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One week, two wheels

by RL Policar

“That’s what I’m talkin’ bout’”

On a Monday morning — the day, coincidentally, that President Bush asked Americans to conserve gasoline by driving less — you lock your car in the driveway and straddle your brand-new, bright blue Specialized bicycle, rented for the occasion. With notebook, tape recorder, and lots of trepidation, you embark on a one-week experiment in commuting to work, Cambridge to Boston, round trip, 20 miles a day.

You’re not alone. As the price of gasoline soars through the tinted roof of all those SUVs that clog Storrow Drive, sales of bicycles are soaring to perhaps 20 million this year, and many Americans are wondering whether the bicycle might not be a wiser way to commute to work.

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