Get a bike, get outside, save the planet and lose some weight.
Making your way around town from point A to point B can be a challenging feat if you live in a big city congested with traffic, constant stress or sheer lack of infrastructure. When you have saved for five years to get the car you always wanted to drive, only to realise that insurance, monthly payments, parking and maintenance costs are going to slowly drain your bank account while hoping that shady character that passes in front of your house every now and then, won’t break in and steal it. A vehicle brings more responsibility and stress than comfort and utility. Public transport is a great alternative, but finding the perfect medium between accessibility, appropriate infrastructure, reasonable pricing and congested streets resulting in always being late, can be challenging. So we are left with walking and cycling. Walking has great benefits through one major flaw – it is slow and time-consuming. How about cycling then? There are so many ways that cycling beats all ways of transport in your city:
- Economical benefits. Do I even have to start with the costs related to owning a vehicle? Insurance, gas, maintenance, license, registration, taxes, parking and fines the list goes on and on and your bank account get hit each month. Once you drive your car off the dealership it immediately losses a large amount of its initial value. If you look at the calculator from Bicycle Universe for not owning a car for 15 years you could save as much as $238,092 – you could buy yourself a HOUSE.
Here is a link to a going car-free calculator.
On a national level, the infographic below shows us that more than $4.5 billion dollars are saved through cycling in the US yearly.
- Health benefits. Cycling cuts the risk of heart diseases, obesity and being physically active daily increases your sex drive. It will increase your brain power, improves your immunity system making you stronger at beating illnesses. Compared to other types of cardio exercise, cycling is not so harsh on your joints and feet, putting less pressure on them and focusing more on the muscle movement. For the people avoiding exercise, this will be a great way to justify it and combine a boring commute to work with some cardio to get the blood flowing in the morning. If you live in an area where the weather is good you might even get the added benefit of catching some sunshine.
- Environmental benefits. Global warming has become a public enemy number one in many areas around the world. One way for you to make a change and help save the planet is to consider your transport methods. It takes around ﬁve percent of the materials and energy used to make a car to build a bike, and a bike produces zero pollution. According to a study from the Imperial College in London on avoiding pollution, passengers in buses, taxis and cars inhaled substantially more pollution than cyclists and pedestrians. Bikes are efﬁcient too – you travel around three times as fast as walking for the same amount of energy. More than twenty bicycles can be parked in the same space as one car.
- Social benefits. Additionally, when you are not driving for 30-45 minutes to work each morning in heavy traffic you will be less stressed and in a better mood which will allow for better interactions with your colleagues. Simply the fewer people drive to work, the less stress, the less traffic and more benefits. You can also look stylish and sexy wearing your favourite suit to work. You can be guilt-free, snacking in the office daily, knowing that you are going to burn these calories on your commute back home.
Don’t make excuses about the weather or long distances. The Netherlands is the country with most cyclists per capita with 16,652,800 cyclists and 16,500,000 bicycles approximately 99.1% and an average rainfall a year of 76.5 cm which is a lot. Get a bike, get outside, save the planet and get some exercise.