I enjoy playing around with Google Trends. For the uninitiated, Google Trends is a tool that allows you to analyze search terms and track their popularity over time. From Google:
With Google Trends, you can compare the world’s interest in your favorite topics. Enter up to five topics and see how often they’ve been searched on Google over time. Google Trends also shows how frequently your topics have appeared in Google News stories, and in which geographic regions people have searched for them most.
I recently ran a Google Trends search on “Bike Commuting”. You can view the results by clicking here. It’s interesting to see the geographic breakdown as well as the timeline (I’m not surprised Portland topped the list). Notice the bump in mid-2008? That’s when gas prices went over $4 per gallon and buses and trains all over the country were overflowing with bikes. Also notice the drop-off during the winter months. Apparently we’re still mostly fair weather bike riders!
For fun, here’s one more for you: [click here].