Last week, we looked at a report from The Wall Street Journal that suggested a link between exposure to fuel emissions and neurological disorders. While driving is sometimes necessary, we know it’s not great for our health: as part of a sedentary lifestyle, it can contribute to type 2 diabetes, heart disease, and now, even for otherwise healthy people, problems with the brain. But driving isn’t great for the environment either. In the U.S., 40% of all trips are 2 miles or shorter, but 90% of these trips are made by car. Bike share programs, such as Boston’s Hubway are making it easier to get around by bike, reportedly saving 20,000 car trips from July-October; an excellent start, but we still have a long way to go.

In an effort to help improve our health and reduce our impact on the environment, CLIF Bar, the company that makes energy bars and other products, has introduced its 2 Mile Challenge. The 2 Mile Challenge encourages people to make these short trips by bike, rather than by car. Participants can log their mileage and the number of car trips saved. The site then converts this number to show how many tons of pollutants were not released into the atmosphere. There’s also the opportunity to win some prizes and to raise money for organizations that advocate for cycling – just by riding your bike a couple of miles every day.

The site also offers some helpful tips for people who are just getting into cycling. The site has a “Build Your Bike” button, which shows different kinds of bikes and the gear you might want/need, depending on the kind of riding you’re doing. It’s a good resource for anyone who’s thinking about getting into riding, but isn’t quite sure what they’re looking for.

I don't know where that donkey came from, but I sure hope this Montague folding bike is a long way from a city...

They even include a folding bike among the bike choices, which is great, even though they don’t mention that there are full-size folders. We couldn’t agree more with the positive attributes they list about folding bikes, but we here at Montague do take issue with the drawbacks, which include awkward handling and limitations on trip length due to small wheels. While these might be problems for other folding bikes, Montague folding bikes, with full-size wheels and industry standard parts, ride and feel the same way any non-folding bike does. You get the convenience of a folding bike, without having to sacrifice performance. And try telling some of our guest bloggers that they’re not built for long trips…

In any case, the 2 Mile Challenge has definitely got the right idea about how cycling can benefit the environment. And they’re introducing special challenges for the winter months, so you should definitely check them out.

Take the 2 Mile Challenge with your Folding Bike

How much do you ride on a daily basis? Do you make a conscious effort to reduce the amount you drive? Or do you ride for other reasons? Are you planning to take the 2 Mile Challenge? Or have you been entering your ride information already? Let us know how it’s going!

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