Monday, August 03, 2009

"Cash For Clunkers" Program Extended to Purchase of Bicycles

--because we could use a little break from all the standardized test result statistical mumbo-jumbo

Albuquerque/Washington-- The wildly successful “Cash for Clunkers” program initiated by the Federal Government to revive the U.S. Auto industry while also putting “greener” cars on the road took a new direction yesterday with the announcement that bicycles could be purchased instead.

Rebates of $4500 are offered to car owners wishing to purchase bikes from registered local bike shops around the country. The plan is intended to bolster bike shops whose business has fallen off as the “fixie” craze has subsided and the Tour de France has ended for 2009. The environmental benefit of bikes is being cited as a reason as well.

Upon announcement of the bike program, Albuquerque, New Mexico bike shops were inundated with calls and walk-ins asking about the offer. Bert Yancy of “Bert’s Bikes and More” noted at least ten separate in-person customer requests. “About half the guys who came in were driving very old Saabs and Volvos. Really old. And they all wanted to look at like $6000 racing bikes and stuff. It was kinda weird to see these old timers checking out Cervelo R-3s and asking about hand-built Waterfords. I mean these guys were old and pretty chunky. But hey if it moves bikes, I’m cool with it, as long as I’m not stuck with the damn Saabs.”

U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood told reporters yesterday that someone participating in the bike portion of “cash for clunkers” would automatically get the maximum $4500 rebate. As rebates are calculated on amount of gas savings, drivers going from even high mpg “clunkers” like a 1987 Ford Fiesta would still be going from approximately 40 mpg to, theoretically at least, infinity mpg. Despite this, Secretary LaHood emphasized the importance of trading in old SUVs and such, especially as “a lot of you older SUV owners could really stand to lose a few pounds, if you know what I mean.”

Some Republicans lawmakers derided the bike aspect of the program, citing arguments that bike riders do not pay taxes for road construction, most bikes are currently foreign-made, and, as Oklahoma Senator Tom Coburn, M.D. put it, “those damn bike riders are always in the way, slowing everybody down and weaving in and out of traffic. No way in Hell should we be paying to put up with those losers.”

Hearing considerable criticism on the entire “cash for clunkers” program and the new bike initiative in particular, President Obama himself tried to rally support for both, telling an audience of touring cyclists in Alexandria, Virginia “I really think any sane person given the chance to buy forty-five hundred dollars worth of touring bike and accessories is going to ‘see the light’ and end up doing at least part of the Trans-Am, if not the whole damn thing.”

The cyclists in the audience immediately broke into wild applause, before rushing out the meeting room doors to race each other down to a nearby dealer of popular Surly brand touring bicycles.

1 comment:

DanTheMan said...

can a get a source for this post?! it sounds too good to be true...