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If you're reading this right now, shame on you! It's a beautiful day. Turn off your computer and go out and ride.

You can probably guess where I stand on global climate change, but let's assume that the skeptics are right.

Suppose global warming is a myth, we're at the tail end of a natural warming cycle, and that everything is about to get back to normal. Let's say that even with peak oil, the scientists and industry leaders manage to develop technology that lets us seamlessly transition to new sources of alternative, renewable, sustainable, eco-friendly energy.

We all get to live happily ever after in a dynamic global free-market utopia where there are jobs for everyone and nobody has to give up their car.

If that happened, would there still a reason to ride your bike, aside from pure recreation?

I'd say yes, because this isn't just about saving the planet, or even your own health. Riding bikes is an adventure, a time and place and way to experience the world that's way more exciting than watching life through a screen.

In fact, if you're reading this right now, shame on you! It's a beautiful day.

Turn off your computer and go out and ride.

If you're reading this, you could help.

Summer is coming and gas prices are beginning to rise. What's more, the recent drop in gas prices wasn't the result of a new supply, but a recession-driven drop in demand. As the economy starts to pick up again, we're going to see a rise in demand and soon a rise in prices that has started already.

There is little more oil to be found and drilled. We are in the age of peak oil.

Now, there's a lot of talk about "ride your bike to work." It's a great idea and people are really starting to get it. Now let's take it one step further.

Bike commuting is being accepted and adopted by many mainstream people. Bike touring is still a specialized hobby for an elite group of wingnuts like me.

bicycle global warming 015What I'd like to see happen is more people taking vacations that are carbon-neutral, or at least lower impact. I'm planning to write a book about this, but maybe the key is to have something better.

Like an interactive website where people can find everything from tips for beginners to detailed route information to ways you can add romance, family time, fun for kids to a bike tour.

Ideally this would also include information on other forms of low-carbon travel, such as sailing.

I'm not sure how to get this off the ground, so I'll probably "just do it" and hope people catch on. If you have any thoughts or suggestions on this, leave a comment.

The cost of oil has been jumping up and down, but it hasn't gotten nearly as low as 2 years ago, and probably never will. Sooner or later that's going to hurt your wallet when you fill up your car with gasoline. You know where this is going.

Now will you ride your bike to work?

If you don't care that much about pollution or infrastructure problems, if finding a parking space isn't a problem for you, even if you're not interested in improving your health, couldn't you still use an extra wad of cash every week?

Just think, if you saved 20 bucks a week, in ten years you could buy your own island and you wouldn't have to go to work anymore. Well, maybe you wouldn't save that much, but with this economy saving a tank of gas a week--or even just half a tank--could work wonders to alleviate a lot of financial stress. Is there any way you could ride your bike to work? Even just part of the way?

I'm not writing this for extreme commuters. If you're physically challenged, buried under snow, or you need to transport heavy merchandise or delicate equipment you're excused.

But most of us could make this work. At least part of the way, some of the time. My dad is in his 70s and he still rides a bike across half of Chicago, even though he doesn't have to.

Don't think of this as judgement. I'm only saying that this is your chance to do something radical, something that can change your life and eventually transform the world.

Imagine a society where our security isn't hostage to a greasy fluid, where almost everyone is strong and athletic, where our pets can roam the neighborhood without the danger of being squashed, where "drunk driving" means risking a scraped elbow, where you can sleep late without the roar of traffic waking you up in the morning, and you can breathe deeply without choking.

Did I mention that in my utopian bicycle dreamworld you can eat anything you want without getting fat, and you'll have an extra couple hundred bucks to play with every month? (Maybe more, since the fluctuations of the economy now depend on the price of oil...)

Just give it a try if you can. Please.