Thursday, July 31, 2008

Benefits of Bicycles

Many people consider shifting to bicycling to address skyrocketing oil price and environmental friendly trend. Recently I found this interesting article from Eco Worldly about 17 reasons why you should use bicycle wherever you live.

1. The first and most obvious reason is the increase of oil price. In early June 2008, a gallon of regular costs around $4.50 in US. On the other hand, the cost of riding bicycle is zero.

2. It’s healthy (and hotter). You can burn 400-500 calories per hour by cycling at 10-12 miles per hour.

3. Old bicycles can be modified into a generating human-powered home electricity tool, for instance to pumping water.

4. It builds social groups and better community development. For example, students can learn about bicycle knowledge, traffic safety, and sustainable development. It is also possible to organize cycling trips.

5. It may encourage the breakdown of economic divides. Developing countries tend to see bicycling as an indicator of low economic status. On the contrary, bicycling is adopted by all classes of society in developed countries. Therefore, it may create paradigm shifts.

6. Bicycle has different usages depending on the locations. For example, in Africa, it can act as a farm truck or an ambulance to save lives deep in the jungle.

7. It contributes in reducing air pollution.

8. It has a potential to save you money in health costs. A study indicated that bicycling saves Australia almost a quarter billion dollars annually.

9. Cars are big, bicycles are small. Bicycles need much lesser space.

10. It can become your business. In developing countries, some people sell stuffs that they bring with their bicycles.

11. Bicycles are efficient vehicles.

12. It can save $250,000 for an average American during his driving lifetime.

13. Automotive accidents bring 42,000 deaths annually in the United States. A bicycle accident, on the other hand, is not likely to kill you.

14. Bicyclists can breathe cleaner air if you shift to bicycle as well.

15. It’s a zero-emission vehicle! No greenhouse gases and thus reduce global warming and all those negative effects of air pollution.

16. Cycling can develop a social network. When you drive a car, usually you feel irritated by other car drivers. On the contrary, bicyclists are a supportive community.

17. It does not need oil, so it prevents oil wars. Many countries need oil to produce energy, which can create violent conflicts.

I agree with the reasons, but we need to address several issues that bicyclists often face, especially in developing countries. The air pollution is bad in some locations and it can damage bicyclist health. Bicycle lanes are still minimum and thus cycling can be quite dangerous. The government should be more proactive to address the issues. For us, I guess we need to start one bicyclist at a time. We need to set ourselves as an example as well.

I recommend you to visit 17 Reasons Why Bicycles Are the Most Popular Vehicle in the World Today so you can get more information on this topic.

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