For a limited time this month, a bike shop in California is turning around the "How much!? You could buy a car for that!" remark so familiar to any cyclist with a decent bike by offering motorists the chance to trade in their car or SUV, and walk away the proud owner of a brand new bicycle.
Located close to Los Angeles – perhaps the first city that springs to mind when you think of car dependency and the pollution and gridlock that accompanies it – Santa Monica Mountains Cyclery (SMMC) is using aiming to encourage motorists to switch to two wheels to save money and get fit.
“It’s Los Angeles. Gas prices are near all-time highs, and the freeways are as congested as always, “ explained David Kooi, who owns SMMC.
“We want to give people the opportunity to get out of their gas-guzzling cars and SUVs and trade them for the most fuel efficient vehicle we know – the bicycle.
“I’ve heard it said that cars run on money and make you fat - and bicycles run on fat and save you money. That’s never been more true,” he added.
The promotion, which runs from Monday 18 March to Sunday 25 March, is being run in partnership with a car dealership across the road.
First, prospective purchasers pick out a bike at SMMC, then they pop over the road to Vista Ford to have their vehicle assessed for its trade-in value. Once that’s agreed, it’s back to SMMC to finalise the transaction and ride away.
With the bike shop selling brands including Ridley, Colnago, Litespeed and Cervelo, it's possible that "HOW much?!" question might get a good airing.
Just how many SoCal motorists will take Kooi up on his offer is open to question - but if nothing else, the initiative may make some realise that other modes of transport are available.
Simon joined road.cc as news editor in 2009 and is now the site’s community editor, acting as a link between the team producing the content and our readers. A law and languages graduate, published translator and former retail analyst, he has reported on issues as diverse as cycling-related court cases, anti-doping investigations, the latest developments in the bike industry and the sport’s biggest races. Now back in London full-time after 15 years living in Oxford and Cambridge, he loves cycling along the Thames but misses having his former riding buddy, Elodie the miniature schnauzer, in the basket in front of him.