Environmentalism: Purpose or Perk?

I’ve always tried to be environmentally conscious. This is a trait I seem to share with most bikers (at least those who frequent biking websites, certainly the other contributors to this site) and with the recent gas prices, there’s been plenty of talk about biking vs. driving. My position in this debate is different from most of the country, because I happen to live in a city where public transportation is readily available at all times and in most places. My wife and I don’t own a car. My own reasons for biking are not motivated by the costs of driving, and while I do value the environmental benefits of riding a bike and the fact that I’m not spending money on the subway, it’s not the reason I ride. I bike everywhere because it’s more fun than taking the subway.

So I wanted to ask the rest of you – are environmental concerns or gas costs the primary reason we commute to work, or are they just perks? Did anyone come to care about the environment via biking? In other words, do we bike because we care about the environment, or do we care about the environment because we bike?

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