If you're concerned about the environment and conscious of a need to exercise more, bicycling may be the answer.
"The Clean Air Act mentions bicycling as one of the measures states could use to reduce traffic and air pollution," says N. Dianne Rowe, bicycle coordinator for the Environmental Protection Agency.
So the EPA has developed a "Bicycling to Work" program that features a videotape and brochure on how to set up a bicycle seminar, and a booklet called "How to Organize a Bike Day."
The program encourages people to set up bicycling seminars at work during the lunch hour. Suggested topics include parking, routes and bicycle maintenance.
"The seminar should follow the showing of the videotape," said Rowe, "and its purpose is to give new commuters personal contact with an experienced, enthusiastic bicycle commuter."
In addition to lowering auto emmissions, bicycling also can reduce energy consumption, improve health and save time.
"The bicycle travels at 13 mph, the same speed as rush hour traffic," says Rowe. In several car-bike-subway races conducted in the District and Boston, the bicycle won.
"And bike commuting can provide a reasonable level of aerobic excercise," Rowe says.
But what about the person who thinks bicycling is unsafe in traffic?
"Bicycling can be unsafe if you don't know what you're doing," Rowe says. "But just like taking driver education courses, people should take a bicycle training course."
For a copy of the videotape, send a blank tape to: N. Dianne Rowe, AR-443, 401 M St. SW, Washington, D.C. 20460. Tape will be returned free of charge. For more information on bicycling, call 382-7756, Tuesday and Thursday mornings. -- Wendy Melillo