In our efforts to make Backpacker carbon-neutral, one of the biggest impacts on the staff has been our commute. For 2008, we’ve pledged to walk, bus, or ride 25,000 miles to work—effectively offsetting 30,000 pounds of CO2 from our carbon footprint.
We’re proud of that stat, but, then again, we do work in Boulder, Colorado, one of the most bike-friendly towns in the country. Many of our readers don’t have a well-maintained network of bike paths and lanes to get them to and from work on two wheels. Bike commuting is great in theory, but if it’s not safe and convenient, then it will stay that way: great in theory.
This past week, a web-based initiative called GoogleMapsBikeThere.org, took the first step towards making biking anywhere a whole lot easier by petitioning Google to add a “Bike There” option to its popular directions feature. A whole lot needs to be done before that feature becomes a reality (mapping local bike paths and trails, figuring out which local roads have the least rush-hour traffic, etc.), but a first-step is better than no step at all. Keep the momentum moving and sign the petition here. —Mark Harrison