Save the World: Start Cycling or 8 Reasons to Be a Bike Cult Convert
Advocating urban cycling is hardly revolutionary. It’s common sense for most of us that cycling is environmentally friendly and just plain good for Planet Mother Earth. For argument’s sake, and because we love any sustainable movement and because we wanted to beat a dead green horse once more and outline all the reasons why you should rush out to buy a bike (made from bamboo if possible).
It’s super cheap
Main investments: a bike and some protective gear. You can do this for less than USD 100. A more than reasonable one-time fee in exchange for ever-lasting transportation. Even the most banged-up jalopy will cost you at least USD 500! Further budget-friendly points: low to nil maintenance cots; no parking fees; no fuel costs; easy to repair, huge savings on public transportation and/or taxis, no need for driving lessons and no need to pay for a licenses.
Bikes can be made from eco friendly and sustainable materials; they are easy to recycle and they can be easily shared amongst friends and family. Not to mention that cycling can help us forego our heavy reliance on fossil fuels; sooner or later this is an issue humankind will have to face.
It requires less space
Space is a luxury and urban real estate is worth huge premiums. Less parking and storage space is needed in homes and throughout cities. Road lanes can be narrower as bikes take up far less space.
Trains, buses, trucks, cars- any motor vehicles are much more dangerous on many levels. You can’t cause explosions with a bike- it can’t exactly catch on fire. Their impact upon collision is also far greater. Bike on bike accidents are not a significant concern. In fact, most cycling accidents are caused by other motor vehicles.
While that might sound unreasonable on the outset, upon further consideration it makes sense: cities are chock-a-block with traffic and for certain distances, cycling would make far more sense than sitting in senseless traffic. On a bike, you have more choice and can be more flexible with regards to the route you take.
This is the most obvious reason. No fuel burning means a massive decrease in air pollution and welcome relief for our lungs. The planet needs this and so do we.
One of the main problems of inhabitants of industrialized nations is that people don’t do enough exercise. Coupled with an overconsumption of calories, this has led to an explosion of what I will call the Western disease trifecta: heart disease, Type II diabetes and obesity. Daily cycling would certainly go a long way in reducing the development of these health concerns. People who exercise daily are also happier and calmer. Exercise releases endorphins and reduces emotional and physiological stress.
Lastly, and my favorite of all the reasons, cycling is great FUN. It brings out the little kid in all of us and is one of life’s great joys. Grab your bike and go!