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Recreational Equipment, Inc. (REI) has launched www.rei.com/bikeyourdrive, an online resource created 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.
The site offers helpful “how-to” video demonstrations, a calculator to show environmental, caloric and financial “savings,” and recommended cycling gear essentials. Online expert advice and other tools assist riders of all skill levels in understanding proper safety procedures, bike maintenance and the rules of the road.
Nationwide, urban bicycle sales have increased substantially in 2008 as more people are riding their bicycles around town to save money, get exercise and cut down on traffic congestion. However, less than one percent of all U.S. trips are still made by bicycle1 even though 40 percent of most trips are one mile or less2.
“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. “You don’t have to wear spandex to ride your bike.” Foley adds, “Our website and maintenance classes make it easier and less intimidating to garner the many benefits of bicycling for the individual and planet.”
With this online tool, aspiring cyclists can input mileage to calculate the calories burned, carbon emissions reduced and money saved by riding a bicycle instead of driving. For example, a rider that completes 50 miles per week burns 2,350 calories, saves $11 in gas, and reduces carbon dioxide emissions by 48 pounds, simply by not using a gas-powered car. In one year, riding 50 miles per week burns 122,200 calories, saves $572 in gas and reduces carbon dioxide emissions by 2,496 pounds.
With more than 100 stores across the country, REI is known for inspiring and educating to help individuals become comfortable and safe while recreating outdoors. When it comes to cycling, the co-op offers a variety of bicycle brands in stores and online, including the award-winning Novara bicycle line. REI bicycle shops offer tools, experience and resources to help keep bicycles tuned-up through the season. Riders may attend maintenance classes or work directly with the bike shop for quick assembly, on-going tune-ups or repairs. Some stores offer REI Outdoor School and maintenance classes for women only. To view available bike shops and events, visit http://www.rei.com/stores/bikeshop.html and click on “store locator.”
Through its corporate giving program, REI supports national and local non-profits that promote getting people active and outdoors. Over the past two years alone, REI has donated more than $1 million in grant funding to organizations that promote cycling. Examples of grantees include Bikes Belong Foundation, Adventure Cycle Association, the International Mountain Bicycling Association and local cycling clubs from Los Angeles to Boston that all promote safety, access and stewardship.