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Cycling news & info with a special focus on notable bike tours, bike trails, bikeways, lanes and bicycle routes as well as innovative bicycling products like space saving & easy to transport folding bikes.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

A Greener Way To Travel

by Larry Lagarde

Want to really lower your carbon footprint the next time you travel?
Take the train for the long distance portion of your journey and ride a bicycle at your destination.

During the New Orleans celebration this past weekend of National Train Day, Amtrak ran contests giving away hug-able stuffed replicas of their mascot ARTE. Basically a green smiling leaf topped with a conductor's cap, this cute mascot is a reminder that travel by rail is more eco friendly than traveling by car or plane; however, ARTE also offered additional tips for cutting energy use, reducing your carbon footprint and saving money too. Among those tips: bicycling at your destination.

Frankly, ARTE's bike tip was more limited (as in take a bike or walking tour) but with folding bikes like the IF MODE, it is entirely possible to take a bike with you no matter where you go on Amtrak. Once you reach your destination, rather than rely on transportation that's not within your control (taxis or public transit), simply pedal away from the train station on the wheels you brought with you.

As a Hurricane Katrina survivor, I have experienced the effects of climate change firsthand. Even if you doubt climate change is taking place, isn't it better to err on the side of caution? Replacing the filament light bulbs in your house with compact flourescents or using less polluting means of transportation may seem insignificant but if everyone decreases their carbon footprint in a small way, the overall reduction in greenhouse gas emissions would be huge. Please help make the world cleaner. Do something to reduce your carbon footprint today.


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