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If every American living within five miles of work commuted by bike just one day a week, it would be like taking a million cars off the road entirely.

Photograph by Empipe/Shutterstock

Usage Tips

  • Plan a Green Ride. Where do you usually ride your bike? Do you get into a car or truck and drive to a starting point? There’s nothing wrong with a cycling vacation or taking destination trips to see the scenery from the saddle. But the greenest rides of all are those that start and end at your front door—and they become greener still when they replace a trip you would have otherwise made by auto. Using your bike for transportation, not just for weekend fun, maximizes its potential as a green machine.

  • Fix 'er Up. Building a bike has environmental impacts, and the same goes for producing and disposing of components like cables, tires, and chains. By learning routine maintenance, you can keep your bike’s not-so-green parts on the road for far longer. Every time you patch an inner tube, for example, you help limit the production and disposal of these nonrenewable resources. Keeping your chain and gears lubed (with green products) is another good way to get maximum longevity from your bike and all its components.

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