The Rails-to-Trails Conservancy, which transforms old railroad lines into paths for biking (and walking, and Rollerblading...), knows that not everyone can answer the "bike to work" call literally. "We just hope more people will introduce a regular biking route into their lives," says Rails-to-Trails' Jennifer Kaleba—whether it's for quick trips to the supermarket or Saturday-morning workout sessions. The conservancy's trail-finder search function (TrailLink.com) lets you hunt for paths by city, zip code, route length, and surface type. For added incentive, check out 1World2Wheels.org. There you can enter the mileage for one of your typical car journeys, and the site will calculate your carbon reduction, gas money saved, and calories burned if you bike it instead. Our inner can-do idealist sometimes overreaches herself, but numbers don't lie.
Weighing just 27.5 pounds, the folding Downtube 9FS ($359; Downtube.com) is perfect for tossing in the trunk for a weekend jaunt. And thanks to its cheery design, riding it around your neighborhood will give you the same social magnetism as walking a very cute dog. Believe us, we've tested it!