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As a longtime city bike commuter — and an advocate for cycling on several recreational, economic and societal fronts — I was happy to see news today of REI’s new online resource promoting biking as an alternative to driving your car.

 

The site — http://www.rei.com/bikeyourdrive — was made, according to the Recreational Equipment Inc. press release, to “inspire more people to cycle by exposing myths and breaking down common barriers associated with using a bicycle as an alternate means of transportation.”

 

To point, the site has how-to video demonstrations on fixing a flat tire and hand-signaling a turn; a calculator to show estimated environmental, caloric and financial savings of cycling over driving; and recommended cycling gear picks. Other tips cover bike maintenance and rules of the road.

 

 

REI says that nationwide urban bicycle sales have increased substantially in 2008 as more people are riding around town to save money, get exercise and cut down on traffic congestion. But less than one percent of all U.S. trips, REI says, are made by bicycle, even though many trips are one mile or less in distance (i.e., easily bike-able).

 

“REI continues to see increased interest in using bicycles to get to work, the coffee shop or just for running errands around town,” says Brian Foley, REI’s product manager for cycling. Indeed, REI’s intent is to make biking more mainstream. “You don’t have to wear spandex to ride your bike.” Foley adds.

 

Click here — http://www.rei.com/bikeyourdrive — to go to the site.

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