Ever since he was 7 years old, actor John Leguizamo has been biking New York City. "Queens. Jackson Heights, East Elmhurst, Astoria, Corona," he tells CNN in a new interview. "I started going to high school in Manhattan when I was 15, and I moved to Manhattan when I started going to NYU. In high school, on the weekends I would bike to Central Park over the 59th Street bridge. Very Paul Simon and Garfunkel.

Leguizamo, famous for his work on Brodway, and in movies like "Moulin Rouge" and television series like "ER", says that people are often surprised when he pulls up to film premieres on a bike. "People go, 'Hey, John, I thought you'd be in a limo.' "This is my limo, my green limo. I'm saving the planet for your kids and your grandkids," he says.

But, as he tells CNN, biking in NYC does have its risks — particularly if you're just starting out and you purchase a sparkly new two-wheeler. "Get sandpaper and a screwdriver, and you got to mess it up. Because if it looks shiny and nice, no matter what massive lock you have, somebody's going to cut it."

His advice to the newbie Manhattan bicyclist? "Get a recycled bicycle, recycle a bicycle, you know, something old and beat up. If you can't and you're too high-maintenance, get something really fancy and wreck it."

Once you take your time to get to know the city, the benefits of hitting the pavement on two wheels will become clear. "First of all, we all want to lower our carbon footprint, and this is one of the great ways, reduce pollution, reduce traffic, reduce noise pollution, improve your heart with reduced stress. When you're out there, it makes you friendlier. You get a little bike rage, but that's only when people cross you. I usually get to places with a lot of great energy and a lot more relaxed."

Check out the full interview over on CNN.