Considering buying a new ride??

It’s the greener way to go, but it seems bicycling can tackle everything from health issues to homelessness.

Forget portable wind turbines and designer wormeries – when it comes to bona fide green investments it’s hard to beat a good old bicycle, right? It appears we think so. According to the Department for Transport’s 2007 survey, 42 per cent of people aged five and above now have their own wheels, and recent research suggests bicycle manufacture could soon outstrip car manufacture three-to-one.

While such trends could be good news for carbon emissions, however, there could be repercussions further down the line. The key materials used to make bikes – aluminium, steel and rubber – are all recyclable, yet numerous unwanted cycles wind up in landfill, wasting precious resources.

Thankfully, the dearth of bike recycling is just one issue being addressed by small second hand bike centres that can be found in most large towns and cities. These nifty social enterprises are usually, complete with their own bustling workshop, and you can take your pick from a range of recycled options, from mountain bikes to vintage-style 1970s models.

But that’s not all: you can also get your own bike fixed, sign up for cycle lessons, even learn to become a cycle mechanic.

Maybe that sparkling, gleaming all carbon bike isn’t as green as all that. When looking for that new steed, Why not look at a vintage alternative? It’ll save you pounds and I bet your riding buddies don’t have one….

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