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Speedy Cyclist bests auto, mass transit

Zipping across the East River is quickest on two wheels – and the most eco-friendly.

The affordable way around town is also the fastest, with zero carbon emissions, according to Transportation Alternatives, which held its Great New York City Commuter Race, pitting a bicyclist, a motorist and a transit rider in a contest to find out how long it would take to travel from Fort Greene to Union Square in Manhattan – a trip just shy of five miles.

Lower East Side pedaler Jamie Favaro, Park Slope straphanger April Green and Long Island car driver Emmanuel Fuentebella began the commute – in honor of National Bike Month – at Connecticut Muffin, 423 Myrtle Avenue, quickly parting ways as they headed to the northwest corner of Union Square East and 14th Street.

“A leisurely ride through brownstone Brooklyn and across the Manhattan Bridge was a great way to start the day,” boasted Favaro, who was the first to arrive at the home stretch in just 16.5 minutes, leaving nary a trace of a carbon footprint in her trailblazing tracks.

By comparison, Fuentebella, who came in second, took 22 minutes to complete the course, emitting a hefty six pounds of carbon dioxide along the way.

Greene’s third place train ride not only took a lengthy 29 minutes in travel time, but also produced close to a pound of greenhouse-causing CO2.

“With 75-percent of driving commutes in New York City under five miles, there is great potential to shift driving trips to bicycling,” said Transportation Alternatives spokesman Wiley Norvell.

According to 2000 Census figures, at 45 minutes, New Yorkers have the longest average commute in the nation. However, the average bicycle trek in the city takes only about a half-hour.

“It looks like the bicycle will reign as the fastest commute for another year; it really is the fastest way to get around New York City,” boasted Favaro, who garnered a floral bouquet, a messenger bag and, of course, bragging rights for her victory

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