Second credit union to offer bike loans: Great idea!

Sarah Gilbert

In Portland, Ore., the second credit union to do so announced this week it was offering a new financial product: a bike loan. I think it's the idea of the decade. (In fact, it was my idea, so it's hardly a surprise that I love it.) Not everyone agrees with me.

As a self-described "family biking evangelist," it's my hope to convince more, more and MORE! people to get behind the handlebars of a bike, instead of choosing a minivan or other expensive, polluting transport mechanism.

The biggest objection most people have to my brilliant vision of the future of family transport is cost. Most bikes capable of efficiently and comfortably transporting more than one human, and their groceries and crunchy snacks and extra changes of clothes, are pretty spendy. Mine cost about $1,500, including labor and a bell and a few kiddos' helmets. Most people, I'm told, don't have $500, or $1,000, or $2,000 to buy the family bike of their dreams.