For the past decades, there’s been an increasing interest in transport cycling. Almost everywhere, bike share programs are flourishing while city governments are improving roads for bicycle circulation. This return to an engineless mode of transport has much more benefits than you could think of. Here are some highlights of the environmental, health, and economical advantages of bicycling.
Lowers your carbon footprint
Emitting around 24 pounds of carbon dioxide for each gallon of gas, our vehicles are a major contributor to global warming. “Collectively, cars and trucks account for nearly one-fifth of all US emissions” according to the Union of Concerned Scientists. Cycling regularly is great way to mitigate your carbon footprint. Not only bicycles emit zero greenhouse gas over their lifetime, their production, which involves much less material, has a lower impact on the environment. Even if you use a bike only for short distances, you will make a significant difference on the long run!
Reduces noise pollution
Unlike ocean plastic pollution or climate change, noise pollution is often overlooked, but severely affects both humans and animals. Its consequences include hearing loss, cardiovascular issues, sleep disturbance and the list goes on. Especially in cities, transport vehicles are the number one cause of this type of pollution. By adopting a quieter mode of transport, you can help reduce noise pollution.
Burns fat and builds muscle
Lack of time or motivation often prevents people from working out regularly at the gym. If you enjoy biking, you won’t even need the gym! Daily moderate rides are a fun and easy way to burn calories, and strengthen your muscles. For instance, a 175-pound person burns about 420 calories in 30 minutes of pedaling at a pace of 14 to 16 mph.
Prevents heart diseases
Physical activity in general helps prevent heart diseases by lowering blood pressure and reducing levels of bad LDL cholesterol. As a form of active exercise, biking will enhance your cardiovascular system performance.
This might seems odd, but depending on where you live, biking can be more time-efficient than driving. In overpopulated cities, possessing a car can be more a burden than a convenience during rush hours. For short distance commuters, getting on two wheels is a huge timesaver, especially when your city has dedicated bike lanes, like Rochester!
Owning a bicycle undoubtedly costs less than a car―your food serves as gas. Whereas the average annual operating cost of a car is $8,220, that of a bicycle is estimated to only $308 by Forbes. They further point out that “bicyclists in the United States save at least $4.6 billion a year by riding instead of driving”. On the top of all its health and environmental advantages, cycling also benefits you economically!
Written by Kelly Jean, Class of 2021
Image credit: Unsplash