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Go Cycling - Go Green by Priyanka ,  Apr 26, 2013

It's really not difficult to see why cycling is one of the 'greenest' forms of transport out there.

With people increasingly concerned about global warming, carbon footprints, melting polar ice caps and the choking fumes within our city centres, two-wheeled propulsion is clearly better for the planet than the four or six-cylinder kind.

It's clearly very difficult to lead a modern lifestyle without resorting to the car, bus or train at least some of the time; travel is part of all our lives these days. But for shorter journeys, commuting to work and general fun and fitness, cycling clearly has far less impact on the environment.

Why go green?

  • Switching from four wheels to two for just some journeys could have a massive impact on the environment.
  • It's not just the fossil fuels they consume, the greenhouse gasses they emit and the pollution that pours from their exhausts that makes cars so much more damaging.
  • It takes a huge amount of raw materials and energy to build a car, far more than goes into the average bicycle.
  • While bikes tend to last for decades and are comparatively easy to dispose of at the end of their useful life, cars rust, are considered old-fashioned much more quickly and are much more difficult to dispose of when replaced by a faster, shinier model.
  • While bikes create no pollution, cars are a major source of the greenhouse gasses that are giving scientists and environmentalists such a massive headache at the moment - with the future of the planet possibly at stake.
  • Bikes are virtually silent and make no contribution to the noise pollution that is another downside of modern life.
  • Bikes take up less road space, don't cause traffic jams and are easier to park. Around 20 of them can be parked in the space taken up by an average car.
  • Car maintenance results in waste products that need to be disposed of, such as oil that can harm the environment. Bike maintenance has minimal impact on the planet.

So when it comes to the environment, it is clear that whether you swap your carbon footprint for carbon fibre, or make do with a cheaper frame, cycling is as good for the planet as it is for your health.

The benefits of Bicycle Transportation are well documented for individuals. There is also growing evidence that cycling can benefit businesses too -

Increased Productivity and Punctuality • Cyclists and walkers will arrive at work more invigorated than those who commute by automobile. • Cyclists are more likely to arrive at work on time, as they are less likely to be held up in automobile traffic.

Decreased Absenteeism & Turnover

• Physically fit employees are absent an average of two fewer days per year.

Reduced Parking Costs and Increased Accessibility

• Employers typically spend over $60 per employee per month for a parking spot. By swapping the car for the bicycle, over $720 per year per employee can be saved as well as freeing up spaces for customers making your business more accessible.

Health Benefits of Riding a Bicycle

Cycling is basically a cardio respiratory exercise, which means it affects the heart, blood vessels and lungs. The good news is that unlike most other grueling fitness regimes, cycling is an exciting and adventurous sport. Although hard-core cyclists would recommend going outdoors, the machine is used for indoor recreation too and is a part of any sophisticated gymnasium.

Cycling helps manage weight and pain, improves muscle tone and strength, increases energy levels, and reduces stress, anxiety and arthritic pain. Best of all, one can cycle at any time of the day (depending on the weather!), with or without friends, and for leisure, utility or competitive purposes.

Go Cycle, Go Green!

It’s economical, efficient and emission-free! How so? A cyclist consumes 1/50th of the oxygen that a car does making the identical journey. In addition, a cyclist can travel 1,037km (644 miles) on the energy equivalent of one litre of petrol. 

In some European cities about 50% of all trips are made on bikes. Increasingly, many metropolitan cities are organizing campaigns or initiatives to promote cycling as a mode of transport. ‘ Cities for Cycling’ is one such national initiative that promotes a world-class bicycle transportation system through sharing of best practices. Best practices to promote biking as a mainstream mode of transport include usage of bike boxes, bike signals, cycle tracks, contra-flow and buffered bike lanes.

“Go Green Go Dutch Go Bike!” is another such initiative started in 2007 that’s spread across nations to Canada. The objective of the event is to promote use of bikes. Simply speaking, apart from reducing traffic flow, noise and air pollution, cycling is very healthy and can eventually help minimize major costs incurred due to heart diseases, diabetes and high blood pressure.

So time to go get your bicycle helmet, apparel and shoes: time to go cycle, go green!