Greening the MTB Scene

About a year and a half ago I wrote about mountain bikers’ carbon footprints (er, carbon tracks) and a press release from Performance Bike got me thinking about Green MTB once again. For most of us mountain biking wouldn’t be quite as appealing without beautiful, natural places to ride so we really have a vested interest in doing our part to protect the environment. Anyway, here’s a snippet from my first Green MTB post:

Assuming you drive an average of 15 miles each way to the trail and you go riding twice a week thats more than 3,000 miles of driving per year just to ride your mountain bike! I personally dont get to ride quite that often but when I do I generally take day trips of up to 100 miles from my home so 3,000 annual miles isnt much of a stretch for me. Anyway, 3,000 miles of driving releases over 1 ton of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere which you will promptly breathe back in when you finally get on the trail.

I went on to offer 3 tips for reducing carbon emissions associated with driving to trailheads and the good news is that the price of gas and IMBA’s Ride Center concept are helping with #1 and #3 respectively.


Performance Bike has identified another source of pollution associated with biking and it’s one I hadn’t thought of before: used inner tubes (and tires). It’s estimated that 14 tons of discarded bike tubes end up in landfills in the SF Bay Area alone each year – that’s a lot of used rubber! This weekend Performance is offering $5 gift cards to anyone who brings in old tubes to Bay Area stores where the tubes will be recycled and used in Alchemy Goods messenger bags and accessories. Unfortunately gel-filled and thorn resistant tubes can’t be recycled – just one more reason to go tubeless!

Performance Bike seems to be pretty committed to the environment in other ways as well and is offering $20 gift cards to Bay Area commuters to encourage biking to work. Back in 2006 Performance became the first national sports retailer to use 100% wind power for its stores. Nice.


Even if you aren’t in the Bay Area you can still find creative ways to re-use mountain bike tires and tubes. I use old tubes for chain stay guards and I’ve even seen MTB tires turned into bean bag chairs. The same properties that make rubber bad for the environment also make it super durable and almost infinitely reusable.

What are some other ways you’ve found to keep mountain biking green?

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