Slowly, and painfully slowly at that, efforts are underway to get more folks biking shorter distances in the United States. The biggest barriers, and rationally so, are safety and poor infrastructure that makes it unsafe for anyone but hardened cyclists to share the road. And the lack of places to lock a bike can be a barrier too.
Even in supposedly bike-friendly Seattle, less than one in 10 people ride daily. A 2012 survey found the top two reasons people did not ride were because of weather (in our case, rain) and safety. In this city, quite literally, you can be seriously wounded or killed at almost any time by inattentive drivers who are texting, talking on the cell phone, or simply hostile or oblivious to bikes. So that is why I always play it safe. Research also shows that conditions also can become safer when more people ride their bikes. Safety in a pack. I will keep doing all I can to keep those numbers growing. You can also read my blog post I write on bike safety and health in the United States.
I took this snapshot at the Fremont Fair, in Seattle, on June 21. My bet is a majority of people took their cars to the fair, but this is great to see. (Please click on the photograph to see the picture in a separate picture page.)