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Gearing Up for Pedal Power

The month of May is national "Bike to Work" month, and this week the League of American Bicyclists is encouraging people to leave their cars parked and get on a bike for the morning commute to work or to school!

The environmental and energy benefits of a pedal-powered commute are obvious, and you might save a few dollars when you puts your pedals to work instead of your engine. There is, of course, a bit of a trade-off in terms of speed. You'll need to allow a little extra time, depending on how far you need to go.

If you want to figure out a strategy for maximum speed (keeping safety in mind!), then you need to dig deep into gears and the impact of gear ratios on speed. There's a reason your bike has multiple gear and speed settings!

The Science Buddies science fair project "Jack and Jill Went Up a Hill and Came Biking Down After" helps uncover the relationship between gears and speed.

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