WA state representative Ed Orcutt - headshotIsn't bicycling supposed to reduce carbon emissions and free up traffic jam congestion? Well, it's actually making matters worse, argues a state representative from Washington. "You would be giving off more CO2 if you are riding a bike than driving in a car," claims Ed Orcutt (R – Kalama, WA).

The state rep reportedly explained the situation in a letter to a constituent. Said constituent had questioned the wisdom of a new Washington bike tax that the legislature is considering as part of a large transportation package. According to Orcutt, a cyclist "has an increased heart rate and respiration. That means that the act of riding a bike results in greater emissions of carbon dioxide from the rider."

For any bike riding activists already annoyed with Orcutt, he goes even further: Orcutt argues people who ride bikes do not pay for the roads when they ride. So, they're getting a free ride and polluting the atmosphere while doing it.

Orcutt would eventually back down from his bizarre "bike riding produces pollution" diatribe. In an email to Seattle Bike Blog, he wrote, "First of all, let me apologize for the carbon emissions line of an e-mail which has caused so much concern within the bicycle community. It was over the top and I admit is not one which should enter into the conversation regarding bicycles."