Burlington Bicycle Benefits, the brainchild of brothers Ian and Dillon Klepetar, is a program in which local businesses reward cyclists in the form of discounts for riding bicycles instead of driving cars. Discounts are no less than 10 percent and can go up to 25 percent.
Dillon Klepetar is almost messianic in his desire to see fewer cars on the road and more people biking or walking. The program's mission -- to get people out of cars and onto bikes -- sums up his personal philosophy. The towheaded student, who wears plastic bags inside his shoes to keep his feet dry while biking in the winter, says people need to start living a sustainable lifestyle.
"I think we need to re-evaluate the convenience and impact of driving a car. Biking is healthy on many different levels," he said.
Klepetar says Burlington, Vermont is the perfect city to support the Bicycle Benefits program because many people commute year-round on bikes, and if they can be rewarded for using a bicycle, that should be all the more reason to abandon the car and strap on the helmet.
"It's about making the inconvenient choice because it's right," Klepetar said about biking instead of driving. "You have to listen to your environmental conscience."