tires, that's the main thing a bike sitting around needs. Lots of old stuff coming through, lots of ten speeds. The weather is getting better; you might as well gas prices are only going up. You might as well get in on it early and ride all summer and into the fall. "
But if the fresh air and exercise aren't enough to convince you to get on a bike, maybe this will:
"I haven't had to fill up now for 3-4 weeks," smiles Caleb. "Which is awesome."
Specialists say you don't really want a road bike on Springfield streets. The rough roads and broken glass can be terrible for the skinny tires. They are now selling commuter bikes which are specifically made to handle pot holes and other hazards while also being light weight and able to carry extra loads.