Check out this NPR story/podcast about the rising popularity of riding a bicycle to work.
I like this part:
“It’s almost like a snowball effect,” says researcher John Pucher of Rutgers University. “People see other people cycling and they say, ‘Wow!’ ” As part of a three-year research project for the U.S. Department of Transportation, Pucher has completed a preliminary report that documents the increase in biking in nine major North American cities.
I cannot find a link for this study (hello! NPR … it’s called the ethic of the link, or tell us there is no link possible). But a Google search for Pucher (and a couple of terms related to this story) turns up quite a bit of stuff.
I’m not sure “wow” is what they say unless it’s “wow, that guy must be crazy.” But I do think that when people see otherwise normal-looking people on bicycles riding safely in traffic it begins to have some positive effect. So perhaps Pucher is correct.